Saturday, November 30, 2019




From Leon we all piled in the trusty VW, and headed south. Princess Fluffy, Adventure Dog, literally sat on top of us in the back. Or over us. Or behind us. She basically took over the van. lol.


We cruised past volcanos and rivers and the Wal Mart. (Yep. In the capital, they indeed have a Wal Mart.  Not going to lie… I kinda wanted to stop just to see how it was the same or different). There were Black Friday ads everywhere. After all… today is


And I am tremendously thankful to be on a trip like this, with great friends, seeing all the amazing things the world has to offer. I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m happy. Thank you life and the world for all of this.

We head up and over the rim of Laguna De Apoyo… a magical crater lake. We went to the camping area on the shores, as rain came in. We got our suits on and ran down to the water to swim with beer in hand. (I am with German’s remember! lol)  It was really incredible to be there. It was maybe 3-5 kilometers across. You could see the mountains all around, and a volcano in the distance. We swam, cooked lunch, played with the local dogs that all came to say hi.


And we played NINJA.  Which is this hilarious game were everyone is a Ninja trying to chop of the arms of everyone else. But you can only make single moves, and they can make single moves in defense. It’s easier to show, but it’s really really funny.

Then head to Hostel Paridiso
And for $9/night had a dorm bed on the shores of the lake at a place with kayaks, a floating dock, beach chairs, amazing food. Sweet.

As we were walking over to the hostel I said “I give it about a 65% chance we’ll see some travelers we’ve met before on this trip.”  We walk to check in, and literally EVERYONE from the shuttle and the party last night was there. Like 10 of them or more. lol.  Ahhh traveling! Awesome! And everyone of them is a solo traveler and they’ve all just teamed up fora little while on their journeys.

So our crew (Officially called the International Ninjas, by the way).
We met 2 more Germans (lol) and played Cards against Humanity. (As you do in Nicaragua).
And since it was Thanksgiving I naturally ordered… Chicken Cordon Bleu.
(They don’t have any turkey). It was hand made and really really good.

Trivia night fun! We teamed up with everyone there and had some trivia fun. My team won! A bottle of RUM! As you do down here.
The trivia also was to help raise money for students at the school. An extra $20 can help them with supplies or uniforms. It’s crazy, but a lot of them can’t even afford the pennies a day to get to school. I thought I might be able to help some, so I donated enough for a full years tuition for a student. I’d love for all this travel to have a positive impact on the places I go, and not just be about having a great adventure in a great place with great people. Hopefully that helps. I like to think it will. :)


Originally we were going to push on to other places and other cities and I just suggested that we don’t. Let’s stay here. Let’s enjoy this lake and the swimming and everything, and the Ninja’s whole heartedly agreed. See, they are on a MUCH longer trip (2-3 months for Franzi and Stefi, and who the hell knows how long for Hannah and Fabian), so the pace they move is significantly slower normally than what they have been doing because I’ve been here. It is true, on the trips where I’ve had 6 weeks instead of 2, it is easier to dive into a place a little deeper. Spend an extra day or three. It’s nice.

So that’s what we did here.

A day of morning swims, kayak out into the lake, picking up floating rocks (?). Yep.
Why not? lol.
We floated on inter tubes.
Had great food.
Kayak races.
Great conversation.
Slack lining.
We tried to do volleyball, but the ball was so flat it was hard.
Still, we hit it around in the water and random folks joined us.
The temp was perfect.
The water was perfect.
The place was perfect.

(A reminder, this was $9 a night. Or $25 for a double…. and it’s as bad ass and wonderful a place as you can find. The food was $4-$8 a meal… and wonderfully tasty. And the drinks were $1.50. So the next time the thought “man, travel is expensive” crosses your mind… it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to go places, amazing places, that don’t cost much at all :)


Franzi, Stuff and I took a shuttle with some other folks to Volcan Masaya… an active Volcano about 10km away. It’s a national park. You go in at sunset. You go through the museum in a whirlwind with the guide who explains all the volcanos in the area (almost 30). All in a straight line from Mexico through Nicaragua. The newest started erupting 150 years ago. You can volcano board down it.
This particular volcano is one of 6 in the entire world where you can see a BOILING, ROILING LAKE OF FIRE!

