I know you probably won’t believe me when I tell you this, but it’s been almost a year since I’ve had a real vacation. I’m really looking forward to a few weeks off in Central America. I have done quite a bit of traveling this year, but some of it was for work and the rest was more like an extended weekend than a real holiday. But all that changes today!
It takes us more than 16 hours to fly from Seattle to Roatan, Honduras. Sometimes I’m baffled by how airlines can make relatively short distances so convolutedly long! As soon as we land, we’re greeted by a torrential downpour. The flight attendants even offer for us to sit on the plane as long as we want, as we are disembarking on the tarmac. That’s nice of them, but I’m from Seattle. If I was going to melt in the rain, I wouldn’t have made it much past infant-hood. Welcome to paradise! Looks more like home.
I’m a bit bummed though, because rain decreases the visibility in the water. Even though we won’t be diving for a couple days, it will likely still have an effect. But as long as we can see something, that’s the most important thing.
We pass through customs with ease and head out to grab a taxi. The taxi company tells us that it’s $25 to West End and we’re shown a sign stating the same. However, when we get one for the return trip a week later, he only charges us $10. I’m not sure if you can negotiate a better deal or find a cab that doesn’t work for the airport, but we didn’t know any different at the time. Worth keeping in mind though.
We’re staying at the Splash Inn Dive Resort in West End.
The restaurant serves a wide variety of food typically found in Honduras, and we eat breakfast here most mornings. We also order a pizza one night and eat it in our room. A bit lazy, but awesome.
The rooms are spacious and clean, and even include AC. It automatically turns off when you leave the room, but it’s SO nice to have at night when sleeping. Roatan is humid!
One of my tricks to avoiding jet lag is to stay awake. Whatever time I land, no matter how tired I am, my goal is to not go to sleep until at least 8pm. No naps, nothing. It’s proven fairly successful over the years. So shortly after we check in, we head back out again to explore West End.
As expected of the Caribbean, everything is so colorful. Some of the photos below are from other days during our stay. The sun comes and goes throughout the week. Such is traveling in the off-season.
During our explorations, we stop at several dive shops to inquire about prices and availability. At this time of year, everyone has space and prices are roughly the same. Most companies go out 3 times a day, at 9am, 11am and 2pm. I can’t wait to get out there!
The shop below catches my eye almost immediately. It’s pretty hard to miss! Local craftsman take scrap metal from around the island and turn it into all different kinds of art. What a great way to recycle! They also have jewelery and other knick knacks made by local artists. I come back at the end of our week to purchase my magnet souvenir.
After wandering around for about an hour, we stop at the Cannibal Cafe for a late lunch. Quite the name, huh? But Emma has a friend who recommended it. They serve Mexican food, and it ends up being really good!
I order a beef burrito with beans and rice.
Emma orders a baleada, the Honduran version of a papusa. They’re larger and more quesadilla-like, though the tortilla is very thick. Traditionally, they are filled with beans and cheese, however there are several toppings available to customize it to your liking. Later in the week I’ll order one with avocado. It’s delicious. And they’re only about $1-1.50 (depending on how many toppings you add).
After lunch, we walk the other direction down the street. There’s really only one main street in West End that runs parallel to the waterfront. With the exception of the wedding and one day of diving, we never stray from this street.
I notice none of the beaches seem to be very big. The distance from the road to the water never seems to be much more than 20 feet.
Finally we head back to our hotel to firm up dive plans for the week. We chose our hotel due to convenience and really liking the dive masters in the shop.
Tomorrow is our only truly free day with no plans at all, and we plan to take full advantage!
I received a discount from Splash Inn for blogging and photography services. Opinions are my own.