Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cruise Day 3: Roatan, Honduras

Jon got up and went for a run, Deeb slept in. Jon shaved off his beard in preparation for SCUBA tomorrow. Got breakfast at the Garden Cafe and packed up day packs to head out to our first port of call! Our room faces the side of the ship that got pulled into the port, so it was fun to watch the ship slowly ease its way into the dock and get tied off onto four small docks around the harbor. The ship stayed remarkably still after being tied tightly in.  I suppose the crew are experienced with these things...
 After breakfast, we headed down to deck three where we could go ashore! Deeb had no trouble getting off the boat, but the security officer stopped Jon.  Before getting on the ship, everyone takes a picture.  When you use your room key (to board or disembark, to buy anything on board, etc) your picture shows up.  But, since Jon had shaved off the beard he had in his original picture and was wearing a hat, the security officer didn't think he looked enough like his "welcome aboard" head shot. He was advised to get a new picture upon return. We had a good laugh at that... Our steward Jericho had no trouble recognizing us...
 Got onto Roatan with no plans at all besides "explore the island." We were stopped in the town center by all who wanted to immediately cash in on tourists. That strategy paid off for one rental car company that day. We rented a black Toyota Corolla for the day and got a (pretty terrible) map of the small island. Deeb was the main driver. Made Jon nervous as she was figuring out how to navigate the Honduras traffic/ dogs/ gazillion taxis in a hurry, not to mention the frequent and deep pot holes that peppered the highway.

 We drove and we drove and we drove all the way through every tourist trap and beyond. The scenery was beautiful.

We finally turned off onto a dirt road with a sign saying there was a resort or two at the end. After a few minutes of driving down this road, it was hard to believe ANYTHING was at the end besides the end of the island, which we could see was fast approaching... a very nervous making road:  Small Corolla + deeper pot holes + dirt road = wheel clutching Deeb + teeth sucking Jon + one wheel well cover busted off (whoops...) = One crazy adventure!

 Finally, after asking for directions, driving around a tree, and parking in mud, we found a local giving tours from his front yard in his little motor boat. We got a private tour the mangrove tree groves (which interestingly grow directly out of salty ocean water). They are filled with all kinds of life and provide protection for the shoreline from storms. Plus they are simply beautiful!

 Then we motor-boated out to see a tiny rock island with many many beautiful shells and coral.  It was fun to stand there with just Jon and I and think, of the two thousand something people that were aboard the Norwegian Sun, we were the only two people to visit this tiny remote rock island off the coast of Roatan... Well, us and this little crab:

 Then we buzzed around the end of Alligator Point (so named for the shape of the bluff that extends out into the ocean there) in the motor boat to finish the tour.
Returning to his little dock, we climbed around the mangroves for a bit. They are nature's most interesting jungle gym! Then we began the long trek back across the island (we had gone almost from one end, where the Sun was docked, to the opposite end)... 

 ...stopping at a high vista point and little table shops with little ladies, old and young.  We bought a wooden alligator for mom, hematite necklace and bracelet sets for Mandy and Becca, and a coconut shell bracelet. Took pictures of the beautiful blue green waters and verdant plantlife, and continued on down the road. Looked unsuccessfully for a place to snorkel, stopped on the side of the road to get our feet wet in the carribbean waters... Ahhhh... Then a few hundred potholes later, returned the car and re-boarded the ship.  Jon got on board without incident :)

We were welcomed back to Stateroom 9019 by a cute little elephant made from two bath towels and a hand towel!
 Now we are watching Roatan fade away as we drift out to open water, on our way to our next day of adventure!
 Note for future cruises: take little packs of gum or something for the few special local little ones you meet.  (These cute girls were the daughters of our guide.  It was fun to watch them play around the mangroves and help their dad with the boat)



At January 18, 2015 3:48 PM , Blogger Brooke Evans said...

Bahahhaha re: Jon's beard. Did he ever take a new picture?

Also, we often had the same thought when we ended up off by ourselves - "We're really the ONLY people who came to this area?"

At January 18, 2015 4:10 PM , Blogger Danielle Koberstein said...

No, he never took a new picture... but we did make a point of going by the same security officer as often as we could :)

At January 18, 2015 9:09 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

For the record he thought I look better with a beard.

At January 18, 2015 9:11 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

The verdant plantlike was very plant like.

At January 18, 2015 9:15 PM , Blogger Danielle Koberstein said...

grr.. ok Mr. Typ-o police... I fixed it... plantLIFE!!


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