A Travellerspoint blog

In Pursuit of Paradise Day 5: Oh, Buoy!

The Bay Islands of Honduras

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The weather on this trip had been flawless every single day, and we woke up to another perfectly sunny day.

We had vowed to take it easy on this trip, so there was to be no insane itinerary or running about. We spent the morning at the pool doing absolutely nothing.

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After a few hours of laziness, we decided to take one of the kayaks out toward the reef. It was a short walk from Brisa along a wooden walkway through the lush foliage to the stairs to the dock. By the time we reached the top of the stairs, Fausto was already there, heading down to prepare us a kayak.

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The staff, I tell you. They were amazing.

He got our kayak ready and put it in the water for us. We paddled out toward the reef (Okay, Matt paddled. I flailed my paddle around in the air in an unsuccessful attempt to do anything meaningful). Our plan was to find the mooring buoys so that we could tie off and snorkel.

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Where were the buoys?

We paddled one way. No buoys.

We paddled the other way. No buoys.

We finally gave up in frustration, deciding there must not actually be any buoys and headed back to the dock.

When we arrived, Fausto was there, waiting to pull our kayak out and put it away.

I felt so spoiled.

As we were climbing out onto the dock, Matt pointed in the distance.

“What are those?” he said.

There were two very clear, white balls bobbing happily in the water.

Apparently, it just wasn’t our day to snorkel.

We were getting hungry, anyway, so we loaded into our dusty Toyota and, before we could even reach the gate, one of the attendants showed up from nowhere and had it open. He closed it behind us as we left.

We chose to visit Marble Hill Farms, just a few miles east, to have lunch at the Crow’s Nest restaurant.

We found Marble Hill Farms easily and headed down the long, beautifully landscaped drive.

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Marble Hill Farms is a rustic eco-lodge on Roatan’s east end. The 26 acre property has several cottages, a dive operation, and a restaurant, but the most unique feature is a large Spanish-style building that houses Tropical Island Flavors, a small producer of local sauces, jams, and jellies using the fruits and vegetables on the farm. They offer tastings and have a small shop where you can buy things like mutton pepper jelly, fresh salsa, or banana pineapple jam.

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We perused the offerings and took away a jar of spicy salsa before heading to the Crow’s Nest for lunch. The day was HOT and the restaurant truly had a breezy crow’s nest, with only one small table and two hammocks that shared an amazing view of the east coast of Roatan.

“You can eat up there, if you like,” the smiling bartender told us, motioning for us to go up.

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Not only was the view amazing, but we found it was the perfect place to enjoy some strong caipirinhas, a giant burger and fresh snapper, and a great hammock nap.

We literally slept the afternoon away.

I blame the caipirinhas.

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We headed back to Brisa and sure enough, someone was there to open the gate, just like magic.

We spent the afternoon basking in the sunshine on the spacious deck at Brisa del Mar, stopping only to rub K2’s ears or pour another drink.

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Before the sun set completely, we wanted to head to Temporary Cal’s Cantina, the only restaurant that was actually close to Villas del Mar and that was supposed to have a stellar view. It was about a 10 minute drive west, and truly had a remarkable view.

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It was also CRAZY WINDY which was very good for heat, not so much for hair.

Cal’s had outstanding margaritas as well. I was instantly a fan.

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We kept seeing a dish come out in a tall ceramic pot and it looked amazing. I asked the table next to me what it was.

“Con queso,” they said.

I scanned the menu, which was hand written in markers on a dry erase board and only saw one thing that said, “Con Queso.”

When it was time to order, I got the fish tacos, Matt ordered the fried conch, and I ordered the “Papusa Con Queso.”

It looked like this:

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“Where is the little pot thing?” I whispered to Matt. He shrugged as he stuffed cheese in his mouth.

It may not have been the right thing, but man oh man, it was good.

I learned later that Papusa Con Queso is cheese stuffed flour tortillas covered in more cheese.

I was okay with my misorder.

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We enjoyed the strong drinks, good food, and amazing breeze until it was time to head back to Brisa where, yes, the gate was being opened as we arrived.

