Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Island life

On Saturday we had two options to get to our next destination: public bus or private van. Given that the temperature is around 35 degrees Celsius, there are 11 of us, public buses get very very packed and we'd be travelling for 12 hours, we were leaning towards the idea of a private van with air con. When the guy from our last hotel casually mentioned that drug cartels like to take advantage of the extra traffic on easter weekend to traffic more drugs across the country, which would mean more police stops, it was pretty much a no brainer. 

The ride through beautiful countryside, lush landscapes and small villages was mostly enjoyable aside from the fact that my room mate Christine and I were sat in the very back and were being thrown around like a bucking bronco, each time we hit a bump our spines were being compacted like an accordion. By the time we made our first comfort stop I practically fell out of the van and was violently sick! After that I slept most of the way to the middle section of our day's travel, the ferry across to Roatan.

You know it's going to be a rough crossing when they hand out sea sickness tablets and sick bags with the tickets so we were all prepared to stand in a line over the side, holding each others' hair back. However, the weather was good so the sea was relatively calm and we were all able to enjoy the ride. Deep, deep joy.

It was finally dark when we arrived in Roatan so we weren't able to see anything of the island. So after another 30 minute drive to our hotel we went straight out for dinner to a restaurant recommended by our guide. Now, we have been warned about 'island time' and that things may take longer than usual to arrive, but this place was taking the piss. One guy's food came out about 40 minutes before everyone else's, with no drink and no cutlery. Later everyone else's food came out, except for one girl who was left waiting. In between the drinks also arrived. When the final meal came out it was the wrong one and had to go back. Up to this point none of us had any cutlery and eventually the waiter came back with 3 forks and said 'does anyone want a fork?'... Erm well, yes, as there are 11 of us eating food, yes, yes a fork would be good...

On our first day on the island Christine and I took a walk to find a place that does paddle boarding but couldn't find anywhere so we finished up in a beach side bar for the rest of the afternoon. We made friends with a dog who became very protective over us and barked at anyone who came near us.

In the evening we made a BBQ at the hotel, had an Easter egg hunt (with booze instead of chocolate), stayed up late playing drinking games in Spanish and trying to converse with the security guard who had one of our phrase books and would, every now and then, look up from it and very confidently say. 'Hello!'.

Yesterday we all got a taxi out to West Bay which is, apparently, the best beach on the island. The sea there was a patchwork of blues and greens and the water was quite shallow for some way out, as you paddled there were fish weaving in and out of your legs. It was really something to look at. I didn't swim but I did put my feet in, which is quite the accomplishment for me!

We got a water taxi back to the hotel just as the sun started setting so it felt like we were sailing through the closing credits of some nameless romantic film. 

For our last night in the island a few of us headed to mine and Christine's beach bar for some drinks. For some reason the whole island was closed and that was pretty much the only thing open anyway. They had loungers set out on the beach with lots of fairy logs and tiki torches to keep the bugs away. It was lovely. We even saw a crab laying its eggs (I think that's what it was doing!).

Today we roll out again for a flight to Nicaragua, via El Salvador. It's a much shorter trip today and we should arrive by dinner time. Hopefully without any sick stops.

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