Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New photos: Under the Honduran Sun

                                                     The sleepy east end of Roatan

                       This red-headed American tourist shows off her new Roatan dreadlocks

                      A tourist enjoys one of the many ziplines in Roatan. Since we're
                 "economy cruisers," we've resisted the temptation to join the crowd...

             ...but for the price of ONE zipline ride,  we rented a scooter for a whole week!
              I don't think you can even debate who got the better deal. It's a no-brainer!

Get this: Honduran law says that Chris can ride the bike alone or with me on the back, and I can ride it alone, but I am FORBIDDEN from driving with Chris as the passenger!

Think about that for a moment.

 I was about to seriously get my little feminist panties all in a bunch, until it was explained to me that the law forbidding a man as a passenger on a motorcycle is to prevent drive-by assassinations by the shooter riding in back.


Evidently drive-by assassinations were becoming a problem here in Honduras. And since assassins are usually men, it's illegal for men to ride shotgun.

So we can all rest easy with this law, I guess, because everybody knows that women are never assassins, right? 

                     Angelina Jolie rides a motorcycle and packs heat at the same time.

                                            She doesn't need no stinking driver!

       Well, of course Angelina Jolie is not really an assassin. She just plays one (actually, several) in the movies. Here's Angie riding shotgun with Brad in Southeast Asia, with no automatic weapons in sight. But where are the helmets, kids?

  Anyway, we spent several sunny days exploring the 30 mile length of the island of Roatan.

    On the isolated east side, we passed a guy by the side of the road wrestling with a big snake!

      We pulled over and checked it out. He was a gardener minding his own business pruning a few trees by the side of the road, when suddenly this boa constrictor slithered on up to say hello!

   I had been warned that boa constrictors are lurking about here and there in Central America. But I never thought I'd actually see one in the wild!

               Wow. Boa constrictors wrap themselves around their victims and crush them to death before swallowing them whole, which means they are strong. This strapping young man was having a hard time holding him -- his hands were shaking and sweat was pouring off of him.

  But he seemed calm, and told me in Spanish that this is a not-uncommon site here in Honduras.

     After snapping a few shots and giving him some thumbs up signs (what else could we do?), we drove off and left him there holding the slithering, hissing reptile. I'm not sure if he chopped his head off and ate him for dinner, or what...

             Roatan is almost completely encircled by a large coral reef, as seen in this photo

                                                                Local boys at play

                                                         A typical Honduran tienda

             Local children fish off of the giant cruise ship mooring when the ships are at sea

  Well, I guess we can safely assume that Honduras and the U.S. are allies, since we found this U.S. Coast Guard ship gassing up here at the dock.

                                                              Hello, sailors!

        We were kind of shocked to see this police holding cell (read: "Jail") facing right onto the public street and sidewalk here in French Harbor. You can literally walk right up to bars.

               This fellow told me he was framed. I know, I know, that's what they all say. But what if he really WAS framed? Anyway, he asked if I would go buy him some food. But he was eating a sandwich when I walked up, so I wasn't too worried about him.

                                   This fellow didn't look so good, however. I gave him my
                                    iced tea through the bars, which he accepted gratefully.

         We rode the scooter high into the rainforest for some excellent island views.

                 This shot shoes how close the mainland of Honduras is to the island of Roatan

                                                Captain Chris marks his territory

                             Woman talks on cell phone while pigs snooze

                                                                Fire and rain

                                                            Shades of green

                      Most citizens of Roatan live in humble dwellings like these:


                           And then there are the more upscale, waterfront homes:


             For obvious reasons, we love Roatan. The holidays here have been relaxing and restorative. We'll be here for another couple of weeks before sailing north to Belize, the Yucatan and Florida.

    Wishing you a happy and peaceful new year! XOXO Liz and Chris   :-)

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