Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras, C.A. 2010

Scuba Diving

Utila, Honduras

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My Aquarium

So we are off to Utila - our second visit. They changed ferries on us this time, however. Whoever owns or operates the ferry between La Ceiba and Utila switched to a smaller boat, and it was not comfortable!

But once we were there it was island style again.

Hank was leaving the second morning for reality while I was sticking around for a week for more fun diving plus a couple more scuba classes with Utila Dive Center. We both woke up our first full day in Utila feeling under the weather and little exhausted from all the travel. Dad decided to rent a golf cart and spend the day just driving around the island. It seemed like a good idea at the time until that one part where an unchained dog came running after us. The brief conversation went something like this -

Hank while watching the dog running after us barking like mad, "Good thing that dog is chained up."
Me, "It's not chained up!"
Hank, "Ohhhh shiiiiiiiit!"

Golf carts are not meant to outrun savage beasts and as such dad did his best Mike Tyson on the dog while I did my best Jeff Gordon with the golf cart. Dad proved much more effective as the dog ran in fear but not before I almost went off the road and flipped the cart.

After Hank left I rented the golf cart again and this time did a little offloading with it. My objective was Pumpkin Hill. I ran into 5 people that told me I couldn't make it to Pumpkin Hill in a golf cart. They doubt me, ha! I was dejected but not deterred. I kept asking. Finally I found someone willing to admit I had a chance of making it. After confirming it was a rented golf cart they said "why not?" I concurred, finished my beer, said bye to Frank (look closely, he sees you), and I was off.

I had some rogue directions of how to get there. It started with "turn off the paved road..." and concluded with "... you can't miss it." Where could I go wrong? Well, I did. The good part about getting lost in Utila is it's a small island. Eventually you hit water and have to turn around.

Somewhere along my route I missed my turn. The road dead-ended right where I stand to take that photo. I look to my left... I look to my right... Yep, I'm alone. Here is the video to prove it. I turn around and look at where I just came from. I could go back... but why? I turn back around now once again watching and feeling the waves crest at my feet. I just stand there for a few moments, maybe longer, not thinking about a whole lot actually. Eventually I answer myself with a nod before I ask the question, "Ready?"

The golf cart escapes the tree canopy for a brief moment and I get my first view of my goal - Pumpkin Hill. Some people say the last of the buried treasure from the pirate Henry Morgan (yes, from the famed Captain Morgan's rum) is still buried in this hill.

It is the highest point on all of Utila and I'm told the view is wonderful. So I trekked through Utilian swamps to reach it. I'm shocked my golf cart actually survived. It wasn't made for mudding. Here is a brief video of the mud road I had to follow to reach Pumpkin Hill.

After the mud came the hill climb. Again, the cart performed like a champ. Why was there even doubt? Eventually I reached barbed wire and have to leave the cart behind.

This is where the going got tough. I really had to make sure I wanted to be at the top of this hill. Half way up I stopped to rest. It didn't seem like the best place to lean but dammit there was simply no where else for me to rest.

Yeah ok I wasn't that stupid to rest upon that stone. I know myself and my luck way too much. Did I fear I'd push the stone off center and it would tumble down the hill? Duh... but that wasn't the biggest problem. My luck didn't just have that rock tumbling downhill, ... I mean... big deal, right? I might become an internet legend if I'm the guy that sent the rock downhill. The *real* problem I have here is, with my sort of luck, it would have taken out my golf cart along the way and I would have had to walk back to town through darkness in a tropical swamp!

So I made it. Here is the video from the top of the hill showing a 360 degree view of Utila.

And finally me, at the top of the Utilian world.

If you haven't already seen my underwater section of Utila be sure to give that a look.

To see more of Utila topside check out my 2007 travel page.

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Vacations

Utila, Honduras

La Ceiba, Hondura

Roatan, Honduras

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Minocqua, Wisconsin

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