Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary Franklin Roadie unit. The review that follows are my 100% unbiased opinions.
I’m a big fan of taking my music while backpacking so I always bring along my 2 gig iPod shuffle (I know, pretty old school) and a good pair of earbuds. It’s definitely made many flights/bus trips more enjoyable and adds a bit of familiarity in an often unfamiliar world.
But sometimes you wish you could impress your fellow backpackers with your awesome taste in music. And to do that, you’ll need speakers. However, there’s a dilemma. If you want good sound quality, you’ll have to sacrifice weight and room. If you go for a small speaker, it usually sounds terrible. Enter the Franklin Roadie.
First things first: Negative ghost rider, I definitely did not read or watch that garbage. I don’t plan to either and this review pretty much confirmed my suspicions. Not to mention, Julia Roberts flat out annoys me and the only movie I liked of hers was Erin Brockovich.
No, my Utila version of that sappy ass story was more along the lines of Dive, Explore, Party.
I’ve found that the more I travel, the more I realize how fortunate I have it. Even in our modern world, many places still lack running water and electricity. There are places where you’ll find kids without shoes playing in garbage lined streets; see dozens of people living in cramped, dark tin shacks; and encounter mothers begging for food. It’s a humbling and sobering reminder that there is still a lot of poverty in our world.
But there are ways to help. One of my favorites is Kiva. If you haven’t heard of it by now, Kiva is a non-profit microfinance site that connects lenders (you) with entrepreneurs in developing countries.
When I awoke from my nap, I discovered that only 3 types of people exist late into a rave:
1. Passed out
2. Cracked out
3. Straight up zombies
I looked around and saw dozens of people passed out in the sand. This part of the beach had apparently become a self-designated sleeping zone. I brushed the sand off my back and gathered my bearings. Approximately 50 feet to my left, past the vodka Redbull tent, stood the main stage. I felt the constant “THUMP THUMP THUMP” of the bass and like a fly attracted to light, made my way over to the writhing, sweaty mass of bodies.
I woke up the next morning relaxed, rested and feeling like a million bucks. Upon reaching Utila, Jonas and I found a nice air-conditioned bungalow at Cross Creek, a sister dive shop to Utila Dive Center. I signed up for my 10-pack fun-dive at UDC, Jonas his open water course, had a couple of beers, a nice steak at RJ’s BBQ and called it in early after our bender the night before.
All was right in the world. We had made it to Utila, found a place to sleep on a packed island and Sunjam was now only hours away. Sure the tickets cost $50, you couldn’t bring anything and everything there promised to be vastly overpriced. But we were going to an all-night rave, with some of the best DJs around, on a deserted island, in the CARIBBEANS. Game. Set. Match. This was going to be awesome.
Or so I thought.
The sharp “BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP” of my watch pierced through my hazy sleep and announced that it was 4:30am. The moment I had been dreading was here. As predicted, waking up was painful. I had pulled the “stay out late, sleep on the bus” routine before but every time I wondered what the hell I was thinking. I felt like I had been punched in the face, run over and subsequently dragged several miles. So painful was it that I thought, “You know what? Death sounds pretty good right now!”
But the show must go on. I mustered all of my remaining might and willpower and managed to hastily pack everything up. My mouth reeked of morning breath, since I couldn’t brush the night before, so I made my way to the bathroom with toothbrush in tow. God dammit, the water was still out. Fuck it, I had bigger things to worry about than morning breath, mainly the half mile or so trek to the bus stop.
I woke up the next day to explore what I came here for: the ruins.
Located about 15-20 minutes by foot from the town, the Copan ruins are the best in Honduras. I’m no anthropologist nor historian so I defer to Wikipedia for the history of the ruins. You enter through a visitor center and then it’s a short walk through a forested area to the ticket checkpoint. All of the visitors are funneled through here to make sure you paid the $15 to get in. Although no Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat, they were still pretty impressive. The complex consisted of numerous temples, statues and a ball court. Residential areas were in the back and there’s also a museum (which I skipped).