[Looks just like Venice, right?]
The island is sparsely populated in that the majority of the people here live on one small cay, every square inch of which is covered, spilling boardwalks and stilt-houses far out beyond the confines of any actual land. There is a sizable fishing community here and lots of working boats, not working. Probably because it is no longer shrimp/lobster/everythingyummy season. Poor us.
[Tranquil Caribbean scene. What you can’t see: no-see-ums. Right.]
The main island has a few local residents but for the most part is populated by expats, of which there is a significant population. There are a few hints here and there of resorty development that evidently was abandoned when hurricane Mitch came through because, hey shit dude, hurricanes? Just about everyone we have met speaks both English and Spanish (I speak Spanish because it’s good practice and I can’t understand the local English anyway) and is very friendly. Ronnie, a retiree from Florida who is building a house here on the beach near the anchorage, nearly slays us with his hospitality every time we see him, inviting us to beach our dinghy on his property, fill our water jugs from his hose, use his cell phone if we need to call our family in the states, come over around dinnertime to be fed in case we run out of food on our boat. Just nice.
[Pretty jungle trees.]
We spent the first couple of days catching up on more sleep than we actually missed during the passage between Vivorillos and Guanaja and doing mild hiking/bushwhacking (this time I was prepared with closed-toed shoes). We were told where a waterfall trail was and damned if the trail was actually a cleared path leading to a real waterfall containing water that actually dropped from a spot up high to a spot lower down. We have been suckered into too many “waterfall hikes” in the past few years to take such things for granted.
After Providencia I was pretty gung-ho on the bushwhacking, particularly since on Guanaja there are no ant bushes. There are, however, these, which we spotted swimming towards us in a shallow pool of water:
Poisonous viper Harmless red tailed boa. How nice. Will be doing less bushwhacking in the future.]
Seeing as how we’re Texas Bound and all that, I dug out War and Peace because I was really feeling like I hadn’t read any books lately with enough ‘Alexei’s in them. (Turns out W&P has not a single major character with the name Alexei! How about that?) Suddenly I made a lot of progress in the book, finished it in fact, except for the Second Epilogue because I needed a rest from all that historical philosophizing, when a UTI came barreling down on me with all the subtlety of a USCG cutter. I have been laying around the cabin the last few days feeling sorry for myself and hiding from the no-see-ums and sun because the antibiotics I put myself on have the glorious side effect, among others even more glorious, of making one extra sun sensitive. I just can’t decide if, Antibiotics: miracle of the modern age; or, Antibiotics: evil havoc-wreaking hellspawn. Hard call. Last time I took them was in 2001 and it took me about two days to decide that I’d really rather just have the illness of which they were supposed to cure me.
One other thing, now that I’ve geared up to fully auto Rant Mode. I have been reading a great volume of books over the last few days and I can’t believe how many reviewers feel the need to draw comparisons to Catcher in the Rye (particularly when none exist). The last few books we’ve read are: Vernon God Little, Number 9 Dream, Winter in the Blood, Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola and every single one of them says something like, “Holden Caulfield all over again,” or , “this generation’s Catcher in the Rye” (this, fer god’s sake, on the back cover of a noir about a 30-something Jewish country-western singer/amateur detective named Kinky). Makes you wonder if they even read the book they are reviewing (not that I don’t often wonder this even when they aren’t conjuring up the holy CintheR). Maybe they’ve never read Catcher in the Rye. First person narrative? Holden Caulfield all the way! Takes place in New York City? SO CintheR, absolutely. Maybe it’s just been too long since I read it myself; I certainly don’t remember blowing flowers and gold ribbons out my mouth about it. Just a pretty good book. Whatever.
We check out of Honduras today and move on tomorrow for Mexico. It should take us two days and one night and hopefully we’ll get there late Wednesday afternoon, which should be right about the time that my fresh crop of no-see-um bites bloom into fully operational battlestations of itchy evil. Will keep all posted.