Posted by vicki_h 06:59 Archived in Honduras Tagged beach island caribbean tropical honduras roatan utila little_cay deserted_island Comments (0)

In Pursuit of Paradise Day 4: Ro-Ro-Roatan Gently by the Sea

The Bay Islands of Honduras

I couldn’t believe it was our last morning on Little Cay. It made my heart hurt.

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The time we had spent on this dot of sand had been so incredibly beautiful and special, I just didn’t have words for it. It was no Ritz. There was no concierge service or poolside cocktails, but what it lacked in luxury, it more than made up for in peace, in solitude, and in modest beauty.

It had been simple. And it had been perfect.

But our time was over and it was someone else’s turn to discover paradise.

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Barry picked us up promptly at 8:00 a.m. and took us back to Utila where we grabbed a cab to the airport.

The small airlines from Roatan only have scheduled service between the two islands on Saturday. Because we were returning to Roatan on a Tuesday, we had two choices: take the ferries or book a private air charter.

When I realized the ferries would involve almost 3 hours onboard large ferries lovingly nicknamed the “Vomit Comets” by travelers as well as a 1.5 hour “layover” in La Cieba on mainland Honduras, I quickly made the decision to take the charter flight.

The cost was reasonable at $100 per person, so why not? I am extremely comfortable with small planes.

Thank goodness.

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The Cessna 206 wasn’t glamorous, but it got the job done. I was jammed into the back of the plane with the luggage as Matt was crammed into the co-pilot seat. I was amazed that we had somehow managed to find the one airplane on the island worse than the one we flew over in.

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By 11:00 a.m., we were back on Roatan, and thrust back into the hell of the Roatan airport.

Because we had arrived on a domestic flight, we were only in the airport for mere minutes before we found ourselves facing a cheerful man holding a sign that said, “Hatfields.”

I had chosen a private villa, Brisa del Mar, for our time in Roatan, and, as Banjo ushered us toward a driver who had been sent by the property to pick us up, I couldn’t have been happier with my choice.

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It was obvious from my research that the safest and most luxurious areas to stay were either West End or West Bay, home to one of the beaches regularly named in the top ten beaches of the Caribbean. Every article I read said clearly, “For first time Roatan visitors, there are only two places that you would want to stay: West End and West Bay.”

So, we naturally chose the remote east end.

Because that’s how we roll.

I felt confident that the west end would simply be too cruise-shippy and tourist-happy for our taste. Don’t worry, I still made sure we weren’t taking any unnecessary risks. Villas del Mar was a collection of 3 private, high end villas in a gated compound that came with 24 hour armed security and use of a local vehicle. We would have armed guards on the property day and night and wouldn’t be driving around in a rental vehicle that screamed, “I AM A TOURIST. PLEASE STOP ME AND STEAL MY IPHONE.”

I can read your thoughts right now. You are asking, “Why would you go on vacation in a place where you felt it necessary to have an armed guard????”

I don’t have a good answer for that right now, but I’ll think on it.

Our first views of Roatan were from the back seat of a dusty Toyota 4-Runner as we drove east along the central road that runs the length of the island. Roatan is about thirty-five miles long and about two or three miles wide. Long and narrow, the main road takes you everywhere with side roads appearing at the various island communities. Coxen Hole….French Harbour…..we saw the names passing by in a flash. The island was lush and green with shimmering glimpses of turquoise water in the distance.

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About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the gated entrance to Brisa del Mar. There are 3 homes in the compound, each an architectural wonder and separated by lush dense jungle so you feel you are completely alone. We had our own gate and driveway, and, as the driver pulled the dusty vehicle up to the house, he handed Matt the keys.

“Car is all yours. Someone will open the gate for you whenever you leave and return.”

And they did.

After a brief tour by the owner, we were left to our own devices.

The house was simply amazing. It was a beautiful open-air Balinese style home with the most amazing thatch roof and a deck with an infinity pool that overlooked the ocean and the reef beyond.

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Villas del Mar also comes with a multitude of pets.

