Island Time on Roatan, Honduras
Before breakfast, we decided to run on the beach. Of course, I lasted for only two trips from the beachfront to the end of West Bay. After breakfast, I thought it’d be a great idea to bike around the area. We borrowed the Bananarama bikes even though it was already 85 degrees before 10am. Of course, I lasted one hill before I begged the Dr. to turn around and give up with me. We spent more time laughing at ourselves than the actual biking. After all that “effort”, we decided that the rest of the day would be spent under the shade, on the beach and near the water.
At La Palapa, the only thatched-roof beachfront bar on West Bay, we bought several beers during lunch while the cook fried the two snappers we caught the day before. She served them with fried plantains. For dinner, we returned and bought more beers. The cook fried the last of our catch, the grouper, with some fries.
The next day, we hired another water taxi driver to take us snorkeling. We couldn’t find Luna, the guy who took us fishing the day before, so another guy ripped us off by convincing us he was going to take us to the Blue Channel to snorkel. When he anchored the boat, I could still see the beach. This is Blue Channel?, we asked. For $50, we thought Blue Channel was far away, but we were already deep in vacation mode to even argue. We said bye to our money and snorkeled around the so-called channel. There were the usual fish: parrot, grouper and snappers. The water was clear and my vest kept me afloat. After only an hour, we asked to be dropped off at West End where we finally found some good food with our beers.
Walking down the main street, we saw a lady with a basket. We asked her what she was selling and she said she had chicken tamales with cheese and beans. They were soft tortillas instead of masa wrapped in corn husks, but for thirty limpiras, or $2, for three pieces, we were sold.
We sat under a tree at the beach and ate our first meal of the day. I was still hungry, so we walked a little bit more to find the fruit guy with the pickup truck. We instead saw a tent where another lady was grilling chicken. She was selling them with rice and beans for seventy limpiras, less than $4. I sat on one of her plastic chairs and the Dr. positioned himself on top of a crate. We shared a plate under her tent with a cold bottle of Coke. Our entire lunch was better than anything we paid $10 for on the island. Sometimes, street food is all you need to get a better sense of the local cuisine.
We spent more time on the beach the rest of the afternoon and savored our last full day in the country. We met our Bananarama neighbors earlier and found out that they were from Colorado. When we saw them later at La Palapa, we agreed to take the last water taxi to West End to eat dinner together and split a cab back after hours. We ended up at Velva’s where my meal was served in some salty tomato concoction. I had ordered a snapper, but they instead served me shrimps. After we ate, the four of us walked around to find a bar, but unfortunately everything was already closed. We paid $10 for a cab to drive us back to West Bay. Thankfully, La Palapa was still open. The owners were wrapping up a private party on the beach, so the bartender bought us a round of drinks and we enjoyed the last few minutes of the fire they built.
We flew out of Roatan the next day not knowing anything about Honduran culture and its people, but we were grateful for our time and for the opportunity to check off another Central American country from our list.
Fishing in Roatan
Roatan, Honduras photos on Flickr