Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

New Year's Eve on Roatan was quite the cultural experience.  We decided to skip the restaurant with the fixed price holiday party and pick a nice place on the beach to enjoy a beautiful sunset and meal.  We always dine early here to enjoy the sunset, but also because the only reasonable way out of this hillside home is on foot down to the water since there are no taxis driving up and down this hill. 

Not to change the subject, but we opted out of renting a car for a month.  Primarily, that would be because I don't want the stress of driving around here, not to mention the island has a reputation of being a place where a car can acquire multiple dents within days of departing the airport.  (There are two little rental cars sitting up on the casa's parking pad this morning, and I notice one already has a new Roatan dent in it that will entail taking it to a body shop for repairs or having huge charges slapped onto the credit card when they depart.  The owner's truck also has a brand new dent in the rear fender with a missing tail light, but I don't think the two vehicles' dents match.)

Anyway, we dressed in appropriate New Year's Eve island finery and added a full body spray of our favorite island cologne -- Deep Wood's Off -- in preparation for our hike and big evening in town.

On the way into West Bay, we passed cruisers lingering at Gumbalimba Park for their last glimpses of Roatan before they boarded the van back to the ship.  The beach vendors were having their own little New Year's Eve pre-party at a picnic table and one of the many untrained massagers was squirting baby oil on a guy in a lounger. 

And then we met the Turtle Man who walks the beaches with a platter of stone turtles.   He asked us at least four times on our way to town if we'd buy a tortuga.  He asked as he passed, then waited for us on top the bridge, speed walked forward and turned around to come back at us on the next stretch of beach, on and on and on . . . .

Once we put our toes (actually walking sandals) into the sand of West Bay, we quickly settled on the Argentinian Grill for our New Year's Eve feast.   They're known for excellent steaks and seafood.

As we were enjoying Happy Hour Cuba Libre's, the little turtle guy once again climbed up to our table with his platter of tortugas.  He either never makes eye contact to remember faces, or he's just that persistent.  LOL 

You no like tortugas?  You got it Little Daddy!  Hate the damn things!

After a beautiful sunset and wonderful feast of grilled lobster tails, we continued our walk down West Bay beach in the dark.  The New Year's festivities would not begin for hours, so we decided to hit the tiny West Bay mall and buy something so we'd have change for a cab for the ride home.  We feel perfectly safe walking into West Bay during daylight hours, but there's no way I'd attempt the jungle/beach walk after dark.

OMG!  There was Big Daddy!  I've been looking for this particular Big Daddy for over a week because we want to schedule a day land tour with him!  Skinny Daddy (not sure if that's his son?) asked us if we needed a cab and soon we were headed back out to Tamarind Drive making plans for our Sunday tour of Roatan.

When we climbed up the stairs to our Seaview Apartment, we noticed the fan lights were on.  That's the tell-tale sign that the generator has once again kicked on due to power outages.  We're SO glad we picked lodging where they have a generator because I can't imagine how many days/hours we would have spent without electricity this past week without it. 

The hill was completely pitch black below us except for some small flashlights in the compound down the hill.  They have a very noisy generator down there, but I'm guessing it's only hooked to essentials inside the house.  Normally that area is lit up like a shopping mall, but we can tell when the power's off because we only see lanterns and flashlights.

Fireworks have been blasting off for days in the hills around us, but we both woke up at midnight.  Ka-BOOM!  West Bay and West End evidently have a competition at midnight on New Year's Eve answering each other with volleys of fire power.  We could see the brilliant light in the sky over the hills, but only a few were shot high enough to actually see the beautiful colorful formations over the tops of the large hills between us.  The blasts went on for over a half hour, and then the conch blowing competition started.  We'd hear a conch blow from one direction, then be answered from the other.  I finally dropped off to sleep, so I'm not sure who won that match.

As Craig pointed out, no snow this New Year's Eve!  Last year we exited a party to find six inches of snow on the roof of our car.  This year we slept to the rustling of wind through the palms and little bombs being blasted through the hills.

Hope 2016 is a wonderful new year for all of us full of love and new adventures!

No comments: