Published: March 1st 2011February 21st 2011
But we only had to wear the vests on the way out to the point. Half safety?
We woke up to a beautiful, clear, sunny, blue sky day!! Yippee!! We rounded up Peter & headed to Garifuna Tours to go see Punta Sal. We ran into Mike & Liz ordering food & they were heading to the shop too. I had my new favorite breakfast this morning. Baleadas (not sure of spelling). They took flour tortilla dough, hand patted the tortilla, cooked it in front of me & filled it with beans, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, seasoned chicken & a huge slice of avocado. All for the price of $1. I plan to live off these for the rest of my time in Honduras. So good.
At the tour office, we were told the tour was sold out. First the girl who worked there they would get another boat if one more person showed up. Then after we waited for some time & I asked what she thought she told me we needed 3 more people. Oh the joys. Neither us, nor our new friends had signed up for the tour in advance so we headed to the area where the local fishermen keep their boats. I had spoken with a guy yesterday who quoted me a
price but only if we had 5 people. We have five & we walked.
The guy from yesterday wasn't there so another guy offered to take us out & we were off. Our Captain was David & our tour guide was Pedro, who is also a Park Ranger for the Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas that we were heading to see. We waited for a bit while they got the boat gassed up & such & then on our way. Punta Sal is directly across the bay from Tela (14 miles out according to David). The tour was super fun. They drove us around the Point & took us on a hike through the jungle to a beautiful black sand beach cove. We saw our first Howler Monkeys who had babies!! It was awesome!! They are really beautiful. And feisty. Pedro told us not to let them get directly above us in the trees because they enjoy pooping & peeing on people below them. Nice! Punta Sal was covered in palm trees more densely than I have yet to see anywhere. Incredible. We saw a bright blue/green/yellow lizard, lots of crabs & a ton of monkeys. After our walk we
got back on the boat and we motored around the point & through some of the different coves and bays. We kept passing the tour boat that we could have been on & it was packed with people. We were super stoked to have just the 5 of us & our two guides in our spacious boat! We stopped out in the middle of the ocean near a couple of rock formations & snorkeled. It was about 80 feet deep & we saw Queen Angelfish in schools & they were huge!
Then David offered to let anyone try their turn at fishing. Peter gave it a go & promplty caught a Kingfish that was about 2 feet long. (While we were hiking David caught a 1ft mackerel). The other guys took their turns at fishing without luck. Something took a nibble on Geoff's line but he got away.
We headed back to Punta Sal for lunch. There are 2 families who live in the park because they were already living there before it became a park & now they serve food to the tour groups. Nice plan. We had lunch on the beach. We shared a whole fried
snapper with rice & beans & banana chips. Geoff ate the eyeballs (because Mandingo told him it was the best part) & they weren't the best part. The meat is. We did sample the tail which tasted like fish flavored chips.
After lunch I fell asleep in a hammock while the rest of the group snorkeled. I was jolted awake by the howls of the Howler monkeys. Apparently there are 3 families of them in this area & they were yelling about territory disputes. It was really loud & really funny. They sound so odd & just different & it makes me laugh. Liz came over not long after & gave me a coconut that David had just cut open. Fresh coconut juice is so refreshing. We walked along the beach & enjoyed the sights & the monkeys.
Then we headed home. Back in town we walked back to our hotel with Peter carrying his rigor mortis fish. It was hysterical. Everyone stared. Which is more interesting, the gringo or the fish? I think the fish. Being stared at is a fairly common ocurrence for us gringos but the fish added a whole new element. One lady said
"Que Rico!" (which means basically how delicious!) as Peter walked by. Seriously hysterical. Back at the hotel we asked the kitchen staff if they would cook it up for us. The head honcho of the kitchen is a woman & when she walked around the corner & saw the fish she said "OH!" with wide eyes. She was excited to cook the fish for us & they were all in awe that Peter caught it himself. Great stuff.
Back to the room to the best shower, because it's warm & the water pressure is like home (that almost never ever happens). It makes me want to stay here for awhile. Mike & Liz just showed up & they are getting a room here. I think all the talk of our fish dinner talked them into it!
Our fish dinner was incredible. The owners of the hotel are French & one of them was cooking tonight. He grilled onions & garlic & we each had two delicious steaks with rice & salad. He also grilled up the fish eggs & made a "salsa" for the fish. I was skeptical but wow, it was really really tasty. We all drank
white wine with dinner. It was really fun. We laughed a lot! Peter said he gave the kitchen duena (boss) the fish head after she gutted & cut the fish for us. She was going to make soup with it. The fish was so fresh. It's pretty amazing how good fish tastes that just came out of the ocean. mmmmmm...
We met a couple of sisters from Chicago, who are Irish, in the restaurant. They were very fun to talk with. Bernadette had bought this homemade moonshine alcohol drink from a guy in one of the Garifuna villages & she was sharing it with us. It was made in an Absolut bottle with all kinds of spices, garlic, peanuts, just random things. But it was tasty. She said she'd send me some of the next batch after she gets home!
At dinner a Praying Mantis landed next to our table & as Geoff tried to lift it up & put it on the tree it jumped on his face. The entire restaurant got a really good laugh out of it. We had a great evening. We're all heading out of town tomorrow to Utila together! Should be fun.
In the crook of the tree is
a baby Howler Monkey. See his little head? So sweet!
We haven't traveled with anyone else yet so this will be our first group adventure!
There are more photos below