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Published: March 12th 2017
I had driven my car from Montreal, Canada (hometown) over 2700 kilometers to reach southern Florida where my folks own a condo. Bev and my dad joined me. Along the way we stopped to visit family in Savannah, Georgia for a night but otherwise the drive was uninterrupted. It’s always nice heading south, it just keeps getting warmer and warmer. Once in Florida, Bev and I found a last minute deal aboard the Norwegian Getaway that was just too good to pass up. And so, a week later, we found ourselves aboard one of the largest vessels in the world and heading towards Central America.
Our first stop was in Roatan, Honduras. This is one of the Bay Islands and located about 65 kilometers north of mainland Honduras. The island sits on an exposed coral reef. By mid morning, the ship was moored at Coxen Hole port and we descended to the dock. Cruise ship travel is not exactly my preferred way to explore parts of the planet. Then again, in the last few years, there is undeniable value with cruising. The sacrifice in terms of aspects of freedom, definitely get made up for in convenience and multiple
destinations. Plus you get to eat loads of good food! The downside with traveling by cruise ship is that, even though you get to see multiple destinations, you’re sadly held hostage by the ship schedule. Meaning you have to make your time count with each destination. We had decided to go on an independent excursion with an outfit we had read about that was offering both kayaking and snorkelling. Bev and I were looking forward to exploring the reef, and although we wouldn’t be doing so through scuba diving, the waters were clear enough that snorkelling is more than adequate to see loads of marine life. We got picked up from Coxen Hole and brought to a nearby place called Upachaya. Three other people from the ship joined us. Once there, we met up with our guides who set us up on kayaks and then lead us out. The day was overcast, which allowed some relief from any beating sun over head, but I still made sure to put on ample sunscreen. We kayaked through fascinating mangrove inlets for a while before reaching an area off the shore. We put on our snorkelling equipment and then jumped into the warm
waters. We spent the next hour swimming along and seeing plenty of tropical fish and even an up close view of a nurse shark! Yet again, I wished I had an underwater camera to capture some of these sights! Apart from a momentary equipment malfunction, I had a blast exploring this small part of the reef. We eventually piled back into our kayaks and made the way back towards the Upachayan shore.
Back on land, we were brought into a large enclosed hall and fed some traditional food for lunch which was prepared by one of our guide’s mother. This included homemade salads, rice, tortillas, beans, and salsa. We ordered a few Barena beers while there too (we weren’t exactly drinking much alcohol on the ship to try to stay within budget). After lunch, we were dropped back at Coxen Hole and we had a few hours to spare, so we walked around town and checked things out. We observed some locals going about their day and the Spanish language surrounded us. We stopped inside a small bar and had a few more beers. We met a fellow passenger that we nicknamed Xaq and chatted with her for
a bit. She had jumped on the ship in Florida and was planning to buy as many prescription drugs as she could at discounted prices. Eventually the time came when we had to return to our ship but this little taste of Honduran island life sure was fun.
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