Our other port of call was Roatán, Honduras. It was SPECTACULAR!
We hired a driver and tour guide to take us all over the island. The waters were some of the clearest I have seen and the foliage was lush and green.
The island is beautiful, and the islanders are cool. Oddly, one of the coolest things I learned was about the cashew. Cashews come in a shell attached to a piece of fruit about the size of a plum. The cashew is removed and the fruit, which is loaded in juice, is used to make wine and vinegar.
After our tour through the Eastern part of the island we stopped at a restaurant and shared some fried conch balls and fish and then went to the Eastern part to enjoy a beautiful beach.
Besides St. Barts’ “Pebble Beach”, I have never seen a more incredible beach. We had some fun and sun for a while, dreading having to leave. We knew the drive back to the ship was about 35 minutes, so we were sure to leave almost an hour before we needed to board.
We all climb into the van wishing we had another hour to enjoy the beauty. Then the driver, Daniel, gets out of the van and walks to the front of the van and makes a call on his cell phone.
“Um, what is he doing? We need to go.” we ask Jason, the tour guide. Jason tells us the driver is just making a quick call. Jason slams the van door shut. Now, besides it being a bit stuffy in there without the paltry a/c blowing, it is a little disconcerting that he is making a call OUTSIDE of the van instead of while we are on the road. Something seems fishy. Then Daniel opens the driver’s door and opens his palm, revealing 1/2 of the ignition key. The other half was inside the ignition.
We try the obvious– trying to start the van with the key by letting the two pieces connect. No go.
From the back seat, Jim blurts “We’ve got one more minute to be creative, then we need to get another cab or we are going to miss the boat.”
We all scramble out of the van and Jason begins negotiating with two taxi drivers nearby. We are told to pay Daniel our money for the day and these two cars will take us back to the ship and Daniel will pay them from his earnings. Who knows if they will demand money when we get back to the ship. It doesn’t matter. . . we have no choice.
We divide up and pile into the two small cars. We have just enough time to get to the ship before it leaves the port.
Problem solved, right? Wrong.
One of the cars won’t start. There is NO WAY we can all fit in one car.
The driver opens the hood as Jim begins to get vocal about our need to hurry.
FINALLY, the car starts. Then the van starts. Danielle wants us to all pile back into the van. Uh, I don’t think so. We are going to be lucky to get there in time now.
The first car speeds off. Then the car I am riding in starts (thank God), and we speed off. Emphasis on SPEED.
These cab drivers were amazing. They drove on hair pin curves like race car drivers. We zoomed past other cars like they were turtles. One lady was stopped in the middle of the road with her door open for some reason. I swear I thought we were going to take her door with us.
These Dale Earnhardt quality drivers got us back to the ship WITH TEN MINUTES TO SPARE!
Then, ironically, the entire ship had to wait on two ladies who were late. They called their names over the loudspeaker for 45 minutes before we saw two ladies racing up to the port. We all cheered and jeered them as they ran to the boat.
Damn. We could have stayed at that beach for another hour.