This was K2, the cat that immediately took up residence with us.

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This was Tasha, the guard dog. We could see that she had been well trained and we felt very secure.

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This was Diva. Her back-up, who was apparently trained at the same place.

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We quickly unpacked and headed to French Harbour for a late lunch and a visit to the grocery store.

After only a few wrong turns and a few choice cuss words, we found Frenchy’s 44. Not necessarily known for its cuisine, I had chosen it because of its proximity to Eldon’s Supermarket and because the setting is quite stunning.

The airy thatched restaurant sat right on the water’s edge. The views were as delicious as the breeze.

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And the tequila.

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We ordered lots of things with cheese.

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When we were sufficiently stuffed, we set off to find Eldon’s to buy groceries. I said a silent prayer that Eldon’s would not be comparable to Bush’s.

To my delight, Eldon’s looked just like any full service grocery store from home. And it was blessedly air conditioned! We loaded up on breakfast items, snacks, and drinks. We had also been given a list of items we need that night for “Palapa Pizza” night at Villas del Mar.

Part of the charm of the Villas del Mar property was the staff. There were a number of services they provided that made our stay extra special. One of these was pizza night on Tuesdays. They gave you a list of ingredients for your crust and sauce, you chose your own toppings, and they would pick the items up at your house, take them to a magical palapa in the jungle where they would make and cook your pizzas for you in a wood burning oven for $7 a pizza.

We returned to the house and spent the afternoon lounging by the pool.

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That evening, Rosa stopped by and picked up my bag of pizza supplies and told us to be at the palapa around 7:00 p.m.

At 6:55, we doused ourselves with Deet and headed into the jungle.

The palapa really was amazing.

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The guests from the other two houses were there, along with the owners, Bruce and Nicki. I have no idea how Rosa kept all the pizzas straight, but pizza night was one of my favorite experiences on Roatan.

We sipped wine under the soft glow of the lights while the smell of woodsmoke mingled with the tangy scent of spiced Italian meat. The pizzas were thin, crispy, and perfect.

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When we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, we headed back to Brisa where we called it a night.

Even though the bedrooms had air conditioning, we left the doors open to the breeze.

Good thing we had those watchdogs.

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Posted by vicki_h 12:41 Archived in Honduras Tagged beach island caribbean tropical honduras roatan utila little_cay deserted_island Comments (0)

In Pursuit of Paradise Day 3: Baby, Can You Pass the Deet?

The Bay Islands of Honduras

The same soft sounds tugged at our ears the next morning and we found ourselves awake before sunrise again.

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After watching the sun make a slow, quiet entrance, I tackled breakfast in the kitchen.

Fried plantains, French toast, and bacon….I was getting pretty good at this primitive cooking.

And I was so happy I had found these little Trader Joe coffee brew bags because the house didn't have a coffee maker.

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Just as we were finishing up breakfast, we heard a boat motor approaching. We ran to the east dock just as a man was stepping onto it with, you guessed it, a bottle of lighter fluid and a bag filled with a couple of pounds of cleaned fresh snapper.

He only wanted $10 for the fish, the fluid, and the delivery.

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This place really was paradise.

The second day passed much like the first.

The most ambitious activity of the day was slicing a cool lime to squeeze into a freshly poured cocktail. The worst calamity of the day was running out of rum.

We switched to tequila.

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We snorkeled. We swam. We listened to music as we sat dreamily in lounge chairs staring at the cool, turquoise sea and wondering what the pelicans were doing. We stood on the warm wood of the dock and watched parrotfish dart on top of the shallow reef. We juggled coconuts. We looked for seashells.

We wandered over at low tide and explored the tiny little "extra" island that was connected to Little Cay by a small sandbar. We decided this was where anyone that got voted off Naked Island would have to go.

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We made nachos with gooey cheese and "ground meat" and sipped salty tequila. We read for hours and took naps in the afternoon breeze.

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The second day passed much like the first. We found ourselves taking on the rhythm of the ocean, speaking in languid whispers, our heart rates having dropped to just a few murmurs over comatose.

