Friday, April 9, 2010

Back on Roatan

written last night...

I'm writing this from our dorm room at Georphi's on Roatan.  Yep, we are back here in Roatan.  This is the place that sparked this whole adventure a year ago when we started talking about taking a trip longer than the usual 2 weeks.  I think I probably did a google search on "cheap carribbean island" and we discovered Roatan.  We've been taken with the place ever since.  It certainly is not the 3rd world and it doesnt have the 3rd world prices that we have been enjoying for the last 3 months but Roatan is definatly paradise island.  Its extremely common to meet people who came for a week and stayed for 3 months or ended up moving here and after just a few minutes here its obvious why.

Last night was a long night at the Banana Republic hostel in La Ceiba.  Our first night there, we had a good room but the lock was broken so we changed rooms for our second night...what a mistake.  First of all, we were directly above a hammock which one of the employees slept in all night.  Every time he rocked, the hammock squeeked..squeek...squeek...squeek for hours as we were trying to fall asleep.  Then the dog next door was barking like crazy in the middle of the night.  We were happy to leave this morning to catch the ferry to Roatan.

For our 3rd ride on the ferry, we opted to sit inside towards the front of the boat in the air conditioning.  There was a big group from a local school on their senior class trip.  They were pretty entertaining since they were obviously excited to be going to Roatan with all of their friends.  Their excitement was contagious, although I think that everyone on the ferry to Roatan are always pretty excited.  Looking out the window, the sea looked pretty calm but within the boat was a different story.  It was like riding a 90 minute long roller coaster.  The school kids were fun because every time there was a big drop, they would all roar and laugh.  Most of them were up walking around being social and every now and then, one would actually fall down while trying to walk across the boat.  It wasnt all fun and games, though.  For quite a few people it should I best put this...a puke-fest.  On our first trip to Roatan, with our friends, they handed out bags and we all laughed.  The boat rolled a bit but it was fun and nobody on the boat seemed to have problems.  This morning was a different story.  I'm not sure if the waves were bigger this time or if it was just our location at the front of the boat but there were a few people who were completely miserable.  The ferry actually has, what I call, the puke brigade.  They walked around the entire time with trash cans, extra puke bags and paper towels.  I must say that they were very simpathetic to the poor sick souls.  One guy at the very front didnt stop puking the entire ride.  At one point, a member of the puke brigade stood and fanned him with a newspaper.  I'm sure he was very relieved when we pulled into port.

Once we arrived, we caught a rediculously expensive cab to the West End to find a place to stay for a few days while we look for an apartment with a kitchen, which is the only way to stay on Roatan for cheap.  I like this place that we are staying.  We opted for a dorm room which has 3 bunk beds and so far, we have the whole room to ourselves.  It always feels like a victory when we get a dorm room to ourselves.

After lunch we decided to look at some apartments.  We have been nervous about the cost of transportation here because the cabs are so expensive ($10 US per person) but we had been told that there is a bus service and collective taxi's which are the same taxis but they will stop for other people until as long as the cab isnt full.  We were a little nervous about figuring out the system but as we stepped out of the restaurant, a bus (or rather a big van) pulled up and we hopped right on.  It only ended up costing about $2.50 for both of us and dropped us off right at the first apartment.  This was the cheapest one that we had heard about and it wasnt exactly what we had hoped for.  It didnt really have any of the things that we need for an extended stay...dishes, cookware, internet access or a TV.  Thankfully, there are many options here and we just set out walking down the road.  We wandered upon another place for a bit more money but it was really really nice. We checked out a few more places but nothing so far has compared.  We are practicing patience, though, and will look at more tomorrow.  We have a plan to go out for some drinks tonight in the west end and try to talk to as many people as possible to see if we can get a line on some more options.  Drinking in a place like this can be expensive but we are calling it an investment in our apartment hunt.  We need to get into the apartment soon, though, because eating at restaurants here will hurt our budget and we are anxious to hit the grocery store and start cooking for ourselves.

Thats it for now.  We are both hungry and ready to get out to see what we can find.