Dave & Bea's Roatan, Honduras

Dave & Bea's Roatan
Honduras

July 2-6, 2009

For the last several 4th of July's I've been out of the country at some tropical location ( Hawaii, Tahiti, Tulum) and figured that tradition should continue. Acapulco and Puerto Villarta had good airfares and I need to see, but just wasn't a huge turn on. A great time of year to see Bermuda but it would be expensive by myself. Somehow I started researching Honduras, perhaps as somewhere similar to Belize but a country I had not yet been to. It was doable, and as I was considering pulling the trigger my friend Bea from Dell agreed to go along as well.
The airfare was not good value on short notice, but the more exotic locale would be worth it.

Literally right after booking news started coming out about trouble down there, and we were very close to canceling or switching the trip to Panama. But after changing Bea's return flight to allow her to avoid dealing with the mainland we were back on. The "coup" situation added to the feel of a Jimmy Buffett/banana republic type adventure for me, and luckily it all worked out.

Honduras is on central time but one hour behind us due to no daylight savings.
They take US dollars, also have their own currency exchanged at approx 19 to 1 US $.

Honduras News

NY Times articles
Wiki Travel
Lonely Planet
Wiki

Thursday

Austin (AUS) 7:25am to Houston 8:25am
Houston 10:25am to Roatan (RTB) 12:18pm
$866 round trip booked through Yahoo

Actually the biggest hassle of the trip for me was my return flight...thanks to having to call around to make sure travel was still on due to the political situation, I learned that Taca- who I was flying Roatan to San Pedro Sula on the mainland before connecting onto Continental- was grounded in late June due to owing the government a ton of money in taxes they hadn't paid since 2003. Yahoo, Continental, or Taca gave no notification of this.
I learned of an alternate rinky dink airline (Sosa) that I could substitute, and paid $117 to fly with them (I had to deposit cash into a Wachovia account and then e-mail proof and have about three days of back and forth to book the flight). A pain, considering it took me about as much time in effort to rearrange this as it did to actually fly from Austin to Roatan, but it was all just some bad timing and a part of the experience.


Above you see Roatan, and below a view of the West End


Army was keeping an eye on the airport.

Bananarama
Right on West Bay beach
Includes breakfast, kayak use, beach chair and float use.
Tripadvisor reviews #2 of 9 hotels in West Bay
$91 per night plus 16%


Took a short walk to Celeste's down the road for lunch.

We were the only ones there, and each got a chicken and a grouper baleada, which were excellent.

For our afternoon activity I originally wanted to do a Clear kayak tour or Craigcat snorkel tour (like what I had done in Bora Bora) but in Roatan many things were not available as advertised.
We ended up doing a snorkel tour via standard boat.


We were with this young American, friends with the boat driver, who had moved here in March and her visiting mother.


Here you see the clear kayak I wanted to try out- I figured it would be novel like flying in the invisible jet, only you would be on water and not wearing a Wonder Woman outfit.


Where we would eat dinner later today.

Since I originally wasn't planning to be out on a real boat I wasn't wearing my seasick patch, so I started to feel sick, as it was pretty wavy in the water. After snorkeling the Blue Channel we rallied over to Mangrove Bay to try for seahorses, but bad time of day for lighting and water was really murky and crappy. So after stopping for the mom to pee at the new floating bar below, we went back in so I could get sorted out.

For dinner we walked to Bite on the Beach.


The mojito and pina colada are among the best I have had.
We also split the peanut chicken satay for an app, and had the garlic butter lobster and chicken.

Roatan Tourist Info
Excursions list
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