Everyone seems to skip Honduras, or just goes to one of the islands and then legs it to Leon. I was going to be one of these people until I realized you had to wake up at 5 to get the 6am ferry and then a shuttle that wouldn’t arrive in leon till 1 am, so decided to change my plans. The group (minus Daniel and Sarah who were on a romantic get away) decided to head to La Ceiba and spend 2 nights there. We had heard there was good white water rafting so thought we should give it ago, plus the hostel was so comfortable none of us wanted to leave (hot water and Air Con! Hostel 1877).
Rachael and Jules sat out on the rafting as they weren’t feeling too well (Jules had this horrible rash (we think chikungunya/ chickenjuliets but really could have been anything as she never got tested #ZIKA) plus was still recovering from her 2 day bender) but we still had Richard and James who we had met diving and Connor, this huge american guy that Mark new from San Juan del Sur making us a group of 8. We got picked up in the oldest beat up Landcruiser who’s door didn’t even shut properly! After a bumpy ride through the jungle we were at the starting point for the rafting. We were given some brief instructions and a quick little practice run (that we sucked at) and then we were off down the river. We had a girls boat (Katie, Niamh, Erin and Me) and a boys boat (James, Richard and Mark) with Conor in his own inflatable kayak thing.
The crew ready to go rafting!!
It was so much fun! Niamh (I now know how to spell her name) in particular was so funny! She is so goofy and could never hear the instructions so was always a step or so behind. Katie decided she would be a better/louder captain so took over in the instruction department. We thankfully never fell out (except for when the boys pulled us out and then flipped our boat) and no one got hurt which is always a plus.
Niamh trying desperately to stay in the boat
It was time for the group to disperse so after an amazing family dinner cooked by Rach we all made our seperate plans. James and Richard were getting a shuttle to Leon, Jules and Niamh were staying in la ceiba and the rest of us were off to this brewery their dive instructor had told them about. Through Rach’s expert skills we managed to get there using taxis and local buses for half the price of the shuttle. It actually wasn’t even hard and probably took the exact same amount of time. The brewery was in the middle of the jungle near a lake. We never actually saw the lake until we were leaving. D&D brewery was awesome! The beer was delicious and they even had cider plus the accomidation was really comfy (there were no bunk beds thank god!).
After a night of drinking we all piled into a taxi to go and explore a near by waterfall. This waterfall was huge, and apparently you could do tours behind it. Katie and Erin were trying to reign in their spending so decided to skip the tour. I kinda thought it was just going to be a casual stroll along a path into a cave behind the waterfall but it was so much more!! This was extreme waterfall climbing. We had to jump off rocks into pools of water and then climb up the other side. At one point you couldn’t see anything and just had to cling onto this rope and follow it blindly. It was so much fun!! We did loose some sunnies but it was well worth it! A must do if you are in Honduras.
Group shot under the waterfall
I had my first bed bug experience and it was horrendous! We were staying at bigfoot hostel in Antigua as el hostel was fully booked. I was woken up in the middle of the night to a bug crawling on my shoulder. I wasn’t sure if it was a bed bug or not as I didn’t seem to have any bites. I found a few more and killed them and tried to convince myslef they weren’t bed bugs to go back asleep. In the morning I asked Whitney if she was getting bitten too and she was covered in bites! Mine took 24hrs to come up but I was totally covered. They were so itchy and I just felt grose. We quickly changed hostels for our last night in antigua and tried to recover! I am now paranoid about bed bugs!!
World’s biggest bed bugs!
It was time to say goodbye to Whitney as I was off to Utila for a music festival and diving and she was off to Rio for the Olympics. I had heard about this music festival from an Irish chick named Sally that was staying in our Dorm in Antigua. Apparently it was a 24 hr rave on a small island. I imagined it to be something like the full moon party in thailand. I had a feeling Mark and Daniel (the guys I had met in Mexico City) would be going as it seemed right up their ally.
Thankfully everyone I knew had the same ideas and were all going to the same dive shop, Altons. I booked 10 fun dives which included 5 nights accomidation for $US325. As soon as I arrived I ran into Mark and Daniel who were traveling with 6 girls (Rachel, Jules, Sarah, Erin, Katy amd Neev (spelt differently as she’s Irish) and Sally and all her friends (Nicola x 2, Ruth and Marren (also all irish)). They were all awesome and loved to party!
It took 2 days before I was able to start diving as tropical storm Earl decided to pay a visit. I think it turned into a cyclone by the time it hit Belize but we just got the tail end of it so it wasn’t too bad. Just a lot of wind and rain which made for a really boring day! Thankfully it passed pretty quickly and we were able to start diving the next day.
The diving in Utila was good. Not great and not the best place I have ever been but good. The reef seemed pretty healthy and there were lots of fish but we never saw anything amazing on any of the dives. We did a ship wrek dive that was pretty cool but again not the greatest one I have been on.
Some squid chilling in the ocean
Best picture I got of the reef
The time had finally come! Sunjam!!! The festival started at 12pm but everyone assured us that no one would be there that early. We decided to go on the boat from the dive centre that left around 9pm. The boat ride took forever! After what felt like an hour we were finaly at the island. It wasn’t anywhere near as big as the full moon party. Someone said that they sold 1300 tickets so I guess that’s roughly how many people were there but it didn’t seem packed by any means. It was a proper rave. I thought it might be house music to start with but it was full techo/trance music the entire time. To start with it was fine but by the end of the night it felt like we had been listening to the same song all night. We partied till the sun came up. The festival kept going till 12pm but we left around 6:30 as I couldn’t stay up any longer. Mark and Daniel’s crew went to the after party the next day on the beach but I couldn’t rally enough to go. Plus I had to dive the next morning…
*Cameras aren’t allowed at sunjam so I don’t have any pictures of the night (while saying this I saw loads of people with cameras… wouldn’t have been hard to sneak one in.)