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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Last of the Roatan Pics.

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 2:06 pm on Monday, April 30, 2007

Artsy Roatan

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 2:03 pm on Monday, April 30, 2007

I liked the three very different colors…this was taken through ankle deep water.

I love trees. This bad boy is designed in such a way,  in full, mind numbing heat,  there is complete shade beneath.

I finally figured out the macro setting on my camera. This flower is smaller the nail on my pinky finger.

Long Beach, California

Filed under: Interlude — she_travels at 1:43 pm on Monday, April 30, 2007

Did ya know there is a “long beach” here. I know cause we walked a bit of it yesterday. The haze was a bit to thick to see much but it was a delightful walk with “The Boys”

“The Boys” being the guys I met in Honduras last year while visiting an eco lodge. We were there to hike, raft and kayak. The three of us were getting along so well when I went back to West Bay I brought them with me.

We had a grand ole time yesterday afternoon, walking what felt a huge loop from the house to the sea, then back through a bit of Long Beach. We were on a street that reminded me much of Pearl in Boulder, live music, bars, high end shops, art stores, and plenty of dogs.

They were off to work this morning. I am left sorting my stuff while attemptimg to organize for the next leg of my adventure.

Oops, I forgot to mention, “The Boys” and I finally connected yesterday.

Hurry up!!.. Wait

Filed under: Trains and Planes — she_travels at 3:02 am on Sunday, April 29, 2007

4.28.07

I am sitting at the Roatan airport.

Gerrilee had to leave West Bay sooner than I thought, good thing the maids wanted in so I got out of the room a bit eariler than I had expected. We had a nice chat about this and that on the way here. He was kind enough to carry my pack all the way to the front of the Delta Que. He saw someone he needed to talk to and said he would be back to say goodbye.

I asked the lady to put me as close to the front of the plane as possible. She said the plane was as full as it can get so switching seats can’t be done. When I got the boarding pass back the time if the flight said 1200. Here I thought it was a 130 flight. There are at least two other direct flights to the states long about the same time.

I plopped myself at Gate 1, which is one of two doors to the plane tarmac. Yes, in this place one must walk outside, along the tarmac in the heat while attempting to spy the correct plane with a set of stairs to climb on. (I was lucky this trip, there was only one Delta plane available, the other two were Continental) The other door is behind the wall in front of me and it’s only for domestic flights. I always wonder, if while sitting here I miss the flight cause the PA system is so poor. Usually I find another person on my flight and keep track of them.

Anywho,  I am about out of battery life, the reason for the entry is the passport issues I thought I was having. They disappeared with the breeze this morning. I paid the $33 departure tax, moved up the customs guy. I started to tell him the pink bit of paper was lost and he said “Spanish?” I shook my head. He puttered about with the passport for a bit. Picked up a paper like the one I lost and gave me a questioning look. I said “Lost” while opening my empty hands. He found a blank one, handed it to me, I filled it out, he stamped the passport and away I went.

At this point in the story ya wonder what I had my shorts in a bunch about. Well, there is some discussion about having to check in with immigration every thirty days, get a new stamp and pay them $20. There was a guy on the plane down who said he had over stayed his stamp and they were very vexed with him in addition to charging him a fee. I was bit concerned they were going to charge me the $20 per month plus the “we are displeased with you fee”

I am starting to think, like so many other things in the world, it depends on your behavior and the emotional state of the person in control.  Had the guy with the passport been feeling crabby it may have gone differently. As it was not so much did he blink an eye. 

I am telling ya everything works out, there is no need to panic or get yourself in a mood others can’t deal with.

On to the next bit, concentrating on understanding the PA system so I don’t miss my flight. The people going  to Houston are all lined up to board now.  

4.29.07 Early in any time zone

It is 4:45 here, my watch says 2:45. I am going to a place where the sun comes up 4 hours sooner than where I am currently standing.  I leave here, sit on the plane just under 5 hours and arrrive one hour later. Travel, its enough to entice the strongest of people over the edge.

