Walking the Streets of Utila


Walking the Streets of Utila,  Honduras

After breakfast we decide to see if we can catch a ferry to the Cays. The sun is sweltering.

“Its about 80 something degrees,” a girl says to her mother on the phone.

An older man who calls himself Papi tells me to stay away from barrio anglais.

“It’s dangerous there, lots of drugs.”

His skin is very dark. Four wheelers zoom by us. Palm trees with unripe coconuts surround us. One palm tree is very oddly shaped, it’s flat. A bag of onions sits on the sidewalk. We duck into a store, grab a bottle of water. Some tuktuks have very loud Reggaeton music blasting. Two old men ride by on motor bikes, discussing their plans to go to San Pedro Sula. That’s where my flight leaves out of in two weeks. A beautiful picture of Ganesha, one that i’ve not seen before, hangs on the wall behind the front desk of our hotel. I agonize out-loud whether to buy a milkshake or not. Alan is annoyed. His nose is sweating. Artisans litter the sides of the street. They host beautiful necklaces with stones and dream-catchers in the center. I take off my sunglasses, the world is suddenly brighter. The bar tender pours someone a glass of white wine. Shadows crawl along the sidewalk. The island is outlined by an artificial coral reef, according to Alan. A small crab crawls around his palm. He places it back in the water. There are no waves, except for those caused by the boats. The sea is calm, making a gentle swish sound when you near the coast. People are sitting on their porches, watching the street activity. An abandoned building watches us. A church stands with the windows open, featuring loud singing. Shirtless gringos playing pool to American dance music. A guy sits on a couch, tattoos all over his legs. We pass an abandoned lot that smells like death. Signs are everywhere. Hotels, hot water, TV, Wi-Fi, microwave, VACANCY, restaurants, chicken spinach, crème Brule, French toast, bacon corn hash, gazpacho and egg salad sandwich, street food, baleadas, licuados, milkshakes, fish burgers, shrimp, motor bikes, children playing with sticks, hitting one another, gardens with beautiful tropical flowers, plants, old tires, trash, a handsome man on a motorbike, no wait, two handsome men, I smile, sand, concrete, signs advertising the whale shark.


Two dark skin men tell us that you can charter a boat out to the Keys, 400 dollars for a two way cruise to Roatan, food and drink covered. One of them has an angel tattoo. There’s hair under the bottle cap of Alan’s water, he buys another. I purchase razor blades. Everyone’s wearing sunglasses – well not everyone, mostly just the gringos. I have on bright colors – red and white shorts and a tropical sleeveless shirt. I blend into the scenery. Little yellow flowers, people dressed for church, Alan scowls, chewing gum, a beautiful blonde walks by, head held high, a girl sits in a four wheeler waiting for her driver. She is dressed for church. She’s playing with her cell phone, gigantic green leaves, a big fat rottweiler lays down outside someone’s front porch, we throw him a bit of food, he follows us briefly, then stops and chills some more. A yellow lab mix chained to a porch sniffs me out of nowhere, I yelp, startled, “May I see some identification?” he asks. We sit and look at the water. I surrender to the scenery.

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