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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Several hours later….

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 10:11 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008

Ahh yes kitty at sunset so we should prolly  show you the sunset also.

I love the clouds in this one.

As promised a pic of my scorpion friend.

Yuck huh? Just gives me the creepy crawlies. I went out for a walk while waiting for my roommates to wake up to help me deal with the nasty beast.

Bob…Marley.

It was nice out this day.

We found some fun things in the shallow water.

Seaslug? This was taken through maybe a foot of water.

Blue legs… cool huh?

Three different Starfish in the same day. All taken through 6-12 inches of water.

Crazy cool color..don’t ya think?

Little Mangrove got lost…his friends are to the left a fair distance.

I am not sure if it was the next day or some days later the weather changed but change it did.

Gone is the quiet “lap, lap” of a wave..now you have huge crashing against the reef where the waves turn white.

Then here are a few pics from my second visit to the first house I sat down here. They were taken at sunset.

Ironshore. Fossilized coral from what I understand.

The wave comes in…

The wave goes out. By the bye ~the camera and I were splashed while attempting these pics. Yes, the reason my camera died…salt water is a “no, no” with electronics.

I found these cool little dudes I wanted to get closer to..

I thought they were part of the rock but the following morning they were else where.

And then there was sunset..again.

If ya want more pics of Roatan dig in the archive Feb, Mar, April of 2007…there are a ton.

Sandy Bay

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 6:47 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008

Before my camera died,  for what I am told is good reason,  I managed to get a few shots of this and that.

Sandy Bay is about 15 minutes by car east of West Bay and about 7 min. east of West End. I was house sitting with a cat by the name of Miss Gato. I tell ya this cat had a routine and was only putting up with me cause I could open doors better than she.

*this was the point where the world saw fit to have the power go out. Six hours later it came back on.

I spent my afternoon in the shade lazing in a hammock not 2 steps from the pool. There are five cats in the house, two were in the hammock with me, one on my chest. One of the cats was on his back with feets straight up rolled against the deck fence. One of the dogs was under the hammock and the other in the shade between me and the house. Did I mention two talking birds peering at me from my end of their cage. Yep, all of us were enjoying the talents of a writer I was recently introduced to,  Georgette Heyer, she is sorta Jane Austin with a wicked dry sense of humor. Great fun! This is my third in two weeks I have cracked. The 1st two I got through in a single day each of Holy Week when the last thing you wanted to do was leave the house cause of  the crowds. People everywhere!

*The power back on and I can continue with the photos.*

So, the system saw fit to allow me access to one of the photos  I loaded before the power crashed.

Miss Gato at sunset.

Learning Curve

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 12:09 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008

Alrighty, If I can convince the new photo sizing software to do more what I want than what I say. If I can also convince my host to allow me to upload the pics then simultaneously have the power, internet connection and energy on my part then we will be rolling.

At the moment I have power and a connection. I tested one of  the photo’s re-sized it and have it up loaded. The boggle comes when I want to have the pic viewed on the blog. In addition,  it is rapidly warming up in the house suggesting my energy level may soon be falling.

Ahh, but folks,  I do have good news. I figured out how to attached my teeny tiny computer to a 17inch monitor…whoohoo Big arse screen. Perfect for photos if all the said things above are also in one’s favor. Nice breeze started up, it is flowing though the house..this is good. If all else fails there is a pool not six steps from where I sit cussing at my web host.

Presto, if you wait long enough and cuss loud enough… (psst ~don’t tell my Mother I said that.)

The view looking west-ish from the second house sitting gig (Miss Gato).  It is called the Dolphin House.  You can just see his nose and fin.

Seems a successful test…on to re size the remainder of my pics. Not so many before the camera died.

Issues O’ the Email

Filed under: Boggles,Important — she_travels at 4:33 pm on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

For those of you not receiving a reply to email you sent the last several weeks let us blame Bluebottle.

There has been an issue with my email client for an amount of time they choose not to disclose (I noticed oddness some two days ago). Bluebottle knows they have an issue, they know they need to fix it yet they are not telling us when it started nor when it will be fixed. Silly people.

Not to worry, I devised a plan and put it to action.