HELL YEAH! (Irony noted! lol)

So we go up to the crater rim and you have 20 minutes to look down 200 meters (600 feet) to the boiling heart of the earth. And with my zoom camera, I could really zoom in close and see the lave and magma just roaring and churrning. It was 200 meters down… but still amazing. If you were really quiet you could hear it too. Roaring. Rumbling.

That's 200 meters (600 feet) down down down


It still blows my mind that this is happening under our feet (sometimes WAY under our feet) everywhere. It’s the planet we live on. It’s alive. Not just on the surface, but deep inside. Churning. Building up. Sometimes blowing up. I’ve seen lava before, and am so happy I have. It’s amazing! And to think a lake of lava like this can only be seen in 6 places on the planet… wow. And it just started here 3 years ago. Seriously. The lake wasn’t visible until 3 years ago! The planet is changing and building and breaking down. Fascinating.

The planet is alive.
Inside and out.
All we have to do is look around, breathe it in, and remember what a blessing and gift this wonderful, amazing, magical planet is. Let’s take care of it. It’s everything we have. If it goes away… so do we.

You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth. Just step outside. Look at the trees. Check out that amazing sunrise or sunset. Hear the ocean waves. Climb a mountain. Get close to the sky. See those birds flying… there is magic all around us.

And I’m thankful everyday for all of it.

This is Craig Ouellette,
last surviving member of the Nostromo
Signing off. (until the next one!)

****Unfortunately I couldn't get the video to upload here. So for now, no video. But maybe in the future.
Here's a video of the lake of fire! Hopefully it looks cool on the blog. Keep in mind it was handheld at 200 meters zoomed in 72x. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


So at this point our crew of 5 split into 2 groups.
Not because of any animosity, but because we were honoring the rules of group travel:

1. Everybody agrees to do their own thing
2. Communication is key
3. Have fun

So Stefi, Franzi and I really wanted to goto the Copan ruins in far western Honduras. And Hannah and Fabian, since they’ve been driving through Mexico, Guatemala and more have seen a LOT of ruins so they wanted to check out this lake. (Amazingly Hannah and Fabian didn’t have any plants grow under their skin and devour them, even though they went to Coba. Happy they survived!  (That reference will make sense to a few of you who have seen THE RUINS… those who haven’t. What are you waiting for? :)

So after an 8 hour shuttle ride on some crazy roads, with crazy traffic, and crazy random speedbumps in the middle of nowhere — with no warning. (You gotta pay attention), Franzi, Stefi and I made it to Copay Ruinas Town. A cool colonial town 10 miles from the border of Guatemala. I won’t lie, my safety meter was tuned in about where we might be able to walk after dark. When I was in Antigua, Guatemala 13 years ago, a place much like this one, there were some scary incidents just off the square (READ HERE), but this place… was a-ok. So that’s great!

The next day we went to the Copan Ruins.
This is one of the great Mayan cities.
The ball court where prisoners would play a game like volleyball and soccer combined. They couldn’t use hands and arms or feet, but could use every thing else to knock balls up slopes and hit target. The winner: glory. The loser: Death. Yep. Welcome to the Mayan World!

Truth is the Mayan’s down here were more about art and agriculture than sacrifice. That was more for the Aztecs up in what is now Mexico. But they still had their times were they needed to appease the gods, and they did.

We took an English guided tour around the ruins, and they really are spectacular. Copan is the only place in the mayan world where they had full 3 D art and carving. Out of stone. And they did it with stone tools! Not sure how they got things that elaborate, but they did. It’s cool.

Another Indiana Jones place to be!