I guess we are back to “Time!! it is the wackiest of things.”

I have a note about the airport crazies in Honduras but it’s in the other computer. This is the hotel computer. Honest I will get”the blog, the blog” cleaned up soon.

I was emailed a phone number for my friends in LA so I think that will come together after all.  See, ya just gotta let the universe take care of ya, everything turns out in the end.  

4.29.07 Many hours later depending on your time zone.

I made it to LA. The flight was L..O..N..G but it went just fine. The plane was about empty so I had a whole row to myself. I am short enough I can curl up on three seats and be fairly comfy. Once in the air I did just that, managed to spend four hours dozing and sleeping.

I woke up just in time to have the snack Delta was offering and connect to the airline computer to see there were 27 minutes left of flight. Gotta love those tiny screens in the seats. They had a fair selection of movies but wanted 5 bucks per viewing. Shezz! I hope the during the Chicago Ireland leg the movies are free. Different airline so perhaps I will get lucky.

There was an email last night from the friends I am suppose to meet here. I am having hard time getting in touch with them. I found a machine that offers phone cards. It says no connection fees but its lying. There were suppose to be 25 minutes for 10 dollars but it only allowed me to make two called of about 3 minutes each. There is a connection fee, they take it out of your minutes. Far to expensive for me. It took some doing but I finally found a few computers lining a wall, they are 25 cents a minute. So,I tossed the guys an email telling them I would try back in an hour or so. If they is no reply I think I will trek back to baggage claim to find a hotel for this evening giving me a much time to connected with them.

I have had about all I can stand of airports and would dearly love to find a place to plop my bags so I can track down a Target. I need to find a post office or post net to ship some stuff to Colo as well.

My hour of waiting is about up, I should trot over to the dollar computers.

Endings

Filed under: Endings,Roatan — she_travels at 5:44 pm on Friday, April 27, 2007

Holy Banana Boats!!

Here it is the morning of April 28th. Where the heck did twelve weeks go?

I woke up with the birds at 5am, I usually do. The birds in this part of the world are rowdy at day light. I don’t so much mind. I take a cup of water and my toothbrush out to the pier. Brushing my teeth while watching a Caribbean island wake up is one of my favorite pleasures.

I was online yesterday for long enough to make sure my house payment will be made and find a place in Atlanta to sleep tonight. Hotels.com, ya gotta love the internet.

I am still not sure what the plan is in LA. Mom suggested, while speaking to her on the phone yesterday morning, she might pop out to LA if I don’t connect with friends there.

My emotional state about leaving this place is starting to even out. I may not want to leave but I also want to leave. The wackiness in me for the past few days may have been misplaced excitement or just me slightly dreading hopping on and off plans for the next five days.

For those of you that don’t know planes and I don’t get on so. I have learned not to eat the evening before and day of flight. My first task when locating my seat is to find an airsick bag. I have tried every over the counter drug that does not make me loopy with no results.

When I was in New Zealand one hundred and ten years ago I had a real live panic attack. At least I think that’s what it was. I had zero control over the way my body was reacting. I was sick first then there was some time I don’t remember but when my brain kicked back in to take stock of the situation I had tears running down my face, my hands had a death grip on the arm rests. I had a vague sense someone was trying to get my attention but I could not move. Time did that jump thing again. When I came back someone was sitting next to me with his hand on mine. He was saying something my gray matter was gradually bringing into focus. “You are going to be fine, try to concentrate on your breathing, in through you nose out through you mouth. Concentrate, we are going to land soon. Think about your breathing. You will be fine”

I did what he told me. I put all my effort into breathing and lessoning to him chant “in through your nose, out through your mouth, just a little longer”

The minute the wheels of the plane hit the ground I came back to myself if a bit fuzzy. The flight attendant was talking to the guy with the voice “I have never seen anyone that bad.”

She noticed I was understanding, “Is someone meeting you in Auckland?”

Shaking my head I said “No, I am flying to America.”

I was rewarded with look of disbelief and a slight shake of her head.