We did nothing more than watch the sun move from one side of the island to the other.

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Just as it had the previous two days, sunset arrived promptly around 6:00 p.m. Matt fired up the grill to make grilled snapper and to cook up the thick smoked pork chops I had bought in case we didn’t get any fish. I figured we could eat them for breakfast.

I used the other half of the snapper to make fresh ceviche. I grated some cheese and sliced some fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions to pair with soft tortillas for grilled fish tacos.

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I’m not sure if it was the salty fresh air, the sun dripping into the sea, the gentle lapping of the waves, or simply the peace that had settled into our bones, but the food tasted better than anything I’d had in a very long time.

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We watched as the sky went from gold, to fiery orange, to soft purple then fade to black as a million stars came out to say goodnight.

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Posted by vicki_h 11:25 Archived in Honduras Tagged beach island caribbean tropical honduras roatan utila little_cay deserted_island Comments (1)

In Pursuit of Paradise Day 2: Paradise Island

The Bay Islands of Honduras

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We made it through the night without anything with more legs than us getting into the bed and without dying in a pool of our own sweat, so I considered the first night a success.

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In the early light of that first morning, it seemed unreal. Surely there was no way we were alone on an island. But the fantasy was a reality. We really were on an island all our own. The sun and the palm trees and the sand and sea were all ours. There was no one to answer to, no one to share it with, no one to worry about, not even that fat pelican who sat guarding the wooden dock beyond the house.

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It was Easter morning, so we spent the first hour on the east dock (there were two, one on the east side and one on the west, perfect for sunrise and sunset, we found) having our own sunrise service in the most perfect place I could imagine. I thanked God for giving us this amazing opportunity.

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Then it was time for breakfast. I knew before we even arrived on Little Cay that meals would be momentous occasions. When your only form of entertainment is watching the pelicans dive off the dock or racing hermit crabs, food becomes important.

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For each meal, I would spend hours conjuring magic from a limited universe of strange ingredients and a conspicuous absence of modern cooking tools or appliances. While the kitchen had a reasonable amount of supplies, most of the items were slightly less than perfect or just not exactly the thing I needed.

On the 9th match, I got the stove lit and cooked up some thick, smoked Honduran bacon (the stuff was amazing) with eggs. To celebrate our first day off the grid, we poured up some mimosas.

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Once breakfast was over, I wasn’t sure what to do. Matt and I are people that need to be busy. We need things to do.

I wasn’t sure what we would do with no itinerary, no plans, no list of things to check off and see and do. Could we enjoy doing nothing?

Apparently, we could.

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We lazed in the sun, taking frequent swims or soaks in the cool water when we got too hot. We snorkeled for hours in the shallow water surrounding the island. We sipped cold coconut rum under the rustling palm trees and took rum-induced afternoon siestas.

Before the first day was even halfway through, we were happy simply being. We limited our movements to small trips to the refrigerator for drinks, dips in the water, turning a page in a book, or moving from one chair to another that had better shade/sun/view (whatever we were looking for at the time).

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I had a staring contest with the fat pelican and he won.

The humidity curled my hair into an impressive mess, my freckles popped out almost immediately, and, to combat sand fleas and mosquitoes, I was constantly coated in a thick sheen of coconut oil and Deet.

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It was simply magical.

We had used what little lighter fluid we had found the night before and I didn’t want to try to cook meat on that stove.

“Call Barry on that little phone,” I said. “See if they can bring us some lighter fluid. While they are at it, see if we can get some fresh fish.”

Matt tried dialing the little cell phone and looked puzzled.

“No matter what I do, I just get a weird message in Spanish and then the phone hangs up. You try.”

Like I had some kind of cell phone mojo that he didn’t possess.

I dialed.

“La red móvil que está intentando acceder está abajo . Por favor, intente llamar en otro momento.”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Then silence.

Our one form of communication didn’t work. Just. Great.

We really were alone.

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No matter. This was what we signed up for, wasn’t it?