And it was filled with Macaws. These gorgeous red birds with blue and yellow tails that are important for the Mayans, and really lovely. They feed them at 1:30 and you could walk right up to these big birds, and be like 2 feet away and they were cool with it.

The day ended with a sunset on the roof of our hostel. Nice!


The next day began at 4:50am.
The shuttle van picked us up at 5:30. And it was the same driver who drove us 8 hours from Jungle River two days ago! (Man I wish I spoke Spanish. He seemed like such a nice guy).
We drive about 15 minutes to the Guatemala border… pulled to the front of the line of semi’s that was waiting all night for it to open.


We race into the passport control. Get stamped.
And drive on through a GORGEOUS mountain sunrise valley jungle awesome-sauce.
It was absolutely lovely.
We were in Guatemala for about 3 hours.

Now, on the shuttle, we heard some good jams.
Africa by Toto.
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.
Gloria by Laura Branigan.
Bettie Davis Eyes,
The Driver would check with me for approval, lol. Was funny.

Now the thing is… we heard all those songs on the 1st shuttle we were on.
Makes sense. Same driver.

And the real thing is… we heard a lot of those songs on the 3rd shuttle too! Different driver!
Not some streaming radio. It must be what the shuttle drivers jam too in Central America! lol.

El Salvador here we come!
Another border.
No stamp.
But in we go!

Now, I won’t lie, I never really thought I’d end up in El Salvador.
It has an even more nefarious reputation in the USA than Honduras or Nicaragua.
I mean, it’s completely overrun with GANGS!  People exiles from the USA who were part of the 18th street gang and the Pico Union gang in LA. And they took over the country. They run drugs. They “Tax” drivers. They cause a lot of problems for a lot of people. (These are the same gangs that have drifted into the cities of Honduras too). There was  big article in National Geographic about it.

So we stopped at a gas station that served breakfast and ordered from a super friendly gal.
And then were dropped off at El Turco, one of the “best surfing beaches in the world”, where everyone was… super friendly.

(Are you noticing a pattern?)

Now, to be honest, we walked down to the “beach”, and I use that term because it’s actually completely covered in round stones about 3-6 inches across. No sand at all. Sort of odd.
But on those stones there were 3 soldiers, fully decked out (and checking their cell phones). And there was a building with a COPIOUS amount of police in it. I mean, like 30. So it is a reminder that all the friendly is real… and likely so is the danger that might exist if you get too far out of the little towns.

El Tunco -- The PIG!

Self portrait.... lol

Still, it was a nice stop over. We had lunch. Watched some surfers. Took pics. Bought magnets and waited for the next shuttle to pick us up to take us the next 10 hours plus to Leon Nicaragua.

And on that drive we had no AC.
Oh boy.

Fortunately the sun sets early, so the air got cooler and with the windows open, it was actually really nice. Minus the crazy traffic, dirt construction road madness and all that good stuff. :)

And we cross another border…

Back to Honduras.

Yep, El Salvador does not border Nicaragua, so it was back to Honduras.
Another stamp, another border pass.

Drive another 30 minutes and
We made it!!!

At the most apocalyptic border. Just construction. Dirt roads. Hand painted signs. Guards sleeping in hammocks. A 25 cent bathroom. We waited by the shuttle for 30 minutes till the driver came back with our passports and we were in.

Another 2 1/2 hours and we pull into Leon.
Former colonial capital.
One of the great Spanish cities of the “new world”.

And there’s Hannah, Fabian and Fluffy at the hostel.



We spent the next day in Leon.
Had some breakfast.
Walked around the square.
Enjoyed the markets.

Volcanoes are everywhere in Nicaragua

We went to the

Which was about… some revolution in Nicaragua.
I’m not lying, our guide spoke spanish, and the translator, bless her heart, had such a heavy accent that none of us could understand what the events were. (Again, I need to know Spanish!).
The guide was VERY passionate about the Sandista’s and taking over and this and that.
About Bazookas and guns and killing the enemy. Turns out, later in the museum there is a picture of a group of revolutionaries in 1979… and he was one of them.
Man I REALLY wish I knew Spanish, to hear some of his stories.

