Roatan 2000: September 10
Sunday morning, we weren't planning on sleeping in since we had to be at BIBR for the first day of diving, but we also didn't expect what we got. Apparently there is a rooster that likes to hang out right outside of the cabana. This in itself doesn't bother me, what does bother me is that this particular rooster apparently thinks it's in some other timezone. From about 4am till we left this damn thing whas screaming at us (or so it seemed). So much for worrying about sleeping through the travel alarm.
Get up, shower, get the gear together, then it's off down the road to dive. It's pretty hot so the water is a welcome relief. We did the two morning dives, not really seeing anything worth mentioning, then headed off for lunch. We drove to Rick's American Cafe, but they were closed for remodeling until October 1st, so we just kept going down the road and eventually ended up at The Pirate's Den where we ordered fish sandwiches. At one point we were asked if we'd like french fries or onion rings. I asked for the rings and Kate got the fries. When the food was delivered it turns out that we got both on the plate so it was a moot point. The fish sandwich was excellent, however the rest of it was a bit lacking. The french fries looked like shoestring potatoes that they just kinda threw some lukewarm oil at and hoped it stuck. The onion rings were crispy only by virtue of the fact the outer layer of the onion had been fried to a deep black crisp. Let me repeat again though, the fish sandwich was excellent for 60 Lempira (about $4 but if you ask the waiter to do the conversion it seems to come out to $5...)
After lunch was the third dive of the day which circled the second largest coral tower in the Caribbean. Unforunately it's been ruined by divers, touched so much it is now dying and won't grow anymore. After the dive was a Monkey LaLa drink (named after the local lizard, a basilisk derivative) in the BIBR bar (well, hut that is the bar). The drink is essentially the same as a Mudslide here in the US: Vodka, Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Coconut milk, topped off with some cream (or milk), plenty of ice, and a blender. Tasty stuff when it's that hot out.
Find the Grocery Store
Since it was Sunday and we were told the grocery stores were closed we set out to find them anyway, reasoning that we'd have a nice breeze in the car and be able to go straight to the store the next day. Driving down "The Road" we passed a couple of gas stations and a nice looking bank, then found Eldon's. Eldon's is the store the island rich, and gullible tourists all shop at. They have all manner of stuff from the US (Pringles chips, cookies, YooHoo, etc, etc), with some premium prices to match. Not knowing about the store in Coxen Hole, we decided to come back the next day when they were open and instead turned right at the fork in the road to check out French Harbor. As we were loosing light quickly and wanted to at least go find some munchies for dinner we turned around not too far into town and started back down "The Road" towards the cabana. Deciding to stock up on junk food at the gas station we passed on the way out, we swung into the Texaco "Tiger Mart" station across from the nice bank.
Grabbing some drinks and a bag of chips we headed back to the car and were momentarily pulled up short when we noticed the uniformed man standing right by the car holding his shotgun and staring hard at us. We edged into the car just in time for a local to pounce on us and begin washing the windshield in hopes of a tip. When he finished I gave him the change from the store (a whopping 3 Lempira) and we pulled out, being stared at by the guard. Turns out there's a quick way to tell who's police and who's private security in Roatan. The security guards all carry shotguns with pistol grips and the police all carry machine guns and pistols. Deciding that we were hungry, and wanted to know about the "All You Can Eat Lobster" dinner at the Ocean Side in (part of Anthony's Key resort, we drove past the cabana and down the road a bit farther.
Expensive Dinner, and I have no appetite
We stopped in at the Ocean Side Inn and were seated. We decided we'd have dinner there as well since we didn't get anything at the closed grocery store and it was getting late to find something else. We ordered and asked about the lobster dinner, set for Wednesday night. After being told that there was room on the reservation list we started in on the salads. And I promptly lost all appetite, enough so that I didn't even touch the seafood chowder that was my main dish. I figured it was the heat in combination with the evening's worth of exhaust fumes (not only from our car, but every taxi on the road. They obviously have no emissions, no inspections, and nobody cares about how well the cars run there). Since the dinner was $30+ we asked if there was anyway to take my food back with us and were rewarded with two very small styrofoam bowls covered in foil and filled to the brim with soup. Not quite sure how it was going to work we went out in the car and Kate held the bowls out the window of the Samurai as we drove down the road. By the time we got back to the cabana the car had a pretty fair coating of chowder dripping it's way down the passenger's side door.
Put the bowls in the freezer (since the refrigerator was straining just to keep itself mildly warm) and went to bed.
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