A Travellerspoint blog

January 2018

Roatan 2018

Dodging tIhe high winds and rain

ROATAN Jan13-27

The trip to Roatan came about all because of the devastation to St John. I checked out many new locations and mainly was looking for some good snorkeling. After lots of searching we decided on Roatan. Little did I know it was the rainiest season they had had in a log. time. It did not help that I kept comparing it to St John where nothing but sun was showing on the weather forecast. I told Jim to be ready to do lots of reading due to weather.

Roatan is near the Mesoamerican Barrier the largest reef of the Caribbean Sea Second largest to the world wide after Australia great Barrier reef.

We got up at three and left home at 330. Went to our son Brandon's and he drove us to Chicago and dropped us off. Had a few snow bands to drive through but made it to airport a 6. We had a foot and half of snow a few days ago then it rained and melted. Crazy weather patterns. We flew American at 0810 and arrived in Dallas had a hour layover took the skylink to get around airport. Left at 1130 and arrived at 3 pm.There were 3 planes in the small airport at once.


It took us a hour to get through customs. They fingerprinted and took our picture. Deanne and Mark the owners where we were staying were waiting outside to pick us up.
They took us to local store in Coxin Hole and we bought groceries at Eldons for our stay. The prices were comparable to home which is surprising for a island.

We arrived at Casa Amarilla our home for two weeks on Mangrove Bight. The yellow house. We were staying in the bottom apartment of their house.
The bight means a wide indentation of a shoreline or the body of water by a curve. It is distinguished from a sound by being shallower.
The place was right on the water . Very clean and the screens intact. Very important to keep out the noseums and mosquitoes. I had read so much about bugs before we came and was armed with bug spray and sunscreen with bug spray in it. We sprayed each morning and after our shower before going out and would not occur any problems. Sorry for got to take picture of living room and kitchen. We had good WiFi there with satellite tv.



Our location we can walk to West End , Half moon Bay and West Bay or take a water taxi. No need for a car rental. Roads are very bad shape with many pot holes. Half moon bay was a short few minutes walk. We walked up and down East end and decided to eat at Argentina Grill. I had a basil mohito and Jim had a Monkey La La The drink is named after the ubiquitous lizard.Everyone should give this drink a try. Kahlua, Baileys, coconut cream, chocolate syrup, vodka dark rum, a banana and pineapple juice. The couple next to us encouraged us to try the surf and turf. We shared and had the best grilled veg and double baked potato. We were full and walked back to our place.

Money used on island is Honduran Lempira. $1=L23.7. We had no issues with money and we brought small bills with us to use.

Sunday Jan 14th

We were up early and the sunrise was at 615. Very windy so we decided to walk to West bay and do the rock scramble to get there. A couple of miles but pretty easy to do. West Bay was a beautiful sandy beach with many resorts on the shore. We took nothing of value but our back
pack and cell phone with us. We heard on the following day Monday someone was robbed of cell phone and money by knife point doing the same walk we did. We took the water taxi from then on. A shame because it is a nice casual walk with few rock scrambles.

West End


You are bombarded by many venders wanting to sell you a tour , massage or clothes or jewelry, braid your hair.We just politely said no thank you. We were there for two weeks and was asked by same people every day. We enjoyed the walk and talked to some people along the way.

West bay
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We had a pizza at Bananerama .Bacon, Chicken and ranch dressing. We brought a to go container for left overs. This is encouraged to cut down on garbage. The local beer, Salva Vida and Barena were both good. It was so windy there were no water taxis so we took a land taxi back for 15$.


Monday Jan 15th Very windy and rainy. Rented a car from Roatan Rental for the day $60 for 24 hours. We stopped at Anthony's Key a huge diving resort and walked around. They have the dolphin adventure there. Cruise ships bring groups to swim with them and for a show.

Next stop Larson Rock beautiful quiet a

We went to French Harbor and ate at Gio's

a place where rental guy suggested. We ordered Bocca Municipal for $4O had shrimp, squid, lobster, chicken, steak, fish and conch accompanied by fried plantain. We ate on the porch that has a nice view.