I took my iPhone out of airplane mode and shot off a quick email to the Jacksons, knowing it was costing me a small fortune in roaming charges, but praying to the cell phone Gods that my message would find its way to them.

I made the message really short:

“Need lighter fluid. And fresh fish. Tomorrow. Thanks!”

Then I used my two burners (and about 12 matches) to whip up some pasta using fresh veges, more of that thick bacon, and a jar of pesto.

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We found what was left of a picnic table, and discovered it made a perfect seaside table for two.

We set up dinner on the east side of the island to watch the sunset as we ate our meal.

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After dinner, Matt used some dried palm leaves and driftwood to get a nice fire going on the beach where we made s’mores using my distinctly non-graham cracker mystery cookies. I had no idea what they were because the entire package was in Spanish. I am pretty sure they were sugar-free, as I realized later what “sin azúcar” meant. Leave it to me to find the one package of diabetic cookies on the entire island of Utila.

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No worries. There was enough sugar in the Hershey bar and giant marshmallows to make our teeth hurt.

We licked the melted chocolate off of our fingers and laughed like children as the fire crackled and the last glow of the sun faded over the horizon.

Did I already say it was magical?

We fell asleep to the sound of gentle waves lapping at the shore from all sides and the sound of the coconut palms rustling in the wind.

Oh, sure. There was also the sound of the occasional hermit crab skittering across the floor.

(I learned quickly to take a flashlight when going to use the bathroom in the dark. One doesn’t make that mistake twice.)

Posted by vicki_h 05:12 Archived in Honduras Tagged beach island caribbean tropical honduras roatan utila little_cay deserted_island Comments (0)

In Pursuit of Paradise Day 1: Naked and Afraid.

The Bay Islands of Honduras

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Ways I can die in Honduras:

1. As Matt so thoughtfully pointed out, Honduras is the murder capital of the world.

2. There is a zipline on every mountain. Flying 200 feet above the ground on a cable erected by workers in a third world country with severely substandard wages and no US Department of Labor probably isn’t a good idea.

3. Sleeping in a house with no a/c in a country infested with mosquitos is as smart as simply injecting the disease into your bloodstream with a syringe. Hello? Malaria? Zika? Dengue? Chicayunga?

4. You can get Hepatitis from drinking the water.

5. I could be a victim of a Honduran roadside shakedown gone bad.

6. I could get macheted to death for refusing to hand over my camera.

7. They have tarantulas and boa constrictors and I would die of fright if I saw one.

8. Can you get sick from holding a monkey?

9. Spending 3 days alone on a deserted island with Matt could likely end up with one of us dead.

This was either going to be the best trip of our lives or the worst.

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We arrived in Roatan shortly after noon local time. We were immediately thrust into the most crowded, chaotic airport I have ever entered. Hundreds of people from 2 arriving flights were being crammed into a queue to go through customs and immigration. Several “airport volunteers” helped to keep everyone guided in the right direction. The power had been out, so it was hotter than the 3rd circle of hell.

We were asked if we were staying on Roatan or connecting and we advised the volunteer that we were on a 2:00 flight to Utila. We were ushered into another line that moved even slower than our original line, which seemed to defeat the purpose of expediting us so that we’d make our flight, but explaining things in rational terms to these folks didn’t seem to be an option. We went with the flow.

After a long, hot wait….we were fingerprinted (all 10 fingers), our documents were examined, we were photographed, and sent on our way. I imagine it would be easier to sneak into the research and development lab at Apple than Honduras.

We then had to exit the airport and re-enter on the departure side, which was even hotter than the arrivals side. And more chaotic.

Lines streamed behind each airline and a HUGE line extended across the length of the airport under a sign that read “Departure Lounge.”

We found the counter for tiny CM Airlines and were given big plastic cards to use for boarding. We then got in the huge departure line and waited.

And waited. And waited.

It appeared the line was taking us back through immigration to be fingerprinted again.

This didn’t make any sense.

I saw a much shorter departure line with no one in it.

“I think that’s the domestic departure line,” I said.