We had lunch, and there were some really poor folks, who you could tell have a hard life and a hard struggle. This one teenager asked me for food, and I gave him some of my lunch. The folks at the restaurant chased him off… but still let him have the food. Wish I could do more.

Art museums. Beer on a rooftop at sunset.
Chatting with other travelers.
Eating at street food markets (wow it was good!)
Enjoying the square at night solo.

And then there was a parade! Yep! Why not! Music bumping off the back of semi trailers driving down these narrow colonial streets. And I thought “Pickpocket safeguards on high!”
So backpack in front, Camera in front. All stuff secure and I plunge into the crowd. Dancing along. I didn’t know any of the words, but it was a blast to see everyone singing and dancing and celebrating!
What? Not sure.
Doesn’t matter. :)
Guys selling beer out of coolers on dollies as they walked with the crowd.
what’s that?
A tug at my pocket!
I slap my hand down and know there is no reason to even look for the person. I’ll never spot them.
Good thing I was prepared!
Nothing stolen.

As the parade ended, I went back to the hostel, past the band in the house practicing their death metal (lol). And I gathered Hannah and Franzi and we headed to this street party. Music. Beer Pong. And TONS of the travelers from:  Utila, Copan, the Shuttles. lol. Was fun to hang and salsa dance and other dance. Good times indeed!


Sunday, November 24, 2019


After 6 days it was time to Ramble on and we headed to the mainland. 8000 foot peaks rising from the sea. The largest untamed rainforest in central America loomed off the bow of the speed ferry that flew across the water. Flying fish zipping across the water. I prepared for pickpockets at the terminal. And for all the people that would hassle us…

And instead was met by nice folks. Friendly smiles.

So Hannah and Fabian have a dog, Fluffy (who isn’t actually fluffy at all, lol), whom they adopted from a rescue place in Mexico. The guards said they had to pay some tax for the dog. So Fabian went to the office, said he didn’t have any money, and the lady ended up letting him leave and he just waved at the guards and walked out. It’s common, or so it’s said, for cops to do this kind of hustle to tourists in countries down here. But honestly, this was the only time I saw it happen. Not saying it doesn’t, it’s just not as common as I was expecting.
Sweet Ride!

Which one might Fluffy be?
We hop in their VW, it’s rad! And stop at a techno dancing grocery store, and head up the Rio Cangrejal valley to find the Jungle River Lodge.
The sun set.
We were on a dirt road.
I was jokingly saying “This is how horror movies start.” and going through a whole scenario as we drove.

Well horror movie it was not, instead it was absolutely AMAZING.
A hand made lodge with a deck over looking natural pools. A clear river flowing around HUGE house size boulders that you could cliff jump off of. The sounds of the river outside the treehouse like rooms. Huge jungle covered mountains towering up both sides of the river. Hand carved wood tables and furniture to play games on (Guillotine made it to yet another country! It’s been to almost as many as me. And of course FARKLE!  (Thank you Uncle Kev and Jordan for that one!).  We loved that. 
And the cost: $10 per person per night.

The next day and half were what travel is all about.

It began with a jungle hike in the Parc de Bonito national park. (Beautiful National Park).
The hike was just up from the lodge, and involved crossing a bad ass, Indiana Jones suspension bridge across the boulder strewn river.

Then up into the thick jungle and steep trails all on the way to a big waterfall.

 It was hundreds of feet high, thin and free. The climb down to the bottom was crazy steep, and eventually was just over big slippery boulders… so we stopped on the top of them rather than try to figure out how to get to the bottom. It was awesome to just stand under the falls and let them crash down on me. There’s something magical about waterfalls in the jungle. Not sure what it is, but I can’t get enough.

