From the depths of the sea, back to blighty: drawn to a close.
All good things must come to an end. It's a quote I just made up, and I think it to be true. I had to come home some time, and don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be back in England, but it does highlight many reasons why one would go travelling in the first place.
But let's talk about Utila first.
As I'd made a bit of a runner the first time I 'left' Utila, I decided I'd make an appearance at Coco Loco and Tranquila one last time before one more leaving the island. But that wasn't before a day's diving with Errol, one of our boat captains who decided to dive for the day, along with Lizzy, Steve, Christina and Jo. And it was top fun.
We mostly made fools of ourselves underwater, getting severely 'narked', taking off various pieces of equipment underwater, and taking pictures with Mark's generously donated camera.
Sadly, it was again time to leave Utila, so after a quick Kobs ice cream on the way out, it was bye bye island, bye bye Honduras (after a gargantuan 10 hour wait in San Pedro Sula airport, seeing me share the whole place with just the security guard) hi and bye America (who cares) and then hello... Manchester! The folks picked me up and whisked me back to familiarity.
The thing about coming back to exactly where you started twelve months on is that it feels like nothing has changed and you could quite easily have been milling about in your house for the last year. Of course this is impossible for me to accept because I have had the most wonderful experiences since September 2004, made unforgettable by places, and most importantly people.
From Petra in Italy with her fantastic cooking, hostessing and friends, to Carsten, Steve and Andi making for top times in Thailand. Marc and his family for generously letting me stay with them for two months in Australia, and meeting a top English crew in New Zealand consisting of Liam, Georgina, Gareth and Lisa. And let's not forget the amazing staff at Auckland Central Backpackers - namely lovely Michelle - and the best group of girls I've ever travelled with: Kelly, Fredi, Dee and Kristin. Adam and Henry made for cheeky times in Chile and Argentina, the Bath lads kept it going in Brazil, and Beth & Ben helped me chill out in Peru. The crazy Canadian housemates, Matt and Ryan, shared some pretty hilarious times in Utila with me, as we mixed with Chris, Alfred and the rest of the Underwater Vision Staff. But finally, and perhaps the most cherished by myself, all the friends I made in the students and staff at Utila Dive Centre: Fearghas, Ryan, Daniel, Steve, Mark, Sam, Ruthie, Jo, Simon, Bob, G, Jules, Dan, Nir - and of course Lizzy. You, and others, but yep mainly you lot, made my last year a truly memorable and unforgettable one - so thanks a shitload.
What now? Well, I've got two more weeks to relax in my lovely home city of Chester before I move down south to what is apparently another lovely city called Bath. It's all admin work at the minute but once I'm all sorted I know I'll be raring to go.
Since this blog was a 'travelling diary' which has seen me go through the 12 months, it is now officially finished. But I can see myself keeping a supplementary blog for life at Uni and at Bath, so keep checking your email accounts - no doubt I'll let you know what I'm doing.
For those of you who visited, or who feature - thanks again. I made this for you lot and I'm glad you're reading it and looking at it now. And with that, I close. All the very best, and keep in touch.
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