We moved over and discovered it was, indeed, the domestic departure line. No sign of any kind overhead. The only indicator was a sign painted on the floor. Because you can certainly see that clearly from 200 feet away in a room filled with sweaty bodies.

Inside the “departure lounge” (this is their term, not mine….it was not lounge like in any capacity), we proceeded to wait in another very hot line.

Eventually, we were herded in a very chaotic fashion with a disorganized group out onto the tarmac where we boarded a less than amazing 15-seater plane.

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I suspected they didn’t put a lot of stock in safety when I noticed that my seatbelt appeared to be missing some important parts and there was no safety briefing. I was certain no one had done a weight and balance, and the rear door was shut by the passenger in the back seat.

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No matter. We made it on time, with relative ease, and were on our way to the small island of Utila!

The flight was quick and uneventful. Twenty minutes later, we landed on a tiny airstrip on the island of Utila.

The Utila airport was not much to look at.

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Several tuk-tuks were waiting, so we jumped inside one and asked to be driven to Bush’s Supermarket, the largest grocery store on Utila, where we would pick up our groceries and wait on the boat dock behind the store for Barry Jackson, who would take us to Little Cay for the next 3 days.

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Utila Town was small and lively. Scooters, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, trucks, and vans all competed noisily for the single lane road that ran through town. The air was filled with the mingled scents of exhaust, salt air, and fried dough. Dogs barked lazily in the shade, and music pumped out of several small bars.

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We found Bush's easily enough and were dropped off with our luggage. I had one hour before Barry arrived. I left Matt sitting out front in a plastic chair with the luggage and several old men smoking cigarettes and went inside with my list.

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I have shopped in many small island grocery stores. I know what to expect. Still, I expected more.

Shopping at Bush’s was an experience in patience, frustration, and creativity.

They had the most random, incomplete, awkward selection of products that I believe one could amass in a central location and still call a grocery store. I had come prepared with a list. When spending 3 nights on a remote island with minimal amenities, you need to plan properly. It’s not like we could run to the corner to pick up something we forgot.

List be damned. They didn’t have anything that was on it.

I started to panic, realizing Barry would be there soon and all I had in my cart was a giant block of mysterious cheese and a squeeze bag of refried beans. I scowled as I looked through freezers filled with bags of frozen meat labelled simply, “Ground meat.” BUT WHAT KIND OF MEAT??? I pawed through boxes of produce I didn’t recognize. I flipped over packages that were entirely in Spanish three or four times, thinking maybe there was some English on there somewhere that I just didn’t see the first time.

The most puzzling aspect was that about half of the packages were opened. Like someone just got hungry while they were shopping, decided to pop open a pack of moon pies and eat one. Haphazardly opened packages filled the store. A box of butter might only contain 2 sticks. A box of granola bars might have a few missing.

I was later told that it's perfectly acceptable to open packages at the store and just buy what you need. You can even ask for half an onion and they'll cut it for you. You only want half a can of Coke? They'll actually open one and pour it in a cup.

Despite the randomness of the inventory, I managed to put together what I felt was a pretty decent collection that would serve us well for the next couple of days. I was sweating profusely and was close to a panic attack, but as they boxed my groceries up, my breathing returned to normal and I realized nothing was that important. So I couldn’t find graham crackers. We were on our way to a PRIVATE ISLAND.

It was going to be amazing. Even without graham crackers.

They delivered our boxes of groceries and our luggage to the back of the store and placed them on the boat dock where we could wait for Barry.
Somehow, we managed 15 minutes to spare, so I sent Matt in search of sustenance.

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He came back with margaritas.

Matt is a good man.

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As we gulped the tequila down faster than the ice could melt in the 97 degree heat, Barry pulled up in his boat.

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Then it was off to Little Cay. Private island paradise or the worst experience of our lives? Only time would tell.

As the little island came into view and began to take shape in the distance, my heart started to beat faster.

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It was around 4:00 p.m. when Barry dropped us off on Little Cay with our two suitcases, two boxes of groceries, a cooler of ice, drinking water, and lots of apprehension.

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As Barry’s boat pulled away, the fading of the sound of its motor left behind a very loud silence.

