Honduras, November 22nd - December 5th 1999

me at the bar in a hippy top Honduras, and specifically Roatan Island, really impressed me when I went there in 1997. So when casting about for somewhere to take a break in 1999, I figured I'd stick with what I knew and headed back there. I kept a list of locations on my palm pilot, and took a bunch of photos which unfortunately got lost in the Great Website Resync of 2000. Here's the itinerary, with annotations indicating when I went scuba diving and when I went to Roatan's "capital" to get more cash:

Here's something I wrote after coming home, and probably posted to talk.bizarre:

Airlines are far more flexible than they'd have you believe.
All the "normal food" I tried in order to knock some shape into my digestive system didn't work. Then I had some Vietnamese food and goddamn if that didn't do the trick.
My travel medipack says, "no malaria medication is 100% effective. Your best protection is to avoid being bitten."

Avoiding being bitten in Central America is like avoiding getting wet in Ireland.
Being Irish
"This is Ronan. It's all right, he's Irish"

"You're Irish? How are you flying home?"
"oh, via San Pedro, Miami, London..."
"Could you post some stuff in Miami for me?"

"como se llama?"
"donde de?"
"Ah, Orlando"
"No, -ee-rlanda"
Loudmouthed Folk
him: "see, I'm educated and intelligent. I can take any side of an argument and win it."
me, thinking: "yeah, because you just KEEP TALKING until the other person gets BORED and GIVES UP."
Language Barriers
Everyone speaks a common tongue after a few beers.

"hablas ingles?" is a good conversational opener.
Politics and Religion
Don't bother. You'll meet the loudmouth, get dragged into a bottomless argument, and just waste your time.

There's no moral high ground, either.
Diving itself is pretty cool, but the real fun is in taking advantage of the weightlessness to do Stupid Tricks.
Both land-based and water-based taxis rely very much on faith for structural integrity as well as saftey, steering, etc. It's best not to dwell on it, and enjoy the ride.
Sitting in a hammock in an open-air beachfront bar (where they know you by name, drink and bar tab) with the TV hooked to the bar's sound system is one of the few options the DVD version of The Matrix won't give you, but that's how I watched it.
"quick, channel 388! The Simpsons is about to start!"

"Hang on. I spend four days travelling, and I'm now sitting in a bar with a beer in my hand watching English Premier League football. I'm missing something here, right?"

my fiver in honduras