Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday Isle of Roatan

Still can't believe I have not finished this vacation blog... if I am not careful I am going to get fired from vacation blogging.  It is painful to write this now because I want to go back so badly... ok, where was I?  Oh, that's right, Roatan.

Thursday July 29th Isla Roatan, Honduras.

We had a more leisurely start to our day today since we didn't leave the ship until 11am. It was a little cloudy and they said we were expecting rain.  We were not sure how this would impact our day since our excursion was riding on a catamaran, snorkeling and visiting Gumbalimba Park.

As we approached the island we took some pictures of ship wrecks along the way from our balcony. 





We headed down again to the Unicorn Cafe for breakfast and anxiously awaited our next new adventure on Roatan.  We were told Leslie would be able to participate in our excursion that day but after looking at the restrictions for the excursions we were a little concerned.  Moderate walking was listed and even as tough as she was we didn't think moderate walking was doable with crutches.  We figured we would do what we could and enjoy every minute of our day.

The port was beautiful, colorful and very welcoming.

 

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We found our excursion and our excursion guides just in time before the rain hit.  

 
They assured us the shower was just passing through but they decided to take us to the snorkel portion of the excursion first, and then Gumbalimba Park to allow the storm time to pass.  (Which made perfect sense to me.. what better place to be in a thunderstorm than on the ocean????)  They did offer to give us our money back if we chose to skip the excursion all together, but we were looking forward to this excursion and we were not going to allow a little bit of rain ruin our fun.   We waited under the shelter in the mall of stores until the rain let up.

Once the rain subsided a bit we walked out to a bus/van to ride out to the Catamaran.  Because Leslie was injured they gave us our very own van with our personal driver. (Still receiving lemonade from those lemons)



Les spoke Spanish with our driver about the island, culture and cuisine.  Apparently they eat dogs... yep... DOGS.  Sometimes when on our family vacations we say  "ahhhh, too bad Murphy isn't here, he would love this"...not so much this time. Poor dogs. :(

It was still a little cloudy, but the rain had stopped so we were ready to snorkel.  We boarded the Jolly Roger Catamaran, the guides were a lot of fun.


Don't we wish.....






Getting into the water was an experience within itself.  Since we were on a catamaran we had to get into the water off the back of the boat and we had to walk down very small steps between the two big pontoon like thingys on the catamaran.

Now, this doesn't really sound like much of a task, but when you add the bobbing up and down in the ocean followed by waves crashing into the stairs it is very much a difficult task.  Especially for a person who likes to slowly enter the water as she clears her mask, gets her snorkel gear just right and practices breathing underwater before heading out.  Nope, not this time.. .it was jump in, start swimming and don't let the waves crash you back into the boat AND people were standing behind us waiting for their turn so they would watch me look like an idiot.  It was fantastic.

However, after entering the water..... the snorkeling was awesome!


These blue fish were so pretty, we watched them for quite a while.



More blue fish..


We swam and swam all over the reef, it was amazing.  As we were swimming around I felt tiny little stings all over.  They didn't really hurt, but they were definite stings and then I noticed very tiny little jelly fish swimming all over.  I was then concerned.  I have been stung before by Jelly Fish and this was not something I wanted to experience for the next hour.  Right about that time Greg, Les and Nick had all noticed the same thing and we all had a look of concern. 

Greg asked one of our guides if these little Jelly Fish were stinging us and they chuckled and said "No, they are too small and are harmless".  Ok, so then what IS stinging us?... they said "Sea Lice".  Ohhhhh, is that all?  Just Sea Lice?  I didn't feel better.  They told us they were harmless and the sting wouldn't last long, which it didn't but it was a little upsetting to be stung by anything.  After swimming a bit longer either they stopped stinging or we just didn't notice it anymore.  We focused on the beautiful reef surrounding us.

They started to slowly call us all back onto the boat and then I realized we had to climb BACK onto the boat the way we had exited earlier.  I figured I would allow most of the people to go ahead and climb back on board while I snorkeled a little bit more and then not so many people would witness my lack of coordination in the water.  It was a lot of fun timing the waves just right in order to push myself back into the boat and then grab onto the stairs in order to climb back on.  All of this while holding onto my flippers which I had to take off before I could climb the stairs.  Not a pretty sight.

Once back on board we were given beverages for our ride back.  We purchased Jolly Roger crew shirts (cause they were cool). We walked upstairs to the upper deck and enjoyed the Reggae music while we dried off in the sun.