Matt and I were alone on a one acre private island with a modest house and minimal amenities. Purchased by the Jackson family in 1968 and developed about three decades later (“developed” being a relative term), Little Cay was about 6 miles west of Utila Town, but felt worlds away from anywhere.

The house was a very basic, open structure with minimal power provided by solar panels and a giant empty hole where the hand-crank generator used to be. There was running water from a cistern that collected rainwater, but no hot water. There was no air conditioning and random wires stuck out from the ceiling where the fans used to be. There was no television, stereo system, or wi-fi. There was only one working power outlet in the entire house. Our only means of communication was a small cell phone on the counter that had Barry’s number saved on it. Gourmet kitchen? Try a charcoal grill pit and a gas stove with only two working burners that had to be lit with matches every time we needed to cook.

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It wasn’t exactly Survivor. It wasn’t exactly Necker Island. It was something else altogether.

We spent the first moments in delight and disbelief, discovering every inch of our own personal island. We walked from one end of the island to the other.

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This took exactly 4 minutes.

We had no idea what to do for the remaining 3,966 minutes.

What was this going to be like? Did this have the ingredients for an amazing vacation or just a really good reality TV show? I feared it was the latter and started to wonder which one it would be….Paradise Island? Survivor? When Vacations Attack? Snapped?

Most likely it would be Naked and Afraid. He’d be naked and I’d be afraid. We’d only been here 5 minutes and he was already calling it “Naked Island.”

We only had about 2 hours of daylight left, so we needed to unpack, put the groceries away, and get dinner made while we still had some light.

Dinner presented the first challenge.

We had charcoal, but no lighter fluid because I couldn’t find any in the store. While Matt went on a search of the various closets and buildings to see if he could find something we could use, I set about trying to figure out the stove.

There were 5 knobs, but all of the markings had long since been rubbed off, so I had no idea which knob went with which burner. It also wasn’t obvious what position to turn the knob to in order to light the burner.

I proceeded to go through the awkward process of holding down a knob with my knee, while using both hands to light one of the world’s crappiest matches in a windy kitchen, which resulted in the match immediately blowing out. I would have to light a minimum of 3 matches before one would catch and hold. Then, while holding the knob in with my knee and trying to shield my match from the wind with one hand and hold it with the other, I had to quickly hold it to each burner to find which one(s) worked. I found two and I managed to do it without blowing myself up.

Matt discovered a bottle of mysterious blue liquid that he felt certain was lighter fluid and attempted to get the grill going.

Success!

We grilled up some shrimp, cooked some rice, and made a quick salad.

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We managed to get dinner ready in time to eat before the last dying rays of sunlight disappeared, leaving us in utter darkness.

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Yes, the house had a few lights, but they were weak and we were tired. We’d also experienced a 2 hour time change and had endured a long travel day. We discovered on that first night that it was simply easiest to go to bed at 8:00 p.m.

We chose the downstairs bedroom because it had a king sized bed and tons of windows that opened to the breeze. We put up our mosquito net, put flashlights on the nightstands, and called it a night.

Tic…ticticic…..tak….tiktac….tictictiktac……..

I woke up in the middle of the night, completely disoriented. It was so dark I couldn’t see my hand before my face and something was lying across my leg. I swiped at it and lurched forward only to realize it was just the mosquito net, blowing in the breeze.

Tiktac…tikkkky…tactactick……

And what was that noise?????? Dear Jesus. There was something in here with us. Why not? All the doors and windows were wide open. I knew I should have slept with the flashlight under my pillow.

I carefully pulled up the mosquito net and grabbed my flashlight, hitting the button quietly, so the intruder would not be alerted.

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Dozens of hermit crabs were crawling all over the floor.

Tic…tic…tac…tikkkk…..

You know, it’s amazing what you can tolerate when you are really, really tired.

I sighed and hoped they didn’t have any interest in getting into bed.

Posted by vicki_h 07:00 Archived in Honduras Tagged beach island caribbean tropical honduras roatan utila little_cay deserted_island Comments (6)

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