Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Day 4: Roatan, Honduras
Day 4: Roatan Island, Honduras
We docked at Roatan Island, Honduras at 7:30 this morning. We were already up having our morning coffee at 6:30 and enjoyed watching the procedure. The tie down lines from the ship had to be secured to two small concrete islands in the bay which necessitated workers being taken by motor boat to tie off the ship.
We got ready for the day. Our nature tour to Gumbalima Park didn’t leave until 10am, so after a great breakfast we decided to walk off the ship and see the welcoming native band on the dock. There were ten performers dressed in native costumes. The men were dressed like women and we learned later that when the conquistadors arrived in the 16th century they took all the males away as slaves. To avoid being taken, the males learned to dress as females.
Promptly at 10am we were met on the dock by our guide for the day, Nelson Garnett. We boarded a small tour bus for a 20 minute ride to the park. Gumbalima is a private reserve built for the tourist trade on Roatan. It has a resident flock of brightly colored macaws, which we did not see except for the ones in large enclosures. We were overly warned about the monkeys, white-faced capachino. We were told they would take your glasses, earrings, hearing aids, open your bags and pockets looking for food. Fortunately none of that came to pass.
The park is beautiful with many orchids, tropical flowers, plants, trees and some wild birds. I saw a group of 10 Tennessee warblers filling themselves before making the flight across the Gulf of Mexico. I did find a Red-vented (Yucatan) woodpecker in the dense undergrowth.
After walking through the park we arrived back where we started and returned to our ship around 1:30pm just in time for lunch. After a nap, some reading of our mystery novels and watching a little TV, we went out on the balcony to watch the ship get ready to pull away from the dock at 5:00 pm.
All the passengers were warned to be on board no later than 4pm but there must have been at least forty folks who “didn’t get the memo”. MA watched one officer “scold” a late arrival pointing to his watch. They were not interested in what he had to say and kept on walking up the gangway. Some folks just have a different steel drum to beat I guess. Belize is next!