The hike out ended with a really friendly man and his daughter selling hand made souvenirs, and I got a little canoe keychain that I’ll turn into a magnet. It says Rio Congrejal!


So Hannah and I went for an afternoon rafting trip. It was $25. And worth every penny.
Our guide, Juan Carlos, who’s been rafting the river for 24 years, picked us up at the lodge. He put the raft on his head and carried it up to this old school Toyota 4x4, which just happened to have a 222 on the license plate. (For those who know the 222, or have heard me talk about it. There were so many 222’s on this trip it was almost comical. Phone numbers. Receipts. Gas prices. License plates. On and on and on. That’s good sign… it means I’m on the right path.  And for today that was Definitely true!)

Ride up the river, and Juan Carlos carried the raft solo down the slope. And with our life jackets on, we left the raft behind and did some Canyoning. Which consisted of going up river, swimming in the current, jumping off rocks, sliding down other rocks. Drinking water trickling out of the rocks: 2000 meters of limestone purifying the rainwater in this one spot. Yummy. There was a HUGE spider (okay, the side of hand) that he picked up by it’s legs and then set it on the water (they can hop). Well, it hopped onto his neck and crawled up onto his face! So he ducked under water, and then it comically hopped away on 6 legs, with it’s front ones way up in the air.

There were these red flowers that you could crush up and make soap with! Juan Carlos said that his mom is a healer and there are all sorts of roots and flowers and plants they use to treat illness in the jungle. He’s originally from the Moskito Coast (Eastern Honduras… and a movie starring Harrison Ford (to keep the Indiana Jones thing going). Anyway, they have lots of medicine hidden in the jungle waiting to be discovered (or already known by the locals. ). I’m fascinated by what’s out there.

Back to the river. Locals were fishing off the top of a house size boulder for fish that were swimming up stream like salmon. They were leaping up this small waterfall… most of them failing spectacularly. Bouncing off rocks. Sucked down stream. But every once in awhile some made it. When we watched for 5 minutes, hundreds of fish went for it. It was crazy.

JC and I jumped off that rock to cross the stream to the 11 meter (34 foot) jump. We had to overhand climb out of the river for the first 2 meters. I won’t lie. It was out of my strength zone. So he attached his rafting safety rope to me and LIFTED ME OUT OF THE RIVER. Man! For a thin guy this guy is strong!
We climb up to about 7 meters (21 feet) and I think this is good. He says “nah! we go to 11!”
So we did.
He jumped right off… I might’ve hesitated a little.
Truth is I felt like I was taking forever, but on the video Hannah shot it was only like 20 seconds. lol.
That was fun!

Then we float, swim down the river to our raft and begin one of the wildest, most technical rafting trips I’ve ever been on (and I’ve been on a fair number.) The boulders are the size of cars, buses, houses, and the water snakes through them barely wider than the 3 person raft.

And sure enough, 3rd rapid… I fall right out.
Under the water.
Raft over my head.
Head hits a boulder (go helmet!)
And push out from under the raft.
JC grabs my paddle and Hannah does the river rescue and pulls me in…

… and then my paddle falls out and we have to chase it down the river!
We got it and hit more rapids.
Some, a good 10-15 foot drop around a rock.
It was wild and fun and exhilarating.
I thought “They’d never raft a river like this in the USA!”

Apparently 7 days ago, after a lot of rain, the water was 25 feet higher.
25 FEET HIGHER (That’s 8 meters for everyone not in the USA!)
So most of the boulders we were going around would be under water.
That’s crazy.
(They don’t raft when it’s like that).

Finally we came to the amazing boulders and cliffs by the jungle river lodge, where Fabian, Franzi and Stefi were hanging by the natural pools up above. And Fabian jumped off the cliff right behind us!

What a ride! So fun! Amazing!