Brand new shiny address I have. I would post it here but the nasty spam bots would eat me alive so…. it is linked to the “email me” clickable to the right.

Honest and true if I receive an email I reply… unless my email client lost the mail. Do try again to any that have been ignored.

Most happy belated Bunny day to all!

Fund Raising

Filed under: Educational,Roatan — she_travels at 9:40 am on Saturday, March 15, 2008

The first week I was on the island I house sat  with two furry dogs, two always hungry cats and two birds who talk more than I do….let us not forget the jewelry store nine hours a day. The second two weeks was house sitting a very cool kitty (Miss Gato) along with a few days here and there at the jewelry store. I was maybe five days house sitting in Palmetto Bay with Bob Marley (two dogs Bob and Marley) then back for just over a week with huge fluffy dogs……and a jewelry store. Then back to Palmetto to hang with Bob Marley. Did I mention a pool at Bob Marley’s house steps from the living space?

During this time I have driven five different cars up and down the island I can’t tell you how many times. In addition I was cruising about last year in several different cars. Never once… NOT once was I ever stopped by the cops at check points, they just wave me through. I have always been told they are looking more for stolen cars than anything else.

Today in the middle of yet another move, to Sandy Bay, I was stopped by the cops at a check point. One was male,  one  female. The chick was cute and sweet but holy Hannah was she a stickler for rules. Through her very poor English and my not much better Spanish I got the idea she wanted my driver license and the “papers” for the car. Remember.. borrowed car.

Crap, I can’t find the papers she wants, she keep smiling talking in Spanish I didn’t understand. In the end she flagged down a guy who spoke both my language and hers.

I was right. I had given her my Colorado drivers license and could not come up with the papers she wanted for the car (registration). The guy translating said they wanted to keep the car until I could produce the papers. My first thought was “Who is going to be responsible for the car if I can’t get back with the papers until tomorrow.”  The translator guy said the cops told him I could take the car to the police station until I get the papers. Seems the papers are  to be in  the car at all times.

We went round and around until I offered my passport for collateral.. I know, I know Never Ever give your pass port to anyone but there was just no other way. Had I left the car with the cops what was going to happen to it or better yet how was I going to track down the owner of the car without wheels. In the end they took my passport and my drivers license hostage til I brought the papers back.

So, I go looking for the owner of the car.. Her house was empty..I zip down to where I have seen the signage for her business but after getting way back in the  hills with mud scared to death I was going to fall off the mountain I came back.

The cops could not or would not tell me how long they would be at the check point . I had used a hour already.  All I could  think was the longer this was taking the farther away from ever seeing my passport again I was getting.

Ok..think!! Think!!  The people with the jewelry store are friends with  the owner of  the car…that is how I ended up with the loaned car. So… scream up the jewelry store… on the way I got to thinking I am driving like one of those loony cabbies.

There are NO driving rules here. Buses, cabs and anyone else wanting to stop dead in the middle of the road with zero concern for anyone else just does. There may be a stop sign or two on the island but I have never seen anyone stop. Better yet when I do stop I get honked at. Its kinda nutty driving out there yet the silly cops this morning want to hassle me for not having the registration for a borrowed car. Shezz!

I walked in to the jewelry store to see the owner looking at me. He started to say “Hi, Annette how..wait what’s wrong”

Think of me talking faster than I usually do trying hard not to fall apart. “The cops stopped me, they have my passport for ransom on the papers for the car, I can’t find Deb. The longer this takes the less likely I will ever get my passport back.”

First he said “Breath, just breath.  Better, now, let’s call Deb.”

Come to find out Deb was in a store just past the check point but was on her way to a meeting. I was to stop where her meeting was, pick up the papers and take them to the cops just down the road.  Yeah, ok. Breath, breath..I can do this.

30 minutes later I was standing next to Deb. She is talking about having checked the laws. One must have a good spare, a jack, a crowbar, and a reflective triangle she handed me. “They have nothing else to hassle you about. It should all be fine.”

Silly me, I though this was going to be a easy, see the papers, check the papers and give my passport back. Yeah right, third world country with corruption as it’s middle name.

The good, very good news..the cops were where I left them..thank goodness.

