Spent with friends and their families and then a bit of solitude to enjoy the view God gave me and THINK.

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I was invited to share a fish soup and did and found it tasty and nutritious even though I couldn’t enjoy the whole fish in it because of the bones. The broth and vegetables and rice were filling and I was grateful.023 1024x768
The churches were full here and people did as their hearts bid them.
I wandered from place to place, sometimes finding who I was looking for, sometimes not. 0091 1024x768

I did not have family although I spoke with some and texted others.042 1024x768

005However, I felt cared for and safe and aware of what my life is versus what it could have been and I am fortunate.

I met a young hearing impaired couple and was struck by their peaceful countenances and seeming tranquility and lack of self involvement in comparison to the other young folk who were flexing their personalities as they jockeyed for position.

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I sat by the bay and reflected and watched a gorgeous sunset and was Blessed by the opportunity.

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Late in the afternoon I bought some medication for my cough and sore throat and came home shortly after sundown for a night of rest.

Today was Monday….May 12th….2014 and the crew played a round of croquet and had cocktails and snacks under the rancho at Tony and Jo’s here on the Isla Utila.

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There were the usual suspects plus one or two new to the tribe and we laughed and chatted,some swam, and we all flooded our innards with libations of one sort or the other.

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I gave my buddy Arthur my palm leaf as a parting gift and he looked rather dashing. I renamed him Arturo De La Cruz and now if Yvonne will find him a burro, he can give Juan Valdez a run for his money.

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Tony and Jo were wonderful hosts …..as usual…. and two of the most fun people besides being informative and sharing.

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Joe came with his two youngsters, Allan, and Alex and I love the three of them and Allan and I played a round of croquet together while Alex practiced being little Miss Helpful. Great kids!

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Arthur and John won the croquet match by cheating (secretly practicing all week in the bush) and then flaunted it while holding court poolside.

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The snacks were yummy and everyone seemed to enjoy them tremendously.

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I finally took my leave and wandered homeward while admiring the local flora.

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The full moon rose early and hung in the afternoon sky which forced me to take photos.

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I went looking for my Aussie buddy, Chris, but failed to find him so stopped at The Bent Elbow for Quesadillas and a final hug from Jackie, Annie and Cynthia. I sat on the deck overlooking the bay as they chatted with each other and me. My lip was long when I left there and as with many of those who I will leave behind, I will miss them big time.

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I have enjoyed my time here very much and although I didn’t get any of the sequel to Deadly Caye written, I added precious memories to the vault and once again can only thank God for these blessings.

I came home, showered and called it a night, waking up several times with a growly gut which seems ok this morning. Maybe it was the 5 cans of Carta Blanca! LOL.

Life will be lacking by leaving these lovely folks behind but time…and I…move forward.

Firstly, let me say that I’ve had some good meals here. Secondly, I believe in giving credit where it’s due and that doesn’t mean it’s a 100 +.0053 1024x768

But, It’s a solid upper 90′s for an island which is definitely challenged when it comes to imaginative food.

The one thing I fault MOST of the restaurants here for is poor service by US standards. People don’t seat you and smile and make you feel welcome and try to make themselves part of a great experience and often neither do owners. It’s not a bunch of charm school graduates.

Secondly, the island isn’t cheap but that IS understandable since so much is shipped in by water ferry.

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They don’t wait tables. You order at the register.

Several times I’ve tried to sample the grilled items at RJ’s BBQ but have never timed it to the three days a week when they were open.

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Today was different. I went to a usual place but couldn’t get the attention of the servers so walked to RJ’s and waited for 2 hours, drinking beer with the owner and his family. I’m soooo glad I did.

Robert Bush, native islander with lots of Louisiana time under his belt, knows how to turn out a good product.

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His wife and the staff (family) put out flavorful, well thought out side dishes.

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They were smiling, friendly folks who have a large family with deep roots here.

They made me feel welcome and were kind and curious.

I had a chicken breast with wing attached, a tasty salad, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, pumpkin, rice pilaf and garlic toast. I also had a bottle of water, a bottled Coke, and 2 Salva Vida beers. Tax, tip, out the door ? 370 lempiras or $18.50. If I hadn’t had the Coke and beers? $7.50  the drinks plus 18% alcohol tax was $11.

I will eat there again although this was definitely a “TREAT” when it came to my budget.

Saw Raquel and some of her family selling trinkets and stopped and took a couple of photos.010

009They were the ones kind enough to invite me to their Easter family dinner of fish stew , which I enjoyed.

Stopped back by the first place and had a glass of tea, $1.50, and an argument with one of the young servers who had provoked my ire by ordering me out of her way several days ago when my arms were loaded with dirty dishes. I said something then which I now I regret but my temper snapped at being disrespected. MY fault! Shouldn’t have gone back.

Ran into my British friends and several others who I know and visited with them a bit and they gave me a ride home and we made some plans.

Friday outing done!

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Living on a Caribbean island was a dream of mine for more years than I care to count and now it has become another feather in my bonnet.

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Utila, Honduras has been a pleasant, if sometimes aggravating experience.

