The Bay Islands of Honduras
31.03.2016 - 31.03.2016
So far, the trip had been pretty lazy. We were both in the mood for a little more activity, so we had booked Villas del Mar’s private boat, Shaya Manzi, for a snorkeling trip. This would allow us to avoid trying to find those darn buoys with the kayaks again.
After a luxurious morning by the pool, the boat picked us up on the dock promptly at 10:30 a.m.
As we sipped cold drinks, we sped along the east end of Roatan with a fish’s eye view of the coast and its colorful villages.
After a nice ride, we stopped and tied off near the reef so that Matt and I could snorkel for about an hour. The reef was incredibly colorful and lively, definitely one of the best I have ever seen.
After our swim, we lounged in the sun with cheese and crackers and more drinks before heading back to Brisa.
We arrived back at the house around 12:30 and decided to drive to the east end for lunch at Asylum at La Sirena de Camp Bay, a breezy over-the-water tiki hut serving fresh fish and strong drinks. We knew it would be a long, dusty drive, so we hoped we’d eaten enough cheese to hold us over.
If Roatan is the best kept secret in the Caribbean, then the East End is the best kept secret in Roatan.
We drove a few miles and then the pavement gave way to a dirt road. The road was bumpy, dusty, and hot. It was also incredibly remote, winding its way through dense green foliage dotted with a few homes and a lot of cows.
On the drive, we passed a young boy who enthusiastically thrust a live chicken toward our car window as we passed. Apparently the vehicle did serve to make us appear to be locals, otherwise I can see no reason he would shove a chicken at me. Did he think we would stop, toss him a few lempiras, grab that chicken by the feet and tie it to the bumper for the rest of the ride?
Next we passed a tuk-tuk, a beat up motorbike, and a guy standing on the side of the road with a machete.
“Asylum…La Sirene de Camp Bay” a colorful sign proclaimed with an arrow pointing us farther east.
We bumped along in the sunshine along the roller coaster road.
The signs were incessant. I guess they were worried we’d give up.
I can see why. My back compressed a few more inches with each bump in the road. I was pretty sure I was going to be shorter when I got there than I had been that morning.
There was definitely a sense of adventure to it, maybe not golden-idol-flying-arrows-unstoppable-boulder adventure, but I’d put it a notch past “off the beaten path.” It was off the beaten, worn down, ragged out, unpaved, covered with unexpected speed bumps and live chickens out of nowhere path.
Eventually we arrived at a small thatched hut on stilts just off the shore with an enormous pig guarding the entrance.
The bar is aptly named “Asylum” because you will be insane by the time you finish that drive.
It wasn’t an easy drive, but it was worth every bump.
Asylum was definitely my kind of place. No frills and truly unique.
I loved everything about it.
Except the bathroom.
We visited the pig, who had the unimaginative name “Piggy,” and settled ourselves on a picnic table over the water.
Unfortunately, they were out of the famous rum punch they are so well known for, but we made do with rum and coke.
Lots of rum and coke.
We ordered the spicy wings, the fresh catch, and the shrimp. All were delicious.
They also had a house made hot sauce.
“Are you sure you want to put that much on there? You might want to go easy on that,” Matt cautioned as I continued to glob more hot sauce on my peas n’ rice.
“Are you crazy? This stuff is PHENOMENAL,” I said, through a mouthful of plantains.
We put it off as long as we could, truly enjoying this breezy outpost on the end of the world, but the drive back was inevitable. It had to be done.
We downed a final rum and coke for good luck and headed back down the road.
We made a pit stop at Camp Bay Beach and were stunned at how gorgeous it was. There wasn't another soul in sight.
When we were sufficiently cooled off, we headed back down the road.
We made a quick stop in Jonesville on the way home to see if we could find Hole in the Wall, an obscure little bar mostly known for its famous Sunday buffet. It wasn’t Sunday, but the fact that you had to find a mysterious boat to take you over intrigued me.
My directions were sketchy, leading us to a “store at the end of the road in Jonesville with a Coca-Cola sign painted on the wall.”
This was obviously it.
No, it wasn’t.
The young lady inside directed us a little farther down the road to another “store at the end of the road with a Coca-Cola sign painted on the wall.”
When we arrived, the girl behind the register made a quick call, and in seconds, a little boat was whizzing across the water toward us.
We were whisked away to the Hole in the Wall.
A couple of rum punches and an interesting conversation with the bartender later, we were worn out from drinks and naps and sun and needed a shower.
We made the drive back to Brisa, where Fausto was already at the gate.
We had arranged for Rosa to cook us dinner in our villa that night. We had been given a list of ingredients to purchase at the grocery store and for $25, she came in and cooked our dinner and cleaned up. She made a delicious salad, bread, and her famous shrimp masala with carrot rice.
As we sat by the pool in the soft glow of the moon sipping a glass of wine, Rosa cleaned up our dishes.
I have never felt so spoiled.
This place was decadent.
It was about 2:00 a.m. when the Revenge of the Hot Sauce hit. Just suffice it say that Matt was right and I was wrong.