Stickler chick took the paper Deb had given me. Looked at it, looked at the plate on the car and came back talking about something else. She became frustrated when I was not understanding what she tried to tell me. They flagged another person to help us understand each other. Around and around what it came down to was “good papers for the car, what about you?”  “Me?  Me what?”  Stickler chick starts examining my passport. She looked like she wanted to throw me off the island until I showed her the new stamp on  my papers allowing me to stay until May 5th.

They wanted me to have a Honduran Drivers License. I told them several times I was only here for three months. What it came down to was go to the police station, get a bit of paper, go to the bank and pay  the fine.   “Yeah, ok but I only know where the police station in Coxen Hole is…can this be taken care of there?”

No, No, you must go to the one down the road, behind the car wash and up the cement hill. I told them again I had no idea where that was. I really thought this was all a bunch of crap and they could just let me go. They could be out stopping people from stealing from the cruise ship tourists not hassle me about some silly paper I know for a fact I don’t have to have.

They decided their best course of action was to send the male cop with me for directions. He spoke no English, was cute with a very kind face.. He was not going to hurt me and it didn’t occur to me until much later that it was ever a worry.

He had a chat with his partner. Got in my car and I kid you not we were not out of her sight before he started talking bribe. He told me with sign that if we go to the police station it was going to cost at least 2000Limp. Good Lord, $105. But if I wanted to just be done with it I could give him 300limp ($15) and he would call it good. I handed him 300 limp, shook his hand and said good by with a smile.

The only consistent thing about this place is its inconsistency. Ya gotta wonder how much money they make on the side. I tell ya the two of them have the good cop/bad cop thing down to a science.

The whole of this bit of adventure took two hours of my afternoon. Ahh but I have my passport back and am only out 300limp.

While telling the story to the car’s owner later she said “They (the cops) are fund raising for Holy Week, they do it every year, just a bit of extra money to spend over the holiday.”

Holy Week starts tomorrow.

Good news, bad news, good again

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 4:55 pm on Sunday, March 9, 2008

The good news is I have a few pictures from the past several weeks I have to re-size/post to the blog.

The bad news is the camera died this morning. You can bet I was saying some very unlady like words when I grabbed it to snap a shot of the resent storm breaking up.

There was a bank of cloud at the water line looking toward the mainland of Honduras with the mountains visible behind along with a break in the clouds above allowing just few rays of sunshine through. Truly a photo op…dang silly camera said no.

The good news is I will be going through the states before heading to Thailand so I can replace it.  Or perhaps a purchase in Thailand is a better idea.

Hand Made

Filed under: Roatan — she_travels at 12:55 pm on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where I come from building things with cement is hard enough work with building forms, directing where the trunk is going to pour and guiding a nozzle to the proper place at the proper time. Cement construction is a rough gig, that is all there is to it. Then you get to this place…third world country, island,  no less, and see just what hard work is.

I am hanging about a jewelry store across the road from a new condo unit being built. Last night the security guard and I were watching trucks attempting to drop loads where they were directed in the mud with an incline. Both of us watched breathless until the truck was past the newly constructed corner of a building.

As I am watching today I see the workers mixing and moving cement by hand. They have one of those baby cement mixers on wheels. One guy is standing next to a heap of gray sand, he is shoveling through a screen he has leaning on a diagonal. He is sifting the bits out of the sand he doesn’t want to use. There is a water tank not far from him. A boy of about 15 is carrying/dumping five gallon buckets of water into a tank. There is a guy standing behind the cement mixer with bags of cement, he is alternating a bag of cement powder with the sifted sand and it looks like a pile of rocks he is shoveling in to the mixer. Then adding  the correct amount of water as the mixer spins. Once cooked to his satisfaction he flips the mixer barrel over with the cement mix landing in pile they bordered with cement bricks. There are at least six guys with five gallon buckets shoveling the mix into the buckets and walking up the hill and around a corner. There is one guy using a wheel barrel.

In this place they truly build by hand. It is hot, sticky, heavy work. And people wonder why it takes several years to build a house down here.

I may have mentioned this before … the weed eaters down here are guys with machetes. I have thought many times I would like a picture of someone whacking weeds with a machete to plop on the blog but the idea of embarrassing myself to get such a pic is not so much my thing