I landed on Roatan just three days ago, sailing from Utila which was a fine journey, complete with one of those trampoline net things in the bow of the boat where I lounged for hours and fell into the most delicious sleep rocking on the waves. Woke up just in time to arrive mid-morning on this, Utila’s bigger and way more expensive sister.
As I am wont to do, though, I found the perfect place to land and worked out a great price for the week. I’m just a few steps from the beach, which I can see from my sweet little cabin and yet I’m under the somewhat cool shade of dense tropical foliage. My cabin has all I need – a double bed, a bedside table with a reading lamp, electrical outlets (you’d be surprised, not always so available and so very important for my electronic de-vices), shelves for my stuff so I’m not living out of my backpack, a bathroom, a frig, lots of windows, my own 5-gallon purified water supply (this is a big deal!), a lanai with table and chair and naturally, a hammock. Here I am: http://georphi.com/
For the first time in months, I even have a hot shower. Not that I need it since it’s about 127 degrees outside, but it does remind me that I haven’t had one since my first nights in Panama City back in March. I may spend my first full day in SF just luxuriating under a hot one.
This week is all about languid, luxurious lazing around … I’ve done my touring and going and seeing, now I’m simply soaking up the sun and the sea while I can. I know there will be no warm ocean for me for awhile, so I’m giving myself massive overdoses of it now. Maybe that will help keep me warm when I’m back in the chilly city by the bay.
On the back burner, but not so very far back because, after all, it’s less than a week now, I am also very aware of the massive threshold that it is to cross back over into the US after months away, especially coming from the 3rd World. It’s quite the segue and the pace of the Bay Area is always big energy to merge with. The ride home on the freeway from the airport alone is enough in and of itself.
And while Roatan is just fine, thank you very much, it doesn’t dazzle me, like Utila didn’t dazzle me either. Lots of tourists (and this is off-season, yikes, I’d hate to see it in high season), too many for my taste; and while I’ve heard great things about these islands, I think their glory days are in the past.
The reefs around the islands are where it’s all happening and they are truly the jewels of the area. Gorgeous, in healthy condition and the clarity of the water is amazing! But the towns, the islands, the beaches – more utilitarian than beautiful and nothing outstanding. The roads on both islands run right along the beach and they’re buzzing with motor bikes and mopeds and tuk-tuks and here on Roatan, vans and cars. Then at night it’s a boom-boom-boom party scene in all the bars and restaurants that line the streets. The constant noise and the lack of separation from the beach is not so interesting for me. And of course the beaches here are not so dazzling because it’s the reef everyone comes for.
But I know how to enjoy myself most anywhere I go and I figured that I could just stay here in Roatan for the balance of my time and enjoy the languid life of lazing about in the hammock, writing, reading and swimming. All was fine and I was fine with it.
But you can hear something’s coming, can’t you?
I think I was trying to convince myself that everything was fine and really, it was. But there was some low-level kind of dull flatness that surfaced and I wondered what it was about. Should I delve further into it? Should I let it be and let it run its course? I did a little of both and still it lingered.
And then that buzzing of the bee in my bonnet got louder and louder. I was fast asleep last night and was literally woken up by the incessant buzz. Hhmmm, I thought, what about that place near La Ceiba I was gonna go to? I still have time, I can still do it. But after I sent two emails to the guy, neither of which he returned, I let it go and decided to just settle in here. But I realized that was part of the problem, I was settling, but not in the best of ways.
So I got out of bed and figured one more email, I’ll send him one more email and see what happens. In minutes, he responded with apologies that his internet had been out. I’d like to come on Monday, I told him and he said, yes we have room for you. Then mistakenly, he said, see you tomorrow. I thought, maybe it wasn’t a mistake at all – hell, why not, I can go tomorrow and not wait until Monday- what am I waiting for?
So it’s now 1:30 in the morning and I’m packing everything up and suddenly, my plans have changed! One of the too-many-to-mention things I love about solo traveling.
Paradise Found, where I’m headed, is a place right on the beach and just outside of La Ceiba on the mainland of Honduras, that much closer to where I fly out on Friday morning. There I can soak in some local hot springs and play in the sea and the river and check out the local Garifuna community. And, I understand, it’s not inundated with these nasty sand flies (no-see-ums) which have eaten me alive during my time on these islands. My skin looks like a pin cushion, no matter the bug juice I’m lathering on all day every day. It’s a place way fancier than my normal standard and I decided ending the trip in some luxury (a/c, hot showers, the works!) is a fine gift to give to myself!
I didn’t see this one coming, but suddenly I feel all rested up enough to get just a little bit more exploring in before I’m back on familiar soil. So I’m ready to go, waiting here in the restaurant to take my leave on the 2 pm ferry and delighting in being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want … and so I am!