The 5 of us sat on the rocks as the sun set, cracking a beer. (not the “Healthy Life” brand, but the almost as good, but much cheaper one! lol). That my friends… was a great day.

Of course there was one more jump off the cliff!

Then tasty dinner, and Farkle to the sounds of the jungle river.


The next morning we woke early, and Fabian and I went to the cliffs and started our day with some cliff jumping! We even brought snorkels into the water for some snorkeling and peering around. It’s spooky down there. All the overhangs and in some places you can’t see the bottom.
We floated around this island boulder, jumped off others, and eventually Hannah joined us.
Not a bad way to start the day!

After breakfast, Fabian, Fluffy and I went for a walk down to a river crossing, where a path leads up into the jungle. We hiked up in search of one more waterfall… one more pool… one more paradise before we Rambled on…

And we found it!

An amazing 30 foot. It was so lovely. Perfect temperature to swim in and stand under the bottom of the falls. Sunlight piercing the canopy of shady trees. And just… AWESOME.

Fun fact:
Rio Cangrejal, to the astute reader (or spanish speaker) means
Apparently it used to be FILLED with thousands of crabs. But the spiders (what?!?!) and some other animal eventually ate most of them so there are very few.
So that means, Hannah and Fabian and I have had yet ANOTHER great crab adventure!

So Many 222s!

Friday, November 22, 2019


Hi Team!

So I’m in Honduras… okay. I’m really back in LA.
But Craig… why don’t you write these emails on the the trips anymore?
The answer:  there’s no internet cafes. Or at least, I didn’t see any on my 15 day journey through Honduras, Nicaragua (and for a day in El Salvador!)
Since Wi-fi has taken over the backpacker experience, they just don’t exist.
And I miss them.
I miss going out a couple times during the trip, checking in, and sharing adventures while there.
So next time I’m going to bring a blue tooth keyboard and type it up on my phone and share it that way…

At this point you might say:
“Craig, you went to Honduras? Nicaragua? WTF?!?!”
And honestly, that was a bit of my thought too when this trip first showed up. I checked out the US State Department travel advisories. There are 4 levels of advisors.
1:  Generally safe. Common caution.
2:  Upgraded caution. Be more aware.
3:  Rethink travel due to safety concerns
4:  DO NOT GO.   (Think Iraq or Afghanistan).

Well, Nicaragua, was surprisingly a 2. That’s cool. Just like Cuba, or India.
Honduras was a 3.  “Rethink Travel”.
Warnings consisted of DO NOT TRAVEL AT NIGHT. And lots of warnings about the capital city and other major cities and the entire eastern part of the country.

I’m not going to lie. It was a bit intimidating. I love adventure, but going to war zones or places of high human conflict or danger — no thanks.

So again, you ask: “Why did you go?”

Well, faithful readers, you might recall a certain adventure involving millions of crabs from the Cuba emails earlier this year. And you might recall Hannah and Fabian, the two totally awesome German’s I shared that with, whom I also rock climbed and scuba dived with. Some of my favorite people I’ve ever met traveling. Well those two have been traveling since I met them back in March. They went from Cuba to Mexico, bought a VW Camper van and have been driving south ever since. Months in Mexico. Climbing volcanoes and sailing and exploring caves with huge underground waterfalls in Guatemala. And they were headed into Honduras for diving and beyond. So I thought: Let’s have some more adventures together and joined them for a couple of weeks.  In addition, they had two friends from Germany with them, Stefi and Franzi (Twin sisters), who joined a a couple weeks before me and were doing 2-3 months.

Me, Hannah, Franzi, Fabian, Steffi
So the stage is set, I’ve got pickpocket proof travel wallets, belts with hidden money compartments, and a plane ticket to Roatan, Honduras. I land on a short runway in the rain of this lovely island. Then hop the ferry for the 1 hour ride to Utila. A smaller island nearby. Well, the ferry crossing was one of the wildest boat rides I’ve ever been on. The waves were BIG. Like 10 foot at times big, and rolling into the boat side to side. The horizon was grey. Sheets of rain came down. I loved it! I was on the top deck, enjoying the fresh air and the wind. At one point the crew told everyone to sit down and looked genuinely concerned… hmmm….