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We stopped at large pirate ship on hill that is vacated. Used to be nightclub allegedly owned by the mafia and shut down a few years ago
We took pictures because we thought our grandsons would like it.



Tuesday morning Jim returned car and we walked to West End and ate at Por Que No a Mediterranean restaurant. The husband waited on us and the wife was the cook We shared a sampler plate for lunch. Sitsuka a n eggplant tomato sauce with baked potato, Couscous salad with cucumber tomato onion and homemade garlic sauce. Borek a Turkish homemade pastry and cheese. Mucver, zucchini pancakes egg and onion. I had a Turkish coffee and we shared a brownie and cheese cake with ice cream. Yum


We had pork chops and pasta salad for supper back at the house.

Wed was still cloudy so we walked up to the gas station. We went to a talk on the coca bean and tried several chocolates. We then walked to see where Roatan Oasis restaurant was. We walked back and took a path that came through across from Thai restaurant. Roatan Oasis is closed on the weekends.

We talked to a couple who had recommended a restaurant above Roatan Rental called Oleaje, They have only been open two weeks The owner Paul waited on us and his wife Ali was the cook. They were out of Lobster for sandwich but had an eggplant and pasta special. She brought us a red pepper tapas. I had the special and Jim had a Patella. Both were good. Paul makes the homemade bread. We were talking to another couple on island for 3 months from Wisconsin. They joined our table and we had a great visit for a couple hours.



Thursday Left at 1000 walked West End still windy but weather getting better. We stopped at Sundowns a cute bar on the water. We had Monkey La La and a Zack Attack. Vodka, lime mix and coco loco. I had a blue cheese burger.


The bartender was from Canada and also a diver. I finished reading a book by David Baladacci the guilty
and we watched ND girls play Tenn they came back from down 23 points to win.

Friday Jan 19th Yea a sunny day. We walked to halfmoon bay and snorkeled by Gingers. We ended up staying there all day. Used chairs free if had beer there . Jeff and Ginger have had the restaurant for one year from Texas a great friendly couple.

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Sat Jan 20th My 61th birthday

They had someone coming to clean the apartment so went to Olejae for breakfast,


Ate supper at Argentine Grill. We arrived at Happy hour and I had a Tequila Sunrise. I have not had one of those since I was 18 and we ate at Motts Apple Core and you could drink at 18 in Michigan. Coconut shrimp was good and Jim had red snapper it turned out to be a beautiful night.

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Had pulled pork sandwich and fish tacos at Bananarama


Tuesday had a huge lightening and thunder storm in morning. Headed over to West bay by water taxi at 1130. Two cruise ships in port so lots of excursions in water. We went out to second reef and started going to left towards the wall


The beach was so busy we took water taxi back and ate at Sundowners I had chicken sandwich and husband had Hamburger.


We were up early and decided to go to west Bay and beat the cruise ship crowd in the water to snorkel. We had to wait 15 minutes to get someone else to ride water taxi with . We got in the water to snorkel about 830.

90_IMG_6644.jpg We snorkeled all the way to wall .


We ate at Bananarama Jim had a banana split drink and we shared chips, cheese and bean dip.IMG_E6648.jpgIMG_6650.jpgIMG_6649.jpg

We walked to restaurant Olejae I had tuna salad and Jim had omelet. They offered at free Argentina Tango lesson at 630.We had fun and the instructors were great.



My stomach feels better was upset during the night. We had homemade biscuit Ali had given us with eggs. Rainy. Went to walk into town and I could not find rain jacket. I left it at tango lesson. Jim wanted to try out food at Salty dog the new cook Anthony is Thurs, Friday and Sat. We went up to get jacket and low and behold they had Lobster sandwich. It was meant to be we enjoyed and she brought me a fancy coffee at the end. I wish Paul and Ali good luck with their new restaurant. We have enjoyed everything there


It poured for three hours so we spent time reading.


last day we walked to halfmoon bay and ate local Baleades at Yahonreh. I had avocado one and Jim had chriszo one. Very tasty and I had coffee and Jim had large juice and all was for $6.


