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Published: March 30th 2007
The road to Honduras began at 3am at the Bearded Monkey Hostel in Granada, Nicaragua. From there the marathon began with an hour taxi ride into Managua to board the Tica bus at 5am. A few hours to the Honduran border with the usual young, armed men digging through the buses cargo. Off again for a few hours to the Honduran capital of Tegucigulpa and an hour stopover before loading back on the bus and few more hours up to San Pedro Sula in the northwest of the country. Got off the bus here and taxied to another bus station to load onto a local bus for the couple hour ride to La Ceiba on the northern coast arriving a little after 9pm. The 18 hour travel day covered some serious ground and now overnighting here before ferrying to Roatan island tomorrow morning. Up the next morning to board the incredibly overpriced ($25 USD each one way) high speed ferry to Roatan.
Checked into one of a half dozen cute little cabins in a gorgeous tropical courtyard at Chilies in the West End of Roatan. Certainly a tropical beach paradise which the prices confirm, and we stayed at the
cheaper of the tourist areas. The coral reefs of Roatan are known to be some of the best and cheapest scuba diving in the world. So I signed up to complete my advanced certification with Native Sons dive centre, a locally owned business where the owner has been diving the reefs for about 30 years. I had one-on-one instruction for the most part with an instructor who has had 600-700 dives on the reefs here. My course included 6 dives (all from boat) including a couple deep dives (as deep as 120ft), a wreck dive and a drift dive where we decended down through the Â¨hole-in-the-wallÂ¨ tunnel out at 120ft on the reef wall with nothing but the deep blue out in front and below. Turned back to see a few more divers popping out of the hole above me, incredible! I see why this pace ranks so high for dive locations the diversity of corals is like none I have ever seen the the fishes were not quite as numerous as say SE Asia but still great colours and variety. On my last dive I saw something that even shocked and excited my instructor as it was only the
second he has seen, a tiny white with brown spotted Seahorse clinging to some coral by itÂ´s tail and swaying in the current at 75 ft.
Our last day after checking out some beautiful botanical gardens we headed over to the swanky AnthonyÂ´s Key Resort where they have a Marine Sciences Research facility and we signed up for an experience which I was worried might be a little cheezy but turned out to be fantastic. We grabbed some snorkel gear and took a quick boat ride over to a secured lagoon. With a trainer ahead we waded into the water and were met by Bailey, a 1 year old bottlenose dolphin. We spent about a half hour with the trainer who explained the situation here and about dolphins and showed us some dolphin tricks and some petting and photos with the dolphins. Then the best part we were let loose into the lagoon with mask and snorkel with about a dozen dolphins. It was incredible swimming around getting chased and chasing and playing fetch with sea grass. At times it was quite intimitating as the dophins play quite rough with each other (and gouges to prove it) but were
always so amazingly gentle with the people. We had about a half hour swimming with them before we had to head out. Just as I was taking off my fins in the shallows a dolphin came up and nudged me as if trying to say donÂ´t go yet. It was something Angela had really been looking foward to and both of us were truly impressed.
One last sunset and drinks at the Sundowner Bar and we were off the next day.
Back onto the overpriced ferry to La Ceiba with a much smoother ride this time. Headed to the bus station to board a bus for Copan. A few hours on the bus into serious coyboy country at the western edge of Honduras and the Mayan Ruins near at Copan. We visited the ruins first thing the next morning. Joined a group with a guide who has been guiding there for 25 years and learned from his mother who did it before him. First was the tour through the museum loaded with artifacts and some incredible recreations of some of the ruins and statues as the common occurence was when a son took over kingship from his father they
would bury the city and build again over top (most of which are still buried beneath the last city). Many of the best examples were taken during excavation by Britian and the US but many great examples remain. We then went into the ruins themselves and toured around for a couple hours with the guide learning all about the ancient city and the Mayan people. A very impressive site, Copan one of the great Mayan centres was known as the intellectual and artisitic centre for the Mayans as well as the ritualistic sacrifices, notably after a ball game when either the winner or loser is sacrificed depending on the city involved. Next off to Guatamala.
We look foward to reading a quick word from you all so please drop us a comment or message.
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