It’s a pretty little place with a wealth of characters and a very unique feel to it.

Utila can be noisy and trashy and frustrating on a regular basis but if one is lucky enough to survive the speeding motorcycles and tuktuks and golf carts, the island has a lot of beauty and openess about it. There is a really fun expat community LOADED with stories and mysteries of who, when, why  and how.

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There are many natives who carry themselves with a sense of past and purpose and their families have carved out their names in island history for 200 years. They came from Britain originally and the patois of their speech carries an odd Scottish sound to it mixed with black Caribbean slang and at times can be both irritatingly loud and harsh and rather musical. It’s better heard from the tongues of the men for the women tend to sound like parrots screeching at one another.

There is enough to see and do here to keep a person busy. You have to look but there is Water Caye and Neptunes and Jade Seahorse and dive shops and snorkeling. There are pretty beaches and lots of bars and a few really good places to eat and lots of eateries that will do in a pinch. There are paddle boards and kayaks and great sunsets on rickety piers with good companions and flowing libations.

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Utila fed my dream of cerulean waters and white sand beaches and for now I’m satiated.

I’ve roamed and sweated and splashed and blabbed to my hearts content and I am done with it and ready to move on.

BUT….there are the young and beautifuls everywhere you look and I look a lot with a practiced eye. The star of this entry is Linnia. She is a Dane and is  here divng and attracting wrecks. She looks 12 but is actually fully grown although maybe not fully seasoned. When I first saw her swimming along in the bay I thought she was a mermaid and so I stood on shore and watched her until finally she beached and climbed from the water.002

In my usual bashful way of chasing down young beauties while wiping the drool from my chin and the tears from my eyes, I approached her and started conversing.

I adore….and am extremely jealous of (because my youth has long fled) young women before they develop the sawtoothed edge of a great carnivore and the tendency of thinking that  men are  kibbles and bits. I know  that is usually just a phase, akin to the one that men go through where their private parts are compasses to future disasters. Ah ! To be young enough to sharpen a tooth occasionally ! LOL

Linnia is a  lovely and warm and fun to talk with little sea flower and before she re-entered the water and swam away I took this photo. What wonders sometimes paddle ashore here, dripping with seasalt and straining against wet fabric and smilingly indulge an old dragon with a bit of banter and a flash of days gone by.

Linnia…..my mermaid encounter. 

I will post those establishments later which I recommend for one thing or another but that will come on my next post. This one was more about….mermaids….and Danes !

In an effort to be fair minded I’ll try to address a seahag or two in the next posting replete with their own sour mash brand of stomping on everything they don’t own and swinging through the jungle with a  booty bag and a lawyer between their teeth. Bitter comment you say? Not from my perch ! 

It’s odd but as much as I like Utila and as much as there is still to do and see and as many people as I’ve met and as positive as my experiences have been, I’ve hit a wall and depression is setting in.

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0162 1024x768Now you may ask how I could be depressed. Since you didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway. It’s more expensive here than other countries I’ve visited with maybe Costa Rica as the exception.

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It’s actually more in line with U.S. prices and when you’re running on a quarter tank it’s a hard budget to make and do anything besides sleep. For instance eggs are 15 cents each and a loaf of bread is $2 and a package of sorry hotdog weinies is $4 and tonight I bought a 5 pack of flour tortillas and a small foil pack of refried beans and a small bottle of salsa verde and it was $7 and I could’ve had a complete dinner out for about $9 but nothing here sounds good to me anymore except Chinese and they are only open M-W- F. LOL.

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I’ve met some nice folks. Connie, who lost her husband as they were preparing to come here on a months vacation. They had a mobile home park in Wisconsin and now she has that to contend with alone. Then there are Arthur and Yvonne Crook from Birmingham, England. Led here originally by their daughter, they bought a nice place and have a two bedroom furnished apartment downstairs for rent for $400 a month in a quiet country setting about a 15 min. walk from the main area of town.

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There’s Joe, an ex cop who is a really nice fellow and dad to a couple of youngsters and there is Dan #2 his cousin who lives in Houston and is thinking about starting a weekly flight to Utila from Hooks airport for about $900 RT. There’s Scott who is chief engineer on a drilling ship and from New Braunfels and makes me wish I was 52 again and NOT all in the same mouthful of BS.0064 1024x768

There’s Dan # 1 who works for the power company here and knows all the deals to be had on the mainland.

There’s Christina, a lovely married blonde from Norway with 4 or 5 kids who I met today on a pier while I waited on a water taxi.

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There’s cool stuff to see and cute girls in their twenties rolling doobies on the beach and all kinds of opportunities for those with a buck or two and the youth to chase a dream….neither of which I have BTW.

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I’ve taken shots of Scott’s pit and Driftwood and Rehab and Joe cooking a pig and people and beautiful girls

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and great water0074 1024x768

and other stuff and I’ll start showing it and quit when I get tired.. Tomorrow I get my hair buzzed and take photos of the apartment for Arthur so I can post it for rent. Sat. several of us are going to spend the day circling the island by motor dory that belongs to Austin. So, I’m busy but……. ?

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Anyway, enjoy the pictures.

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