We walked in town in afternoon

Ate at the Salty dog and on Thurs, Friday and Saturday Anthony cooks Louisiana food.


Fish tacos were awesome 90_IMG_6665__1_.jpg

Jambalaya IMG_6666__1_.jpg

Anthony came out and sat with us and talked about a half hour. One of the things I have loved about Roatan is how friendly the owners of restaurants. We had met Anthony a few days ago in the Choc factory and he told us about his place. 0CCA525CE01583E2CF2DD16E81AC54D7.jpg

Sunday Jan 21

This is out of order but for some reason will not insert where it is suppose to so here goes. Sunday the water taxis were running so we took a taxi over to West Bay.

IMG_6576__1_.jpg180_IMG_6577__1_.jpg90_IMG_6581.jpgIMG_6596__1_.jpg I had heard about the Vintage Pearl for Sunday brunch90_IMG_6607__1_.jpg

.90_IMG_6607__1_.jpg Jim had crab cakes, eggs, and potatoes IMG_6599__1_.jpg180_IMG_6605__1_.jpg90_IMG_6597__1_.jpg90_IMG_6606__1_.jpg

They ask you to take your shoes off at door. Cherie was the greeter and a local who came and sat down and talked to us since we were the only ones there early. Santiago was our waiter.

Since we ate the the chair guy set us up with free longer to use for the day in the shade.

Before we left Jim went into East bay to take some pictures,


Jims favorite spot dodging the raindrops on dock at Casa Amarilla


My thoughts on Roatan. Even though the weather was not the best we had a great time. Would I come back? In a heart beat. The vibe and friendliness of people was amazing. We had more conversations with locals and owners of restaurants. I like the rustic feel of West End versus Resort atmosphere of West Bay.

Saturday we caught a ride to airport with Deanne and Marks neighbor. Their car was in the garage waiting on parts. We arrived at 1030 for a 1245 flight. Airport pretty unorganized for a small place but the important thing is we left on time. Layover in Miami 3 hours which to go through customs took a while. We ended up with a hour before we left so ate there. Arrived in Ohare early and our son picked us up. We climbed in bed at Midnight to our warm water bed.Yes we still have a water bed we are such a 70's couple


Posted by Cindygad 13:01 Archived in Honduras Comments (0)

Summit Oct 28th 2017

7 Night Caribbean cruise, San juan, Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, St Kitts

This trip was a roller coaster of emotions. Minimal for us compared to all the hurricane ravished islands. Irma and Maria were so damaging to so many island. Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St John, St Croix, St Martin, San Juan, Barbuda.

We planed to go to the island of Culebra for 4 days prior to cruise. That was not an option they had no power. San Juan airport and port was open but island was still devastated. is it right to still go on a vacation when people are suffering so much? We waffled back and forth. The cruise was past the cancel date to get refund so we went.

We went to Chicago to stay the night before cruise. We always go to San Juan the day before but due to hurricane we took the risk of getting there on same day. We stayed at Best Westerns in Des Plains. We ate at Paradise pub a Guy Fieri Diners, drive ins and dives. We had the best strawberry malt and patty melt. So good and greasy!

Travel day Oct 28
Up early took 6 am transfer to airport. Hotel manager gave us a muffin and yogurt to go.We were TSA pre approved but my suitcase got pulled when going through the scanner. Oops we had put yogurt in carry on bag to eat on plane. it was little but was 4 oz instead of 3 oz. Lesson learned check out those sizes. The TSA lady was very nice and gave them to us to eat anyway. Kudos to them for catching.

Arrival in San Juan on time. Airport was hot and baggage delivery slow. Totally understandably with the situation they were going through.We took taxi and the driver was glad travelers were coming back. He still did not have power but was resilient and his happy spirit amazing. He was thankful to be working and to get some normalcy back in his life.


