Wed. Dec 11th Roatan, Honduras
Woke around 6:30 am. Out on our balcony, still only ocean, but Roatan Honduras is on the other side of the boat. We relaxed until 7:30, ship time, and then headed out to the deck. On the left – starboard side – we could see that our ship was docked and Roatan was visible. Roatan is actually an island in the Caribbean just off the coast of Honduras, with many ports and villages. We could see that the town was built on the side of hills, green lush forests all around dotted with dwellings. But closer to shore we saw the whole left side of the town was cordoned off. It was a construction site, complete with mud and big loud orange machines.
Breakfast in the Windjammer, crazy crowded. Then we – me and Joe, JR and Jackie, headed off the gang plank into Roatan. We were greeted by loud music performed by a five person ensemble. I felt the music was more African than Caribbean or Reggae, but what do I know? Two women in colorful skirts and scarves wrapped around their heads shook their hips like hip-hop dancers, stomped their sandal clad feet and waved their hands at passer-byes while two men beat out the rhythm on their bongos. Several others danced and shook gourd rattles. We hurried past them, not bothering to drop any money in their tip bucket. Me and Joe and JR and Jackie did not have any excursions planned for this stop, so we just explored. Dee and Rudy have something scheduled that involves some kind of hike and nature. It feels very hot and sticky here, 80s already, but they live in Houston, used to heat and humidity.
There were many groups forming to be herded to the lot to board busses. We walked around the few streets that were open to tourists. All the usual tourist hocking was going on. The Diamond Stores giving away charms if you wanted to stand in line, vendors selling local items and a lot of specialty shops. We walked around in the heat and were relieved when it rained a bit, just a sprinkle. My left knee began to really bother me, even though I was wearing my stabilizing knee brace. We sat and rested and soon realized that there was some kind of barrier, blocking us from easy access beyond a certain point. The parking lot where all the busses were, was surrounded by a chain link fence, and the gate was opened for the busses as they exited. Not sure what was beyond and having heard bad things about gangs and high crime rates in Honduras, we opted to stay in the zone. Later I read on the internet that Honduras is a very dangerous place, even the island of Roatan where a US citizen was murderd in 2018. I also learned on the internet that in 2008 this mall/ shopping area was built specifically for the cruise ships to dock, a place to keep tourists corralled and spending money with their selected merchants and restaurants. And maybe to keep them safe.
Joe bought a T-shirt. He likes to buy Ts with places he’s visited on them and he does wear them. I bought a small handmade cloth carry-all bag. It has a long shoulder strap and is green, with multi colored bright flowers embroidered on the front. I especially like that it was made in Honduras, not China. I plan on using it instead of my purse or the backpack for our excursions. We went back to the boat for lunch and decided to stay onboard. Joe and I went to the pool and relaxed on the deck with frozen margaritas. Dee and Rudy came by and showed us photos of their Eco Wildlife Adventure. Rudy had close-up pictures of flowers and plants, and birds. One cat and a dog. But the best photos was of Rudy and the monkey who seemed to take a liking to him. Part of the tourist experience I guess. They also stopped at a beautiful beach where they waded in the clear waves.
We all met for dinner at the Windjammer. Another good meal and great company. The boat was an hour late leaving port. JR and Jackie said they watched a passenger being taken away in an ambulance and then his/her luggage was rolled off. I hope he/she is ok. Jackie also told us that the drug store in Honduras sold Zpack antibiotics, pills and syrups with codeine and some other medications that one can only get legally with a prescription in the US. I’m not sure it would be safe to take such a drug where the contents may not be regulated or controlled by laws.
Joe had us all laughing with his recounting of the Senior Scooter Race we witnessed earlier the day before on the Promenade deck. It starts with an old lady and her walker getting stuck on something while trying to navigate around a table and some chairs. Then an elderly man comes to her rescue on his motorized scooter. This is when it gets funny. We watch as he seems to be going around her in circles, not helping her at all. We stop where we are to watch. It is hard not to laugh. Then to our utter amazement we see another guy on a motorized scooter coming our way. The first scooter guy extracts himself from his mission and drives himself to the center pulling up beside scooter number 2. They seem to be racing, neck and neck, until scooter 2, takes the lead. But this is not the end. Trailing not far behind is a woman on a third scooter, moving into second place. Now we are laughing out loud. This is f…n hilarious. One woman with a walker, and 3 old people racing down the Promenade deck on their motorized scooters. Joe did a great job recreating the moment, and had us all laughing our asses off. I never think of it, but I wish I’d pulled out my cell phone and got a video of it all. Someone at the table said, “They should start an event on the cruise. Senior Scooter Races. There sure are enough seniors on scooters on board.”
Joe and I went to Family Karaoke at 8:30 with Dee and Rudy. Lots of good singers and some not-so-good. Rudy sang Sail Away by Styx and Rose Colored Glasses. He said that was the only country song he knew. But I know better. Two little boys about 9 or 10, one with glasses tried to sing a song called Jaguar. It was funny because the lyrics were really suggestive and the boys didn’t seem to know. One kid kept adjusting his crotch and everyone was laughing. Another act, a father son duo, did Michael Jackson’s Beat It. This kid may have been 12 and boy could he dance. Very good performance. The Elvis guy was back with Blue Christmas and of course Dede sang again. She did Upside Down by Dianna Ross. She said it was one she knew well from singing it with her classmates at St. Francis Seraph School in Cincinnati.
The wind was blowing and the boat was rocking as we walked back to our room across Deck 12. It was like trying to stand upright in a wind tunnel. Later we were rocked to sleep in the safe cocoon of our cabin.
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