Utila to Yojoa
Nothing resuscitate the writing muscles as efficiently as having the word slacker tossed in your face(book) by a dear friend… So with a new wave of inspiration, the unintentional blog-hiatus has been broken. Now I’m sitting here in Nicaragua with my mind stretched back in time, back to another country… Back to what almost feels like another universe: Honduras. And in truth, it probably serves us all best that I write about Honduras well after the fact; after I’ve had time to reflect and recover, because it was a ridiculous rollercoaster.
I remember the morning I left Guatemala - the air was bright and hot, the road a bumpy green trial with tumbling branches that reached out towards the bus windows as we charted our way south towards the border. The thick, green Caribbean edge was a tangle of trees and farmland and little towns. I didn’t know precisely where I would step off the bus that day. The little Bay Island of Utila was on my near radar, but I felt no sense of urgency. This was, after all, the Caribbean and from my seat, Honduras was revealing a stunning countryside that flowed into rocky green hills and tall mountains. But I was, at the time, innocent to the magnetic pull of Utila and it’s ravenous appetite for backpackers. I now suspect that Utila sensed my indecisive mood and knowing I could be easily swayed employed magical forces to suck me in at warp speed… Or perhaps I just met some lovely travellers heading to Utila that day and figured why not join along in the fun. Either way, I was on the first ferry the next day.
Looking back on that ferry ride across the sea, I can’t help but imagine our boat like an insect caught on the tip of a lizard-like tongue, being drawn in slow motion towards the belly of the island as it awaited it’s next feeding. And inside the belly was a blissful Caribbean island cyclone swirling with all the mischief and frivolity anyone could imagine. Days spent under the waves exploring the vibrant universe of the corals would turn into warm nights along Utila’s little village streets that pulsed with Reggaeton and meandering clusters of expats, backpackers and locals. More often than not, those nights would blur into silliness in the tiniest hours under the moon. Just kick back and watch as human inhibition fades into a sea of drunken bodies and boisterous behaviour. It was fun, no doubt. Insane amounts of college-style fun. But that daily routine of drinking and diving soon made me feel as though I was simply filling time, drifting through days uninspired, the mind superficially distracted by the next party. Two weeks swirling inside the belly was enough - I knew it was time to escape.
And with that, I went from the insanity of little Utila to the tranquil beauty of Lago de Yojoa in the heart of Honduras. It was the perfect place to slow down, recover and reconnect: serenely misty mountains encircling the vast edge of Yojoa; magical waterfalls tumbling out from leafy cliffs; tumultuous rains in the late afternoon that left everything quiet and still and dripping with freshness; narrow mud paths that passed little houses high in the mountains, adorable faces running out to watch us pass… Deep refreshing breaths.
And now I can look back on Utila with a certain appreciation because the craziness prodded me to recalculate this ambling path. Here I am, recalculating… Yes, I want wild, but wildly alive and inspired… Recalculating…