The duct tape plane takes off
The Russian manufactured plane, held together with
string and duct tape, deposits us on Utila, a small island about the size of Manhattan,
some twenty-five miles off the Honduran coast. The runway is barely long enough to
accommodate this little hopper, and it's engines scream like banshees on landing and
Flying in Honduras is inexpensive. It is also confusing. You will buy a ticket and may or
may not manage to get on a the next plane departing. It all depends on what color boarding
pass you are able to wave frantically in the air as passengers make a rush for departure.
I never did quite figure it out. Oh well.
Utila is the smallest of three islands of the coast. It's beaches are not as wide as those
of Roatan and Guanaja and it doesn't have the nice towering mountains running the length
of the island, (Pumpkin Hill, a small rise at one end of the island just doesn't cut it,)
but Utila is less 'touristy' and, most important, cheaper. The town is cute, the people
friendly. A main road runs through town and there seem to be about 10 cars on the island.
Almost all the tourists are the young crowd, healthy suntanned gods that each morning head
in droves for the boats to take them scuba diving. There are a dozen scuba outfits on the
island that cater to these aquatic folk who are for the most part here to get their diving
diplomas. I am told that this is the cheapest place in the world to score one of these
. Food on Utila is... well, just food. Mind you, it's hard to do damage to Red Snapper or
a large range of other meals out of the ocean no matter how bad a cook you are. If you get
tired of consuming marine life, check out "The Mermaid Restaurant", where they
serve the best and largest pizza on the island.
On the ecological side of things, Utila is home to endangered iguana. These
are being researched by the Conservation
and Research Project Utila Iguana. On an island with an ever increasing
tourist population, these creatures are constantly having to survive in a
Off the eastern tip of Utila is a small smattering of "cays", small islands that
exist by virtue of the coral upon which they perch. We learned from a flyer on the wall of
the grocery store that one could stay on an island for a reasonable sum of money. This we