Arrived on Celebrity Summit at 330 plenty of time before departure time. Room 3118 Room steward was John. We like the room location on ship. It is a simple room with window. We rarely get a balcony because of cost so we can travel more often.

We went to Casino to watch Nd football game.IMG_5856.jpg

We had the classic drink package included in the cruise. It was nice to have a glass of wine with dinner and especially the coffee in Cafe Bacio included.

Had select type dining which means you don't have a set dining time. We had standard fire drill and then walked on deck after eating. To bed at 1045.

Sunday Oct 29th Only sea day

Up at 6 Jim went and got me a coffee Americano from Cafe Al Bacio.

Ate breakfast in dining room love fresh figs and bagel and salmon and egg Benedict.

We went to the gym for a hour and I love working out looking out over the water.

Out in sun for short period and found some shade to read in.

Sat next to Bill and Karen from New Jersey that we would enjoy talking with throughout the week. Supper of Salmon Tartar, rack of lamb and apple crumble. Had Terraza Reserve Malbec for wine.

Danced some calories off to The friends project the dance band that was was very good.

Monday October 30th Barbados 8-5 Sunny

Took a taxi to Accra Beach or Rockley beach a 20 min drive 15$ FOR Two a quiet beach we have been to before. We rented two chairs and umbrella for shade.15$ We stayed from 10-2. Jim walked across street to "Just Grilling" I had always wanted to try flying fish sandwich. We each had
one for 10$ each.


Had lovely scallop appetizer, apple salad and seafood medley, We danced a waltz to house band and went to martini bar, I tried a butterscotch.
We ended the night listening to a Billy Joel and Elton John by one of band members on piano .

Tuesday October 31 St Lucia

Jim is such a sweetheart bringing me an Americana Coffee while I get ready. He can not stand the smell of coffee but knows I need it to get my morning started. We are not fan of buffet so usually go to dining room for breakfast. Had a apple pancake and fruit plate.

We have been to St Lucia several times and have visited Pitons, Done an island tour and catamaran tour in past. This trip we are keeping it low key and walking to a beach. I found good directions on line and we headed out. We have never been so bombarded by so many vendors on the way out of the building. We kept walking and they said the beach was too far. 2 miles on beautiful day not a bad walk at all. They told us it was unsafe to walk but I had read this was fine and we kept walking. If we would not of been seasoned travelers this would of been very over whelming. We felt totally safe and arrived at Vigie beach, We walked the whole distance of beach and sat up our parachute sheet beach blanket on the sand under a large tree. There are chairs on beach if you choose to rent.


Spent a great morning here and started walking back to ship and taxi stopped and we took ride back for 10 bucks.

Ate lunch at buffet and listen to great pianist playing

Danced to Up and Up party band before and after eating. We like the waiter Richard and ask for a table in his section everynight.
Had lamb in puffed pastry and tiramisu.

Wed Nov 1 Fort de France Martinique

Due to islands that were hit this was an replacement island. We have been here one time before and I remembered I did not come away with favorable memories. Not sure why just a certain vibe you get. I am all about second chances so we got off and took 10 ferry to Du Bout 7$ round trip.


We came back at noon grabbed a qiock bite for lunch. I read and Jim walked back into town to take some pictures


We got a special invitation to come to helipad for sail a way,


Friday Nov 3rd St Kits

We wanted to go to island of Nevis but ship had short stay only till 3 pm so took a taxi to beach. We joined a group of 8 and driver took us to
Cockoshell beach





The driver stopped on way back to get some photos.



Last night on ship walked around and checked out newly added movie area on deck.

Sat Nov 4th

When we got of ship took a tour of Old San Juan so we did not need to spend as much time in airport. It was hot and air conditioned bus was good. There were only a couple of shops open and power trucks were everywhere downtown trying to get power up. Lots of power is from top of buildings as not to take away from character of Old San Juan. Medical ship still in harbor giving aid as needed.


Posted by Cindygad 06:49 Comments (0)

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