Vacation Day Seven: Roatán, Honduras

The day started like most every other day…Sunshine and I woke up at the ass-crack of dawn (i.e. 5:45am) in order to hit the gym by six, eat breakfast by seven, and watch the sunrise between seven and eight. This particular morning was an especially good one for me because I took the next step in my Couch25K workout: I ran for three minutes straight without stopping.

This is a coming from a guy who could barely walk up and down a flight of stairs without getting winded only a few short months ago, so this was a HUGE accomplishment for me. Sunshine could see me beaming and when my workout was done (having run three minutes straight TWICE during a thirty-minute period), I just couldn’t help but show off my excitement a bit…

KILLING my morning workout!!

We arrived in Roatán under cover of darkness, so even though it was after 7am the sun hadn’t risen yet (with a two hour time difference, the sun wouldn’t rise for awhile longer). As we sat around trying to make out what was around us in the darkness, we were asked if we wanted to have our picture taken (at right). Once done breakfast, we decided to head down to our room to get ready for the day.

Once ready to head out, we saw the beautiful sunrise once more…

Good morning, Honduras!!

At this stage we made our way down to the dock and began making our way to the terminal area. We had reserved a “Fun-n-Sun” tour with Victor Bodden tours (a $25 tour of the island that included some unique shopping opportunities, some “monkey business”, and some beach time), but where our port (Mahogany Bay) was owned and operated by Carnival, the restrictions for private operators was that they couldn’t pick up passengers at the port itself. So we had to walk out of the port, then up and over a hill in order to find our guide.

We easily found the Bodden folks, they checked our name off of their list, and we joined up with another six people waiting in an air-conditioned 15-passenger bus (almost all taxi companies and tours used these). Off we went for a tour of the island.  Roatán is the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands. The island was formerly known as Rattan and is approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) long but less than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) across at its widest point.

The first stop was a very picturesque location that overlooked the ocean. It was littered with straw markets and apparently every tour bus on the island felt it was a great first stop. And again, we were asked if we wanted to have our picture taken. Of course, we had to say yes…

Sunshine & CBG overlooking beautiful Roatán.

The next stop was yet another area with straw markets. This spot, however, was one of the highest on the entire island. It overlooked the local airport and really helped to show off the beauty of the island:

We made our way down a very steep hill to a “shopping mall” (I don’t know how else to describe it, really). While the area looked poor, it didn’t look like the poverty was nearly as bad as what we had seen in Belize the day before. Once inside the “mall”, we saw some absolutely incredible mahogany woodwork…

Mahogany woodworks in Roatán, Honduras
Beautiful mahogany woodworks in Roatán, Honduras

The next stop on the tour was Victor Bodden’s house. Neither Sunshine nor I really had any idea of just what to expect by going here, but boy were we in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

There is a small zoo located on the grounds of Victor’s home. We thought we were just in a world of awesomeness when Sunshine was able to hand-feed a monkey in his cage…

We thought this would be the highlight of the day. Were WE mistaken!!

And then we saw some white-bellied squirrels, which we both thought was interesting…

I've seen squirrels before, but never white-bellied squirrels.

BUT HOLD THE PHONE!!  We got to the next cage, which contained three snow monkeys. We were asked if we wanted to go inside the cage.

YES…GO INSIDE THE CAGE!!

What do YOU think we did??

Hey...that's MY water!!
I was all smiles with the snow monkey.
This was an AWESOME unexpected surprise.
Sunshine making a new friend.

Yes...THAT just happened!!

We were absolutely over-the-moon at this point. We could have turned around and gone right back on the ship and it would have been an absolutely fantastic day.  But our experience hadn’t quite finished yet…

Sunshine and I got to pet a lemur next. They were a bit sleepy because they are nocturnal animals...but still an incredible experience.

Next off was yet another unbelievable experience that we never saw coming. Here is what I’m talking about…

Let me just preface this by saying that Sunshine absolutely HATES birds. She HATES them. They creep her out. She just HATES them. Of course, having said that, she basically said “F*ck it” and walked right into the cage.

Kids…the pictures speak for themselves…

I couldn’t have been more proud of Sunshine for overcoming a major fear and throwing her cautions to the wind. And me? I couldn’t wait to get a photo op!!

Immediately after experiencing this, we both went off to wash our hands (safety first, y’know). As I entered the restroom stall, I was greeted with something I would have NEVER seen at a public restroom in my neck of the woods…

We were just absolutely riding high at this point, and it was the perfect time for them to get us to pay (no…we didn’t have to pay up front). We were then whisked off to the private beach. They said that we would have two + hours at the beach and they would bring us back around 12pm local time (2pm ship time).

Sunshine and I started thinking about it and decided that we wanted to go back to the port. There were a couple of reasons for this:

  1. We really felt as though we had already gotten our $25 worth out of the tour.
  2. We didn’t want to have to pay more money to get into the beach area.
  3. Two + hours was a LOT of time for the two of us to spend on the beach, especially when we’re normally good after an hour or so.
  4. We still wanted to shop around the terminal/port area.

We arrived at the beach and everybody got off the bus. We asked the tour guide if we could be driven back to the port because we weren’t really feeling this beach and kind of wanted to get back to the Carnival beach. The driver spoke right up and said it wasn’t a problem to drive us back to the port.

He asked us to sit up front close to him and we ended up getting what was almost a private tour.  What was even better was that the driver took us “the long way” back, and we got to see a side of Roatán that we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I was able to get a few pics out of the front windshield of the taxi…

When he dropped us off at the port, we had no problem tipping him another $20 for going out of his way. We were very appreciative of Bodden Tours and would recommend them to anybody.

It took all of thirty minutes to completely confirm that we were 100% correct in our decision to come back to the port area, because otherwise we would have never have been able to experience Mahogany Bay…

But that story will appear in Wednesday’s post!

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3 thoughts on “Vacation Day Seven: Roatán, Honduras

  1. CBG, you are looking TRIM in that first picture especially!! nice work!! And I am proud of Sunshine too for the bird experience! I would have been slightly freaked, but she has a serious fear of birds, if I do recall, not just a little bit? That takes guts! And those monkeys are so darn cute.

    1. Um….yeah. I have a serious fear of birds, Jolene! lol I’m that person at the park shrieking and ducking whenever birds fly toward me…lol I figured that this trip was about me seizing the moment, and I guess I was still riding high after jumping off that rock in Belize the day before…. 😉

    2. Thanks, jobo!!

      Actually, I’m down 21 pounds since January 1st…so I guess it’s starting to show (only 18 pounds left to go until I reach target weight).

      And yes, Sunshine was all about “seizing the moment” on this vacation…and I couldn’t have been more proud of her for overcoming her fears to fully experience everything.

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