The guy with the voice got up to collect some things from the seat behind me. He must have move up when I was freaking out cause when the plane took off I was the only one in that row. Sadly, in those days I was far to young and dumb to understand just how kind he had been. I did thank him but thinking back on it now I should have tried harder to make him feel more appreciated. The longer one lives the more you realize the kindness of strangers is not so common. Not to mention, who wants to get involved with some crazy chick loosing her mind. I can use the excuse of my brain and body where not at all on the same page, not to mention I was just as concerned about getting on another plane as the flight attendant.

Interestingly enough, the flight from Auckland to LA was easy enough. I was air sick but past that I was fine.

Over the years I have tried various ways to deal with my wacky flight boggles. I may have come up with the correct combination for keeping me on an even keel. Depending on the time of flight no food the night before or the day of. I request as close to the front of the plane as possible. I have earplugs to lighten the sound of the engines, I have an eye mask to restrict the variations of light in the cabin. I have a U shaped cushion for behind my neck (thank you for the gift). I ignore everyone and everything from take off to landing. If everything is going my way I don’ get sick much less freak out.

People hear this story and wonder why on earth I ever get on a plane. My reply is simple “I refuse to allow fear to rule my actions. Besides, there is a whole lot of world out there to see. People to meet, new things to learn.”

Last I heard Foster was on the mainland. Big bummer there, I don’t get my “see ya next year” hug.

Ok, I gotta take a shower and sort out my bags before tossing this on the Blog.

Time and then some

Filed under: Ponderings,Roatan — she_travels at 9:34 am on Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dang! I think I am getting a bit freaked out about leaving this place. I have not been able to pin point why. Jake (one of the guys at the restaurant) suggested it is because I have been here so long. Some version of that may be a factor. I don’t think my boggle is I don’t want to leave. Though, in the past, that has been a problem.

I think it is less about not wanting to leave and more about not knowing exactly what is next. OK, I know LA for four days is next but what that will look like is a bit murky. Not ever having been to Ireland makes the next eight weeks all kinds of unclear.

Add the above to the fact that I may not want to leave here. Dang! I think I am freaking out just a bit.

Let us change the subject

I have moved enough times while being here that I have packed and repacked my bag. There are some things I have not used but the weather is going to be different in Ireland so its not time to ditch them yet. There may be a few items I ship back to Colo. For the most part I am happy with what I packed. I have become very adept at hand washing being I only have four shirts with me.

They make a solid soap down here one can use for any number of things, dishes, floors, cloths. I plan to take some away with me. Airlines are limiting the liquids you can take and this being a solid, the hitch is I keep wondering of the security system is going to read my cylinder solid soap as some sort of explosive.

There are still some small concern about the stamp in my passport. I have considered zipping by the airport to see just how bad the situation is then I think I will just tell the truth. The pink bit of paper with a notation of ninety days on it was lost. There was no mention at the time I arrive that one had to check in with immigration every 30 days. Let us hope the truth will work and that misplacing the pink bit of paper is not cause to be nasty to me.

I walked to West End this morning, had a chat with the chick that lived next to me the first two months I was here. Things are rolling along with their construction project. Got a wave from Gerrilee who was having breakfast at Rudy’s with friends. Had a chat with the Dutch lady in a gift shop about an Irish author by the name of Maeve Binchy. Talked with Theresa (the owner of the Palmetto house) She wants to meet for lunch tomorrow. I also had surprising chat with the lady who is opening a pet store here. She asked when I would be back. I told her perhaps Jan/Feb of 2008. She then said she needed to go back to Canada to sort some stuff out would I be willing to care for her five cats and the pet store. I told her we could sure talk about the possibilities.

The other truly strange bit of info I found while in town,”because of global warming the sun’s rays are going to be very dangerous for the next three days” I heard this tid bit from three different sources. Now, one must understand the island is very small, much like a small town in the states this place has a whopper of a rumor mill.

When I arrived back in West Bay the people here were talking about it too. They have a more scientific reasoning. “Because of the tilt of the planet and the way it is lining up with the sun Honduras is the closest place on the globe to the sun, therefore the most dangerous of the sun’s rays will be strongest here.

