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December 10, 2009

Isla Roatan, an island off the coast of mainland Honduras – A Day in Paradise

Isla Roatan, an island off the coast of mainland Honduras, was our last port of call and by far my favorite. We pulled into port on Friday, and woke up to a beautiful, sunny, warm-but-not-humid day. With no tendering to deal with, we walked off the ship and into a port city decorated with brightly painted, cheerful buildings surrounded by palm trees and cacti. What a perfect day for the beach!

After our trek through Belize the day before, we decided a relaxing “down day” at the beach would be a great idea. We decided on a trip to a beach called Tabyana, which is in the west end of Isla Roatan. We loaded into a van and began a 30-minute scenic drive to the beach. During the ride, we had a chance to see a bit of the island and take in its natural beauty. We saw many different kinds of plants and trees, and of course all the different types of birds! It was a twisting, winding drive, up and down hills and around some hairpin turns, that brought us to what can only be described as a hidden paradise.

There, in front of some low trees and wooden cabins, the bus let us off. We walked through the front area, and were in complete shock about what lay before us. Dozens and dozens of palm trees provided shade, soft-as-icing-sugar sand provided our sidewalk, and the clearest water I’ve ever seen stretched out before us, irresistable. Never in my life have I been to anywhere remotely comparable. Even the washrooms, normally overlooked somewhat, were beautiful; in their own little wooden cabin off to the sides, they were decorated with cottage-style furniture, and gorgeous fresh flowers. Walking through Tabyana was a walk through perfection.

After a short swim we opted for snorkelling; my first experience, actually. I was amazed by what I was able to see; the water was so clear and the fish seemed friendly (or at least unfazed by our presence), swimming up beside us and checking us out. The only damper on the day? The calamars (little spherical blobs in the water) weren’t shy either, and a couple of us got stung by them. No real harm done, thankfully; a little hydrocortisone took the rash away, and wasn’t enough to detract from our amazing day. Out of the four ports of call, this one was definitely my favourite, and I can’t wait to go back another time. If you find yourself in the Isla Roatan area with just one day to spend, do yourself a favour and spend it at Tabyana beach. You won’t regret it!

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