The next morning, with a back as crooked and brittle as a mishapened twig, I got up slowly. We decided that half the group would stay in San Pedro Sula with Jano and the other would go to Omoa. I drew the short straw and had to stay in San Pedro. Cinthya made a lovely breakfast of spicy scrambled egg. Jano, Fabricio and Derek helped the mechanic. We still thought it was the battery at this point. What was funny, the mechanic chuffed his own car out by continued playing with the jump leads. In the end the car was towed away to a garage somewhere in San Pedro while Felipe and I stayed at Cinthya’s. We later found out it was a problem with the carburettor all along.
It was then a long morning of arduous waiting. I enjoyed the company, don’t get me wrong, but not knowing when we were going, not knowing where everyone was, or even where I was, made me a little tense. My bag was in Omoa so I was in the same clothes as the day before. I’m someone who has to be active, doing something or thinking something, and the thought that I was stuck in an boiling apartment, lack of sleep but unable to sleep, with MTV trash on the tele, while I should be basking on a Caribbean beach, made me want to scream cold bloody murder. I wanted to catch a bus. Just to move. Do something. Get to the Caribbean. Now. It was just an hour away. The sea breeze was almost teasing me. Saying, “Come, come, come.” But I was told to stay put.
In the meantime, super Erick and Pam were returning to pick up Felipe and myself. No offence to Cinthya’s apartment, but I was so pleased yo leave and see something else. We ended up in a mall where we met the other guys. I bought a new jacket. A nice blazer jacket should any interviews arise. We then went to Baleadas Express. I’m not a great fan of the place. The best baleada I’ve had was in La Ceiba. Another great place is in the Dolores market. The heat had lost my appetite. The look of the egg put me off. It looked too old. And greasy. I don’t like the idea baleadas being commercialised, especially in a place where the name has Express in it. inthya turned up with a tanned fella called Bryon, or Byron, or Brine, I can’t quite remember. I took him for a Honduran but he turned out to be from Melbourne in Australia. I told him my mother had lived there. He asked me where. I said I didn’t know. Not a great way to introduce yourself. Like most ozzies, he had a healthy appetite for a party, so I was delighted when he said he would be accompanying us when we finally set off.
We then learned that the car wouldn’t be ready for a few more hours. I nearly cried. I look back now and I know I was being a selfish little eejit. Poor Jano had organised this trip, his car (at this point) had an unknown maybe costly fault, it was his break too, it was Ellie’s birthday, everyone was a little frustrated, but all I gave a s–t about was beach and booze and I wanted it now. A sleep starved, sun beatened and frustrated chele in the SPS heat; not a handsome sight. We were to go back to Cinthya’s to rest for a while. Poor Pam got an earful. I almost kicked a wall. And when I got into the car, to try and take my mind off all the frustration I thought it would be a brilliant idea to sort out my problems with immigration at that very second, which I received a few annoyed stares at Pamela for. At Cinthya’s, Pamela and Erick slept while I did my best to, and then we got the nod that we could finally go. I nearly jumped up and down in happiness but I had no energy to. We stopped off at a petrol station, I had an ice cream, I chilled out, and yes, we were on the way to Omoa, finally.
We got there a good 14 hours late, but what a sight it was to see the Caribbean sea. The fresh tropical taste in your mouth. The pirate history. The Garifuna history. The place really does rock to a different beat. “Vale la pena” as they say here, “Worth the pain.” I could also hear the gentle waves caressing the yellow sand. Jano’s house is beautiful. It looks as though it was built in the 60s or 70s though I could be wrong. Wooden inside, with settees sitting before a view of the sea. At the bottom of the garden was almost a look out, a story high, with hammocks. I pretty much jumped into my swimming shorts, almost falling over three times, beer in hand, Pamela holding my other, and I let the warm, warm waters envelope in the afternoon sunset. Lush and romantic and smashing delicate rebounds of rays off the water and back into the fierce orange and cool blue skies. A little bit drunk, 100% happy, I tilted my head to the skies and said out aloud in a profound wsy to myself, “Made it!” But at that same second a wave washed over my head, giving me a gobfull of sea water that me choke.
As the sun began to set to our left, the moon rose on our right. We really noticed it when the majority of us hopped on a banana boat. As always with these things, no one stays on after sharp turns. I wish I’d brought my water proof camera with me for it. Still a fresh feeling, nonetheless. That’s what I love about the Caribbean. The water makes you feel alive, like the water is one big rum party happening in your body.
After we returned to the house, Fabricio made a nice pasta tuna dish while Jano played the perfect host by making sure that our glasses were topped with strong alcohol. Cake was dished around for Ellie’s birthday, dirty jokes too, and the day’s frustrations with car already felt like a funny adventure 10 years ago and everyone was laughing. Everyone then went to the beach for a bonfire. I passed out on the sofa. By the time I awoke, the majority had returned and the bonfire was out, but I still very happy to be there, in Omoa, that night. I could then tick it off my list of places that I must go to. My Omoa goal was accomplished!
To be continued …