Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saved by the Bugs

Roatan is seriously beautiful!  It's lush like Kauai, and growth has been somewhat limited.  Most development is no taller than the palms.  In the neighborhood where we're staying, surrounding homes are hidden in the dense vegetation.  The only noise we hear is the wind in the trees and the rare scooter on the road way above us.

There's a penance to pay in a place so beautiful.  We came loaded with cans and bottles of potions to ward off mosquitos, sandflies, no see um's, and all the other nasty biting critters that have scared us away up until now.  We've gone through a large can of Deep Woods Off and will be needing another since Deet seems to work best.  We're also taking anti-malarials which may not be needed.  So far we seem to be winning the battle of the bugs, but I hesitate to even say that.  Knock on wood.

Walking back from West Bay this afternoon, we saw two women who've lost the battle.  They were sitting directly on the sand in  swimsuits at water's edge reading books.  All their exposed extremities were covered with large sores, bites, welts, and rashes.  They looked like Survivor victims, but there they were lolling about on the sand without even a towel underneath on a stretch of undeveloped beach that isn't maintained or raked.  Craig and I simultaneously said duh once we were beyond ear shot.  I'll just say it doesn't take a rocket scientist . . . .  

When the cruise ships aren't in port, basically Friday through Monday, West End and West Bay are relatively uncrowded and laid back.  Today we walked the length of West Bay beach to the very end where the sand meets the lush hillside.  This end of the beach is snorkeling nirvana.

Very few people were out in the water.

Vendor's booths sat unmanned.

Santa was trying to sell cigars, but there were no takers.

Water taxis and tour boats sat waiting for customers.

And stretches of sand were almost vacant.
Since tomorrow's Sunday, we expect to see more of the same.  Let me point out that this is the holidays when most tropical destinations are packed.
I think this island has been saved by the bugs. 


Laurie Matherne said...

What beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. Roatan has an image problem because it's part of Honduras. Although the troubles of the mainland traditionally didn't affect the islands, they are times when they do. People hear of murders of tourists, although rare, and they stay away. Enjoy!

Life's a Beach! said...

Laurie, the owner was telling us the worst year for them rental-wise was the year of the supposed military coup and the earthquake. The locals talk about how it's starting to boom, but seems laidback and quiet to us -- except for the hours when the cruisers visit West Bay and West End. That's pretty easy to avoid. I think the price of airfare from the U.S. probably helps keep numbers down.