Either way it sounds like it’s a grand thing I am not a sun worshipper. I know, I know, I have been on an island in the Caribbean for three months, how could I not be a sun worshipper.

Three months…man where did all those weeks go? Time, I am telling ya, Time is one wacky arse thing.

WindWard Side

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 7:33 am on Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I have been promising you pics of the other side of the island. I am running out of time here so this is going to be quick. I may have a chance to organize better next week. Thing are starting to move pretty fast with my leaving here Sat.

 

I have been calling this Foster’s Forest for years. In the distance is the Sea but the light was a bit funny. 

Turtle Crossing… On a clear day you can see the mainland of Honduras.

From the hill just past Foster’s Forest. He has said on more than one occasion he is going to build a house on this hill.  I think it a grand idea, the views are amazing, there is always a breeze and there is not a bug to be found.

Foster built a gazebo over a key hole, a cut in the volcanic rock where the water rushes in a small path.

From the tree line in near the gazebo looking back at the hill and the forest. 

 

The key hole. The pic is at a funny angle cause I was leaning over the railing and trying not to fall in to the water.

A bit different than the beach pics…huh?

Looking the other direction, you can just see farther down the island.

The colors in this pic do not do to water justice. Ahh but it is a nice place to sit while mastering the art of doing nothing.

If ya wanna own a bit of the windward side.

I do love the colors of this place.

West Bay, Roatan

Filed under: Educational,Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 6:31 pm on Monday, April 23, 2007

Yes, folks I have moved once again. In the spirit of keeping you up to date I have pictures if the morning walk. Ok. the walk I took this morning anywho. It was a bit abbreviated being that when I landed my morning hug from Mr. Foster he said “How do you feel about helping out in the office today, good?”

Me being the person I am with zero ability to say no said instead “Sure, whatever you want.”

Thus, shorten walk. The good news is pictures of beautiful West Bay Beach follow.

As you can see very little would dare wash up on West Bay Beach. It is clean, beautiful white sand.

This is 8am in the morning for gosh sake!

The end of the beach hits this wall and the reef is three steps from the sand.

If you are looking to buy….

West Bay from the hill.

Foster is the guy that owns the resort where I have stayed most of the years I have been down here. His daily ritual is to rake the grounds.  The sea is at my feet.

Glass Flat

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 7:17 pm on Friday, April 20, 2007

I think I was offered a hint of what summer is like down here. The locals will tell you its not so much that the temp is higher but because there is no breeze it seems hotter. It may be where the phrase “calm before the storm” comes from. This “no breeze” weather is exactly that, the calm before the fall storms start. If I was more of a weather educated person I could prolly tell you why. As it is I am just a people who enjoys the drama of weather. There was no drama today.

If ever there was a day to be on the water today was that day. Crystal clear blue water and not a whiff of a breeze. Not only was the hum from the waves against the reef gone, but the “lap lap” at the sands edge was also non-existent. Yes folks, my morning walk was more of a morning wade. I was pretty much in the water up to mid thigh to keep from melting into the beach. Even Bob Marley came home soaked from playing in the water, and they are not in any way water dogs.

An email came from a friend  in West Bay, the lightening storm from the other night made a mess of the internet connection. I am going back to that area soon so the updates and emails may not have a reply as quickly.

I have a cat standing between me and the key board. I should better pack in it before Bailey decides I am not paying him enough attention. Once that happens the claws some out, my skin and cat claws don’t mix so well.

Images from the ridge

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 10:08 am on Thursday, April 19, 2007

I finally got myself up and over the hill. The road out of this place is a challenge to say the least. Twenty minutes of first and second gear, partly because of the grade, partly cause of the curves. Mostly cause one never knows when one will come around a corner to find anyone of a number of wacky things in one’s path,  people, bikes, cars, motorbikes, lizards, palm branches, rocks…a person must pay very close attention to the road outta here.

Once on the ridge the views are like this…

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