We headed first to the highlands of Guatemala where we spent a few nights in Antigua before moving on to Lake Atitlán to enjoy the scenery, renew friendships at the Cooperativa Spanish School, and celebrate with our Beca Project students and their families. Then we flew to the island of Roatán, Honduras for beaches, snorkeling, diving, and flyfishing. HAPPY TRAILS!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Our week in Sandy Bay, Island of Roatan

Our home away from home this week is in Sandy Bay which is toward the western end of the north shore of Roatán. We have an apartment this week at Hobbies Hideaway which, combined with the Sunshine Cafe and Bar, sits on a beautiful beach; there's a nice long wood pier that juts out 75 yards into the Caribbean. Here's the property from the driveway,
from the pier,
and from the beach.
The door to our apartment is right next to the bar; if you squint hard maybe you can see Mike behind the turquoise post by the wooden door to our apartment.
Here are a few shots of the apartment, a great value at $300 for the week. It's an interesting combination of furniture, art, and tile - a bit rough around the edges in places but with new Ikea pots and pans and Mikasa dishes.
The edge of the cafe by the beach is lined with hummingbird feeders that do a brisk business.
The beach is white sand mixed with tiny shells.
Some of the shells are inhabited by hermit crabs so I picked a few to be my pets for the week (they liked popcorn and apple but ignored grape, beans, and rice).
One of them was surprisingly clever - circling the pot until she found tiny holes to use as footholds to make a bold escape.
Here she is taking a whiff of the garlic on the counter before I returned her to a more escape-proof pot.
This volunteer pet on the bathroom counter was promptly returned to the beach.
As with our week in Camp Bay, Mike's focus here has been on stalking bonefish and permit. Unfortunately there's not much out there; his scores for the week included spotting a few large bonefish, casting to a few permit, and catching (and releasing) a good-sized sargeant major. He's a good sport, though, and didn't let less than stellar fishing spoil his vacation.
Somehow this local guy with line wrapped around a stick scored a barracuda.
My focus for the week was snorkeling (which I sometimes shared with Mike) and diving; there will be a separate post about those.

We arrived Saturday and ate dinner (TexMex is the specialty) and breakfast at the cafe. On Sunday we walked up to the main road and hailed a colectivo (share) taxi to a grocery store to buy the rest of our food for the week. Just up from the apartment is the local cemetery.
We also passed this beautiful, large lizard with bright eyes.
I had my camera along but the Plaza Mar grocery store in Coxen Hole, though efficient and well stocked, was not interesting enough for photos. In the variety section, though, we passed this large pile of dog muzzles.
On Friday I walked back up the hill and took a colectivo taxi to the Carambola Reserve for some hiking. It was humid and hot and wonderfully green.
My kids might remember seeing leaves on the ground like these in Belize - they look dried but there's no crunch because of the humidity. If you've followed my blogs before you know I periodically post a photo of my foot - proof I was there. :-)
Lots of beautiful flowers
including orchids.
Always a favorite - leaf cutter ants, known in Central America as "weewees".
The reward at the top of the hill is this view of the water (if you're curious, that's islands are Anthony's Key Resort).
Back by the main office I discovered their hummingbird feeders were more popular with bees and lizards than birds.
On the colectivo ride back to the apartment I shared the back seat with a local mom and her tiny daughter, hair in braids and beads. I asked the driver to stop so I could donate a few lempiras to these school kids - so cute!
We enjoyed the sunsets (6-6:30 pm this close to the equator) and cloud shows; sometimes the sky had streaks and colors in other directions. If you squint, maybe in the 1st one you can see Mike in a sky blue shirt, looking for fish.
Here's one of my favorites. Happy trails!

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