Tag Archives: Holiday

On the home stretch (almost)

21 Jun

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on a foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

I have a week and a half left in Honduras. As the old proverb goes, time flies when you’re having fun. And my 132 days here have certainly flown.

I’ve started thinking about what I’ll need to do and what I want to do when I get back home. Things like buying a new car, finding a place to live, and finally sorting through my boxes of belongings stored at dad’s place.

I’ll need to start back at work, start back at the gym, and start paddling again with my beloved Diamond Phoenix dragon boat club.

I’ve been daydreaming about (and drooling over) what foods I’ll eat first (lamb chops, dad’s spare ribs, and pavlova) and which favourite restaurants I’ll visit (Shanghai Dumpling Café, Sammy’s Kitchen, and The Artisan).

As I was mentally compiling ‘to do’ lists in my head I suddenly realised I’m not quite on the home stretch yet. While my time in Honduras is ending I still have seven weeks of travel ahead of me.

Seven weeks! That’s a really long holiday. It’s definitely going to be worth it though. Vic and I have planned what I’m sure will be the trip of a lifetime.

Vic’s flight from Mexico to Ecuador and my flight from Honduras both transit via El Salvador, so we’ll be meeting up in the San Salvador airport. From there the rough outline of our trip is as follows:

Ecuador: Quito, Atacames (where my World Vision sponsor child lives), Otavalo, Mindo, Galapagos Islands, and Cuenca

Peru: Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu

Argentina: Buenos Aires and Iguassu Falls

Brazil: Iguassu Falls, Rio de Janeiro (where I’ll say goodbye to Vic), Blumenau (my host-family’s town), and São Paulo

We haven’t planned everything down to the last detail (unusual for me) but have a holiday mix of pre-organised tours and choose-your-own-adventure days.

I think this will work well; provided my obsessive compulsive side can cope without always having a plan.

I have mixed feelings at the moment—I’m sad to be leaving Honduras but also really, really excited about my upcoming South American adventure.

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Me and Mr. French

20 Jun

“The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.”

~ Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sun, sand and surf. Swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. Just another day in the Islas de Bahía (Bay Islands) of Honduras.

Last week my host-mum and I spent a lovely and relaxing four days on the Island of Roatán. We drove from Tegus to the northern coastal town of La Ceiba and then took the hour and a half ferry ride to the island.

Las Islas are made up of three main islands: Roatán, Útila and Guanaja. Roatán is the largest of the three and has two main tourist areas, West Bay and West End.

Útila is known as one of the best (and cheapest) scuba diving sites in the world. Guanaja is the smallest island, with less tourism, and is only accessible by plane or a twice-weekly ferry.

We stayed in West End, which has the most nightlife and a large variety of bars and restaurants. We also visited West Bay, which has a beautiful beach and is the location of some of the slightly more upscale resorts.

West Bay

One of my favourite moments of the trip was getting up close and personal with a dolphin at Anthony’s Key Resort.

Meeting a dolphin has been on my bucket list for a long time so I was ridiculously excited to be introduced to the lovely Mr. French.

Me and Mr. French

He even gave me a sweet little dolphin kiss on the cheek.

Dolphin kiss

It was a really entertaining afternoon, and meeting Mr. French is a moment I’ll treasure for a long time to come.

Another special moment occurred when I went snorkelling in the small bay our hotel fronted. I saw my first ever cuttlefish. Five of them in fact!

It took me a couple of moments to work out what I was seeing. I thought they might have been squid, but then from the shape of their little bodies I realised what they were. The cuttlefish were tiny and a very pretty brilliant blue.

I’m not sure where they were headed, but I trailed behind the little cuttle club for a few metres, before they spooked and swam away faster than I could follow.

In a not so special moment, I also met my first tarantula on one of the hotel paths. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo, but trust me, it was a very large spider.

Tarantula

I checked my bed very carefully before going to sleep that night. I’m not sure how common it is for creepy crawlies like these to be found inside, but I certainly didn’t want one as a bed fellow.

And what beach holiday can be called complete without a refreshing piña colada?

Piña colada

Before I knew it, our holiday was ending and it was time to catch the ferry and start the drive home. Our pre-road trip breakfast in La Ceiba was baleadas de la linea.

These are baleadas sold from street stalls located where the railway line used to run.

The baleadas were yummy, but best of all I suffered none of the potential aftereffects that can occur when eating street food. I must be toughening up!