Roatan Round up

 Credit: Liz Cromwell

Credit: Liz Cromwell

Group profile:

  • 13 people: 9 divers, 4 vacationers along for the ride
  • The oldest members: seventies, the youngest: late twenties
  • Transportation: 8 drove, 5 flew (1 from Guatemalan, 4 from the States) 

Where we stayed:  Sea Breeze Inn

- This hotel was perfect for our purposes.  While it may appear to be a bit steep regarding price, we found the cost manageable.  Three of us girls shared a four person apartment and thought it was ideal.  Each apartment has a kitchen with agua pura, a coffee maker, refrigerator, and any basic cooking utensil necessary.  A sweet little bonus was the deck off of each with a hammock and table where we could hang out when we weren't diving.

Our dive shop: Coconut Tree Divers 

- I cannot recommend this dive shop enough.  They were kind and professional and I felt safe and cared for the entire time we worked with them.  I was working on my Open Water Diver certification, and my instructor Tim was excellent.  He was fun and engaging, and I left the course confident in the new skills I acquired.  The shop was able to accommodate our group both in West Bay, and when we requested to dive Mary's Place, one of the top dive sites in the world.  They set us up with another dive shop on the other side of the island, arranged transportation, and granted us use of their gear.  We loved the familial feel of the gang working there, and our many afternoons hanging out on the deck having a beer once all the boats were in.

What we ate: Roatan Oasis

- This restaurant was absolutely amazing.  The only menu exists on a chalkboard in the dining room with between seven and ten choices for dinner and dessert.  The food was fresh and unique, with homemade curries and pastas and flat bread pizzas and I could go on.  The attention to detail in spices and combinations brought us back three times.  While you are drooling and watching the food come out of the kitchen, you can play pool or foosball, and hang out on their deck.  The decor is modern and playful, which absolutely fits the attitude and flavor of the owners.  Do not miss it.

If you have any other questions about our trip, I would be happy to help.   I can provide more specific tips about traveling by land and other logistics.

I can't wait to return. 

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Roatan: Day 1

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My first morning was spent in the classroom, watching safety videos.  Exciting stuff, let me tell you.  But- things picked up in the afternoon when we got to practice basic skills in the shallows like flooding the mask, and breathing off of an alternative air source.  The first time you take a breath underwater, it feels like you are getting away with something.  And then your mind goes to a place of- this can't be happening, but it is happening, and I'm breathing and there's a fish, and I'm still alive.  It was completely exhilarating.   

In the afternoon we went for a 40ft. dive and concentrated on playing and having fun.  We hit a patch of sand and took off our fins and tried running and doing flips.  The entire time I marveled about breathing underwater and felt like a superhero.  The fish were beautiful, the coral was beautiful, all was beautiful.

It's a thing

You know when you meet someone and you immediately think to yourself, "we are not  going to be best friends,"?  That is basically how I feel about parrots of all varieties, but especially Macaws.  They are really beautiful, but also really scary.  I am not exaggerating when I say that one screamed at me, and specifically me (I have witnesses) for several moments on Saturday.  A guy on our shuttle back to Guatemala got bit by one that was walking on him that very morning, and through his shirt no less. I saw the hole.  Also, for more evidence, if you google "Macaw attack," ten pages and counting come up with results that are fascinatingly terrifying.  Without even clicking through to the actual article, you can come up with gems on the main pages such as, "...my Macaw attacked me causing severe nerve damage...," and "sometimes (with Macaws) you can witness this kind of aggressive chasing...".  Yeah, no thanks, I will skip the nerve damage after being aggressively chased.

Imagine my delight finding a Macaw aviary at Copan Ruinas.  Does this encounter make me more comfortable with Macaws?  No.  I had never been up close before and they are WAY bigger than I had ever imagined in my worst nightmare.  But, they do make for lovely models.

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Don't even pretend like you don't see his sinister glare. 

 My new instructor is from a little town outside of Xela called Salcaja.  Some cities, like San Andreas are known for their dyes, and others for their woodworking.  Salcaja is known for its weaving and beautiful cloth.  We took a little field trip and met the man you see weaving above.  He is ninety and weaves cloth in the top floor of the home he shares with his daughter, who makes traditional fruit wine, another specialty of Salcaja.  When I asked why he still weaves, he told me that it keeps him out of trouble, making me wonder if I'd be any good at it since staying out of trouble feels like a full time job.  About thirty minutes later, he came down to where we were tasting wine and wrapped me in his finished cloth, which was stunning.  Then he made a joke about pulling it off quickly and me spinning like a top out the door and into the street.  A weaver and a joker, not a bad combination, eh?