The road to Roatan was a long one, travelling east across Honduras all day by local bus, finally arriving in La Ceiba, on the northern coast of Honduras.
Here are a few shots I snapped out the bus window during our journey:
Young man stands guard at his family’s roadside fruit and vegetable stand.
A young girl entertains herself while her mother waits for customers.
I wonder where Plasticos Karen 1 is located, or perhaps, the town is home to two women named Karen. (Oh the things you contemplate after 5 hours on a bus)
Getting to the Island
No time to take a breath – we’re hopping on a ferry for an hour-and-a-half boat ride to the island.
Note: The ride is notoriously trecherous for people with weak stomachs – each (non-local) passanger is given sea sickness medicine with their ticket and handed a barf bag upon taking their seat.
Roatan Island is the largest of the Honduras’ Bay Islands and located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef,(the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea).
We stayed in the West End, a water taxi ride away from West Bay Beach – where the sand is pristine and the fish abundant, but the waterfront is overflowing with tourist hotels.
When we arrive, we are greeted with this:
Travel buddy tests out his snorkel gear.
The rain is bouncing off the concrete steps to our hostel room.
Thankfully, Roatan is much like Victoria in the fact that the weather can turn in the blink of an eye. We head out to explore the town and discover they’ve chosen the duration of our stay to address the issue of the overflowing sewers.
The work crew insisted I stop and take their picture.
Note: Men of all ages (and I mean all ages) are very ‘friendly’ and forward with female tourists who are not travelling with a husband – be warned to come prepared with a handful of shut downs – you’ll need them.
The West End’s a tad run down, but not at a loss for character. And believe me, it’s preferable to the tourist resort atmosphere – why travel half way across the world to stay in an American-style hotel and eat cheeseburgers?
Hands down the best chicken dinner you’ll find. It’s nothing fancy (plastic plates), but the price is right and the food is stacked on your plate. Plan to share.
A breathtakingly beautiful carved statue outside of our favorite breakfast spot – Earth Mama’s Garden Cafe and yoga studio – best smoothies on the island – and the only place to find soy milk for me. Service is on island time, but the food is worth it!
The Booty Bar – owned and operated by a Canadian woman – a young crowd, wide variety of music, and cheap, cheap drink specials.
Coconut skulls decorate the Booty Bar dance floor.
Foster’s Bar – a beautiful view (unless you look upstairs – you’re likely to spot some of the local teenage ladies of the night getting uncomfortably close to their much older gentlemen friends) – my Intrepid group sat downstairs and drank the bar dry of Disaronno.
The West End has its beautiful spots – watch out for the sand – it looks nice, but it’s full of sand fleas that bite and leave dime-sized red welts that don’t fade for days.
Our ferry the Galaxy Wave on the left, on the right… well, I’m sure there’s an interesting story there.
Self Portrait: a shot of the wake from the ferry.
Next stop: Comayagua, Honduras
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