They again were so very nice to Leslie, they helped her off the boat and made sure she was settled into her wheel chair.  We then took a 20 minute drive to Gumbalinda Park.  Leslie was up front again in our personal van and we took some pictures of the town the best we could through van windows.




Our ship...


Once we arrived at the park we instantly noticed the wild life.  There were iguanas,birds and other lizards everywhere.

The park was a tropical oasis, very beautiful. 
We were a little concerned with the pathways leading around the park, they didn't appear to be wheel chair or crutch friendly.  As we exited the van, we were approached by park employees.  They told us they were giving us a golf cart as well as a guide to drive us around the park.  All 4 of us could ride on the cart.  THIS was awesome.  It was very hot and the park had many hills.  Again, I would have rather Les not have been injured at all, but we were thrilled to be getting all the perks.

I was so excited to see the monkeys at Gumbalimba park.  They were the main reason I wanted to partake in this particular excursion.  Greg claimed he didn't like monkeys (and still does) and he "said" he wasn't looking forward to the monkey visit.  I will allow YOU to be the judge once you see the pictures.


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Here is the sign we had to read before entering.




We drove through the park with a very nice older gentleman who gave us the history of the park as well as point out all the residents.


He gave us all the time we wanted to stop and take pictures and sit to watch the Iguanas.

Hummers


They call this the Jesus Christ lizard because they run on top of the water.


He also drove us up to see the Monkeys long before the others who were walking could join us.  We had nearly a half hour all to ourselves.  Once the group showed up everyone had to share time with the monkeys.  We were blessed.

The monkey was soooo sweet and we had a great time with her.  She was very young and had a lot of energy.  She jumped around from one person to the other.  She loved to play with our hair and she deposited seeds in our hair as well.  She really loved Leslie's crutches which was not such a good thing.  She also loved Greg.... imagine that.  I was in heaven.


video 

 
 

 
 
 
  
This monkey loved Greg...

Love this picture.... ha ha ha

 
She always liked to be touching Greg...
 
this one is my favorite....
 
 
  
 
The little brat bit into Leslie crutches which were on loan to us from the ship... nice!
 
  
 
She wouldn't leave them alone!
 

 
 
You can clearly see how much Greg is hating this.... NOT!
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
 Macaws were walking around while we were playing with the monkey.
 


 
                      This was the bad monkey.  He was separated from the others.  He looked ornery.
 

Once the rest of the group caught up to us we decided to continue our tour.  Our guide drove us through beautiful gardens, showed us water falls, flowers, humming birds, all sorts of Lizards and then dropped us back off at our van where everyone else had already boarded the bus and we were ready to go.  Talk about service.  It truly was a beautiful place and we were happy we chose to visit.

Les and Nick were hot and tired and decided to head back to the ship once we returned from our excursions.  Greg and I walked around for a bit, shopped in a few shops and enjoyed a Coke before calling it a day.  
 
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We had forgotten about the huge line at the ship where we usually walk right past because Les has been in a wheel chair.  It was our turn to wait in line.

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The kids had already showered which was nice because Greg and I had the bathroom all to ourselves.  We were pleased with the size of our room, however with 4 adult size people getting ready all at once it does become a challenge. 

Dinner, as always was wonderful. 
 
 
 
Our waiters made all sorts of fun stuff for the kids with napkins.
 
Gun
 


Boot


Rose


 Bunny


 Armadillo


 Not sure... Minnie Mouse Bow?


 Binoculars


Yummy desserts...



After dinner we attended the Comedy Hypnosis show by Doug MacCraw in the Follies Theater.  I found this hilarious.  He hypnotized people in the audience and whether it was real or not it was hysterical.  He had people thinking their shoes were their cell phones, one lady would stand up and bow each time he said a certain word.  She acted as though she was the main character of a major Broadway show.  One particular guy walked up on stage to tell us to please be quiet because we were all going to be kicked off the ship due to our loud clapping.  When ever we would clap, he would stand up and again approach the microphone to please tell us to keep it down.  He told everyone on stage that when they wake up they will realize they had farted and it was a very bad odor.  You will smell it and feel embarrassed by it.  When he counted them down and they woke up it was so funny to watch all of their reactions.  I could have watched all night long.

Later Greg and I attended a Marriage Show, we stayed for a while but thought it was kinda lame so we we strolled through the Enchanted Forest and headed back to our room to watch a movie and wait for the kids to come back to the cabin.  The kids enjoyed roaming the ship with their friends and eating ice cream all night long.  

Another ending to another perfect day.  Tomorrow would be our last excursion.... Belize.

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