In the end we landed in Utila and Hannah and Fabian were there to greet me on the dock with giant hugs and smiles and frankly it felt like we’d seen each other a week ago. And it’s been 6 months. It’s one of the amazing thing about travel. I spent a total of 5 days with them in Cuba, but it’s like 5 weeks of normal time. And as a result, we just clicked back in to stories and jokes and good times. It was awesome.


So the main thing to do in Utila is Scuba dive. It’s one of the cheapest places in the world to learn. So I did my Advanced open water with Fabian and Franzi. (Hannah and Steffi had already done it). Doing the class meant 7 dives in 3 days, and some book and class work. We did our book work on a pier overlooking the Caribbean sea. Now that’s a classroom!

Our first day was actually snorkeling and hanging out on piers and enjoying the island. Because, for whatever reason they decided to do the classes the next day. We’re on island time now!

Well, at 3 am I woke… and did NOT feel good. Nausea. Headache. Really?!?!? I just got here. That’s gotta be a record. My best guess was the Poke I ate at the beach wasn’t so good. So my first morning was sleeping while they started diving. It was the right call as I felt better 12 hours later, but still. Whew.

The diving here is AWESOME. We were at Parrot’s dive shop. This rag tag, lovable place with great instructors and a real family fun feel to it. Arjen, our teacher, who’s from Holland, was great, and we dove down to 100 feet multiple times. We did an awesome wreck dive, on the USS Haliburton (yep, that company). It was purposely sunk a number of years ago, and was a really cool cargo ship to float around. It took me all of 2 minutes to get used to diving again, and after the 7 dives I really felt like I had improved a lot.

Highlights included the wreck, a night dive with some bioluminescence and tons of fish (more came out at night!). I loved the deep dive egg trick, where Arjen cracked an egg at 30 meters (100 feet) and it stays together. We could push on it and toss it around like mercury on the surface. And on the birthday dive, there was a free swimming eel that followed us for 12 minutes or more. It came up next to me, like 5 feet away, then swam up the sea mount… then came back. The dive master had skewered a lion fish and fed it to the eel, and then the eel spit it out and got really sassy. It swam up underneath some of us, and even went right up to the dive master, who shooed it away with a harpoon. I’ve never seen a free swimming eel before. Arjen’s passion for the undersea life makes me want to learn more about what I’m seeing down there. It’s another world I recommend to anyone.


So November 21st was my birthday…. and Stefi and Franzi’s bday too!
Yep! Triple birthday fun!
It started with cake and candles and sweet gifts that Hannah and Fabian had made or got for all of us. Cool stickers with nice notes on them. Then we did our two great dives. And after we came up from the 2nd one: Champagne on the boat! The dive shop got us a bottle and we all celebrated on the ride back.
Then back at the shop:  More cake! The DIVE SHOP had a cake made for us! What?!?! How nice! Then later on the bar gave us one bottle of champagne each! It was pretty great! A fun special day indeed.

So there is a really funny video about Utila. This island where people come for a week and stay forever. It’s apparently pretty common. I loved the island, but I don’t think I’d get stuck there. (Supposedly it’s Robinson Crusoe’s island. There are signs and maps up all over by someone claiming this was the spot. So they sure got stuck! lol).

So the video has 3 lies:
1.  “I think I love you.”  and the response “No, you don’t.”
2. “I’m leaving tomorrow” — “No you’re not.”
3. “I’m not drinking tonight.”  — “Yes you will.”  “Cause the truth, not the lies, you’re in Utila still”.

It’s a great place. With great people, and a great vibe. And it’s super safe, and super friendly, and really… it is amazing. And if you love diving: buy that ticket to Utila and enjoy!