Published: February 7th 2012February 7th 2012
Today brings us near the end of our stay in Roatan. It was a fairly quiet week, but we seemed to do a little of everything. We had four days of cloud and rain off and on which made for puddles all over but we manged to survive! Other than that we have had the perfect tropical weather.
A highlight for me on Roatan as you probably have gathered is the easily accessible and amazing snorkelling. I can't even count the number of times we've ventured into the beautiful blue ocean. With the reef within swimming distance all around the island, it's always ready and available. The water is crystal clear, the coral is beautiful and varied and there is an abundance of sea life.
We've met some new friends who live on the island 6 months of the year. Bob and Rosalie from Gibson Bay in B.C. and Chuck and Barb from Minneapolis. They invited us on an island excursion and a snorkelling trip which were both a lot of fun. Bob and Rosalie have a beautiuful home high up in the hills overlooking Sandy Bay. We learned from Bob about the "Squatters" on the island. One night
we were with Bob when he drove the gardener home. He lives in the colonial which is where mainlanders have come and settled illegally on the island in order to find employment which is much better on Roatan as opposed to the Honduras mainland. In the crammed community there are about 800 small homes and approximately 4000 people living there and is built on a steep hillside. Apparently the Roatan authorities just kind of ignore them even though they are illegal. They recently were able to get electricity and there is talk they may have started paying taxes. Even though the living conditions can seem shocking to us, they seem quite happy to be able to live here and find work.
One evening we had a lobster barbecue at our condo. Lisa whipped up stuffed potatoes and Warren barbecued lobster tails. Rosalie and Bob came over and we dined in the palapa with twinkly lights and candle light. It was an excellent meal and a lot of fun.
Yesterday we took the water taxi again over to West Bay Beach. There were no cruise ships in so it had quite a different mood to it - quiet and
beautiful!" We walked up and over to the very west tip of the island where we enjoyed jerk chicken wings for lunch at Smugglers. It was a beautiful spot and we could see other Bay Islands in the distance and the Honduran mainland.
A few days ago we went to The Roatan Butterfly and Parrot Garden. They had about 20 species of brightly colored butterflys (including the monarch) that are native to Honduras. They also had cacoons in different stages and I witnessed a butterfly hatch and fly away from its cacoon! The parrots, macaws and toucans were awesome. There were different kinds and sizes and I had two sit on my fingers. Most of them were free with the macaws and a few others in cages. We had a great guide, a local islander who was an expert on the butterflys and parrots.
In general we have been very imressed with the food and dining on the island. Warren enjoyed conch soup the other day that he said was fantastic. Eggs benedict at Earth Mamas is another favourite as well as excellent Argentenian steak and local dishes. My top choice has got to be the red snapper
filet with chili and mint sauce!!
While we will miss Roatan, we are looking forward to our next destination which is Negril, Jamica. We have some middle of the night flights but we'll survive. We leave on Friday morning and arrive in Jamaica Saturday at noon where friends from Edmonton Gary and Carol will join us. Hope you have enjoyed reading a bit about Roatan. Until the next blog.
Mallory and Warren
There are more photos below