Part two continues …..
We then went in search for a place to stay. We were sent to a few places on recommendation, but we settled on the first place we asked about in the end; only 100 lempiras a night (3 quid), in the centre of Amapala (and it had a fan (with only a near transparent curtain blocking off the bathroom – but it made it more bohemian in my book)). Amapala is trying to lure in tourists. The main tourists we saw were Honduran. We did feel like the only gringos on the island but that felt good too. I felt we’d come off the beaten track a little bit. It was still developed enough, but it felt like Midwest cowboy town from the last century at times, just with a Latin touch. We then took a tut-tut (motorbike taxi kind of thing) to Playa Grande (Big Beach, if you were wondering the translation) and past some wonderful flora on the way; slightly more tropical and less celtic than Ireland or Scotland, but beautiful just the same. Because it’s a volcanic island, the sand is dark. Wooden beach bars and restaurants and fishing businesses lined the beach while other islands sat in the Fonseca Gulf in front of us. I was amazed by the calmness of the sea. The islands act as a breakwater. I got to see El Salvador. We saw kids helping their families bring in their catch from the sea and kids playing around in the small waves that made the surf (the sea was warm, but not because of the kids!). It felt authentically Central American. People living their lives and Hondurans on holiday, a million miles from Utila, which seemed more gringo’ed. I kind of preferred Amapala for that reason too. You can find the bars in Utila in many places around the world – Amapala seemed one of a kind. And that was why I like it so much.
We then went to a bar and drank lots of beer while we waited for Hazel’s boyfriend Davide to arrive. He had some journey to get there, which involved walking down some dark lonesome country roads to Coyolito to catch the boat, because his lift decided to drop him off half way. Finally, he got there about 8ish in the evening and we had our second fish of the day. Not as good as at lunch, but we still scoffed them.
The next day, we got up leisurely and I went to a shop to get my tourist t-shirt with Amapala written on it. We went back to Playa Grande to have a swim. It was also here where we realised my sun-cream didn’t work. My body was stiff with pain. To see how red I was, see the picture below on leaving Amapala. We had to get back as time was ticking by fast. We caught the boats, buses and coaches back to a stormy Tegucigalpa. I had to sit with a girl who had shit on her shoe and who stunk of vomit; karma getting revenge for Friday.
I will probably go back to Isla de Tigre to see more of it. It needs more than one day. It is definitely a highlight of my time in Honduras and I recommend anyone travelling through Central America to visit. It’s a little out the way but it’s a cheap get away, and it really is just that, a getaway, from everything.
On Monday I took the day off at Casa Alianza to deal with my sunburn and other things. On Tuesday I was back to the grind and I had an interview with a kid from Olancho, who has an accent so strong that I can barely understand a word he says. They say people in Andalucía cut their s’s out of words. I think the people from Olancho cut out consonants all together. The kid has had an awful time. He was abandoned by his parents, beaten up repeatedly by his step-mum, forced on to the streets when he was 10, he joined the Maras, developed a serious drug problem, started stealing from the Maras to feed the drugs, and has nearly been murdered five times by the gang. He is 17 now. He broke down into tears during the interview. It is not the most original song to dedicate to someone who has been through so much, but I love this song and, as the kid is really suffering coming off the drugs, so here’s “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.