Honduras - West End Girls

Published: August 26th 2010
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West End Girls - Guest Bloggers, Heather and Jane return

The majority of the group booked a snorkelling trip, whilst Heather and Jane set out in search of adventure.

First, we ventured out for an authentic Honduran breakfast and watched the rest of the party leave the dock and sail away - only to pull into the shore about 100 metres further along. All disembarked and were gone for some time - why, we never really did find out, but suspected it might have been a desperately needed toilet stop or even a fridge magnet alert.

{They obviously didn't spot that we were wearing flippers and snorkels when we came out of the shop! - Steve}

Once we had seen them safely back on board and waved them off for the day, we set out on the next part of the adventure - towards a group of people in white shirts, holding hands in a circle whilst standing in the sea. ‘ Aha’, we thought ‘a baptism.’ And sure enough, one by one a series of young people was passed from person to person until they reached the two men in charge. The young girls were led back to the beach and embraced and rocked by one of the women; the boys were treated more forcefully and were subjected to repeated chanting and what almost seemed like haranguing until they cried, collapsed or giggled and were then laid gently on to the sand. The incongruent aspect of all this was the ice cream seller standing just beside the group repeatedly ringing his bell to advertise his wares. A group of small girls playing in the water nearby re-enacted the baptisms almost exactly. Jane became rather worried about Heather when she was asked if she too loved Jesus and she responded enthusiastically "oh yes, yes".

After the coffee that we need to recover form this experience, we took a water taxi to West Bay, and spent an hour in the bar of one of the many all inclusive resorts there and both expressed our gratitude that we are travelling with GAP and do not have to stay in a place like that!!!!

Heather’s bargaining skills were put to good use in negotiating a fee for the water taxi back to ‘our’ beach at West End, but we did have to spend 20 minutes cruising the beach touting for business to make the driver’s journey worthwhile. Heather vehemently rejected the idea of American food, when there seemed to be so much tasty Honduran food available in the local restaurants. But failing to find anything we fancied, we settled for the well-known specialty of Thai chicken with basil leaves.

Next - attracted by a leaflet which promised ‘more than twelve species of butterfly’, we decided to visit the Butterfly Garden in West End, and stopped at the police roadblock to ask directions - Neville introduced himself and his partner Ramirez, and offered us a lift there in their police car. We are still not sure who was more excited by this prospect - the police or us!!

Steve's Bit........

Roatán is an island in the Caribbean Sea and has a very different feel than other places in Honduras. This is one place where quite a lot of English is spoken. I don’t know if this is because it has a tourist trade with quite a few visitors from English-speaking countries or because of its history. Like Livingston, Roatán has a large Garifuna population. They were removed from St. Vincent by the British and dumped here. They were later joined by freed slaves from the English-speaking islands when slavery ended. I think the island was administered by Britain at various times and may also have been a base for British pirates so there’s probably always been English influences around.

Nowadays, of course, it’s a tourist destination. The island has an airport with direct flights bringing tourists from North America. One of the attractions here seems to be diving with lots of diving centres and diving schools set up around the island. One of the guide books describes the island as having a lot of up-market all-inclusive accommodation but with “some budget accommodation in the West End” - we head straight for the West End!

I’m grateful to Heather and Jane for making a contribution to the blog here, as I didn’t see too much of the island! I’d arrived late having spent some extra time in La Ceiba and after going snorkelling on the Sunday morning I decided to have a “5 minute nap” in the afternoon and didn’t see much more of the day!

A boat had been hired the previous evening to go snorkelling. Everyone on the island seems to have the “best boat on the island” or be a close friend of the person who has. Unfortunately our “best boat” broke down {broken transport seems to be a theme of this trip!} but not until after we’d done the snorkelling fortunately. The photos I’ve added at the end here are some of the ones we took while snorkelling.

Additional photos below
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