Saturday, February 16, 2013

Freedom, friends and a few fun facts!

Here on Roatan Island, we have exhausted all within our walking abilities.  Tired of hiring taxis, and wanting to be un-tethered from the West End, we started talking car rentals.  Marco, our new friend and co-owner of the beautiful private estate with the exotic name of Xbalanque, where we walk past most days to the beach, made a few calls, then drove us into town to pick up our Toyota Rav 4.  Though we got a reasonable weekly rental rate, it was not cheap by any means.  The number one vocation on this island, without a doubt, is being a taxi driver! 



Xbalanque

The beach

Our Rav 4

A few years ago, on Vancouver Island, we visited a bookstore in Victoria, and purchased Backroads of Vancouver Island, then explored every one; all the way from Port Renfrew out of Victoria to Port Hardy and west to Cape Scott Provincial Park....in the jeep of course.  

And that is our plan now that we have our own wheels...Freedom is here!  Our first adventure was to drive all the way to the island's most eastern tip, crisscrossing the mountains from south to north.  Facts:  The island is approx. 37 miles long and 5 miles across at its widest, with a high point of approx. 1000 above sea level.


From one of the higher viewpoints
  
Getting to the Eastern End took us off the main highway on a dirt road for about 12 miles. Colorful handmade signs along the way promised food and cold beer.  That is how we found Camp Bay Beach Dive Resort & Restaurant, and met the amazing Dr. Jami Epstein.


With Dr. Jami;  therapist, dive instructor and resort owner

At Camp Bay Beach Resort for lunch

La Sirena, on Camp Beach

What more perfect way to celebrate our new-found freedom than to go for a sunset cruise; once again offered by our new friend, Marco, and usually reserved only for guests of his resort.  No cost for the cruise, just join them for dinner later. And what a fabulous dinner we had; grilled grouper with a fresh mango salsa, potatoes au gratin, stir-fried veggies, and flan with grated coconut for dessert.  


Marco on the right

  
The cruise begins


A large ball on the horizon

Beautiful setting

Patsy, Marco's partner, furnished Xbalanque from trips to Bali and Indonesia

And while we're introducing new friends and new adventures, along with a few Roatan Island facts, here are Carleen and Marlin, our gracious hosts here at the Villa Delfin.  Carleen, a young woman of many talents; cartoon animator, local vocalist/entertainer,  and hands-on owner/operator, does it all.  Every weekend she has a gig at either West Bay or West End and has a powerful Janis Joplin-like style. We have so enjoyed them on many occasions.


Having lunch at Infinity Bay where she also entertains!

A few more facts:  Gas is $5/gallon by the time you do the liter and currency conversion.  Five gigs of highspeed internet costs $30, cheaper than Verizon, electricity is not always dependable and very expensive, cruise ships dock daily, and last but not least, the beaches and reef snorkeling are amazing!


Scary big!

Snorkeling at West Bay on the reef


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