Some take offense to this sign...me? I love it!
Two weeks in Utila and we never ventured out to experience the night life, which is one of the great things Utila is known for. I wonder what that says about us. We’re either getting old, lazy or possibly both.
Utila is a small island. The majority of the visitors here are young adults who arrive to get their dive certification by day and party by night. In the daylight hours we’ll see dozens of dive boats going out to the reefs and back. By night the restaurant bars play all sorts of music from country to light rock to techno. We could hear the music on Sanibel as if we were playing it ourselves. And in the evening, while sitting in the cockpit, it was nice. However, at night when we were trying to sleep it wasn’t so nice. Some nights the music played until 5am. Jimi slept with ear plugs and I just managed. After a week, we moved Sanibel further from shore. It’s much quieter.
The main and almost only road on the island is less than wide. If there were any full size American made cars here, the road would only wide enough for one and that’s a stretch. We saw a few smaller vehicles, but mostly all that’s used is motorcycles (probably 250 cc’s), mopeds, four-wheelers and tut-tuts; otherwise people walk. Somehow they make it work. Jimi and I were a little hesitant walking on the road with all the traffic buzzing by and there’s a lot of traffic. It’s laid back, everyone seems to get along. There’s no hustling or begging. The street is lined with businesses such as rooms for rent, bikes for rent, laundry service, some souvenir shops, grocery stores, bars and restaurants.
Tut-tut; I want one.
We had a delightful afternoon our first day in Utila. We walked to one end of the horseshoe shaped harbour and then to the other end; about three miles in all. We found the coolest restaurant/bar on the water called Babalu, but we couldn't eat there as they were still preparing for the evening. We ate lunch on the porch of a comfy lil' cafe and I played with the restaurant kitty. On the way back to the dinghy we stopped at Cocoloco for a quick afternoon beer.
The signs that hang outside Babalu.
Some of the tables in Babalu have checker boards painted on them; bottle caps are used for the pieces.
Sandy shorts wall decor.
The bar is completely over water. In the middle of the bar is a large opening called the fish tank. Here hangs a small pirate ship, as the fish swim the ocean below.
We snorkeled the reefs a few times. I’m always amazed at the underwater terrain. It’s different everywhere we go. We love swimming in the middle of large schools of fish or watching an itty bitty fish chase away a larger fish when he’s protecting his home. Parts of this reef reminded us much of the movie “Finding Nemo.” Where the reef stops, all we can see is the deep blue never ending ocean, no floor in sight. And just east we swam between reefs like we were driving a four wheeler through the rocky mountains or parts of Moab, Utah.
The harbour has a reputation for bad holding and while we didn’t have any trouble, a large red sailboat anchored in front of us dragged toward us during the night. Luckily his anchor caught and he was far enough away not to hit us. Just another day in the life of anchorages.
Jimi cleaning the wenches.
We were fortunate enough to be here during the annual Utila Carnival celebration. A weeklong celebration with different festivities and events each day. We walked around a little, but never took much interest in the festivities until the Carnival (aka a parade). It was short, but it was great. Anywhere from all out feathered costumes, pirates, high school bands, dancing horses or simply a truck load of drunken gringos, we enjoyed every moment.
Free cups thrown to the crowd from the Carnival floats.
The band was grand and their masks were even grander.
The horses danced to the music as they led the parade.
Yes, and these are the gringos having the time of their lives. I can say with certainty that they were harmless and the crowd very much enjoyed their presence.
One representation of a feathered costume.
The horses and one of these men is the Mayor.
The brave Honduran military paroling the area.
Nearly a dozen pirates and they went all out. Their costumes and persona were absolutely among the best.
A small boy patiently waits for the parade to begin.
We’ve prepared ourselves and Sanibel to leave on Friday. The winds are predicted to be light, therefore, it may be a slow ride, but with any luck we’ll arrive in Guatemala in twenty-four hours. We have a slip reserved at Captain John’s Rio Dulce Marina on the river. We’re excited for a new country and where Sanibel will be stationary for the next five months.