Saturday, 15 October 2011

A trip to to the West End ... of the island, not to catch a show!

Well this weekend, as me and Ally found out last week that we have no classes on monday, we decided to head to the west end to see if it was all it was cracked up to be, as it has quite the reputation of being a part town, and full off ‘gringos’ or foreigners to the rest of you. Now this prospect was a weird one to Ally and me, because as of late, we have come to staring at any other white people that seem to make their way to Punta Gorda, thinking that we ourselves are Garifuna and blend into the community, when in actual fact, the other foreigners are probably thinking that we are just out to check out the best Garifuna village on the island as well. 
Any way, I will tell you what we actually planned on doing first, when we were in La Ceiba, we had seen an advert for a place called Roatan Backpackers, located in Sandy Bay (about 10 mins from West End) so we were looking to stay there as it sounded great and was quite cheap, so got into a taxi and said Sandy Bay, so off we went, and when we arrived and said drop us off at Roatan Backpackers, the taxi driver just looked utterly confused and said that he had never heard of that place .... Uh Oh!!
We decided to be dropped off at a local resort in Sandy Bay (one that had dolphin shows) and ask around there to see if this place still existed or not, so we headed into the Gift Shop and politely asked the worker if she had any idea of this place we had planned to spend our weekend (in spanish, a’thankyou!, to which she replied, ‘I speak fluent English’, great, so let me just wobble on for 4 minutes embarrassing myself, loving her already!) but sadly this came to no avail and so we were forced to catch another cab down the road to west end and see if we could find a place to stay. We stumbled upon this old looking place called Valeries, which was, I have to say, one of the grimiest places, but very cheap (about £8 a night for the two of us, not bad) so we thought we would brave it and make the most of it. So after we settled in, we headed out for something to drink and to hit the many souvenir shops they had on the street, this is when the heavens then opened and pretty much a monsoon started raining down upon us, this lasted all night and so all through dinner and a (fairly good) night out we were getting very wet every time we had to make a trip to the next bar. But this wasn’t a bad thing as we ended up in one bar and pulled the old ‘we’re volunteer teachers in Punta Gorda’ line, which managed to get us a few free drinks, not complaining about the rain now! Anyway, the rain continued all though the night and was still pouring the next morning, however, we really wanted to head back to Sandy Bay to see if we could catch one of the Dolphin Shows at Anthony’s Key Resort, after another cab ride, we arrived in more rain and were told that the show was cancelled ... CANCELLED .... WHY?? it’s not as if the dolphins are scared of getting wet! They already live in water! Anyway, we carried on our culture tour regardless and went to their museum of the Bay Islands for a dollar, which was interesting, but a very quick visit (true Wright family style!) After this however, the rain somehow got even stronger and refused to budge, so we were stuck in a small diving shop for about half an hour while we gathered up the courage to brave it out in the oncoming flood ...
We walked in the rain for no less than a minute before we were soaked to the skin, however we still had about another 3 minutes before we reached the road, and then who knows how long before we managed to catch a cab back. Luckily though, not long after we arrived on the main road, a passing truck stopped and let us clamber in and said he would give us a lift to west end, still not complaining (laughing mainly, was quite hilarious at the time).
We eventually returned back to Valeries and chilled out there for a couple of hours, before the power went out, meaning no Wi-Fi. Therefore we decided to go out and grab a cup of coffee at this place called Earth Muma’s, whose owner we met the night before, and we were talking to her for a bit and asking about how she came to be on Roatan e.t.c, also eating her AMAZING homemade cookies (first cookie since being here) for quite a while before the power came back on and we decided to check out what else there was to do on a rainy afternoon.
Despite the rain, the weekend was great. We managed to meet some great people (one guy, whose son lives on the island, after hearing our ‘volunteer teacher’ line once again paid for our food bill and then gave us each 100 dollars to go and have some fun with (which we both decided to put towards our diving fund)), have some great food and generally have fun exploring what the rest of the Island has to offer. It is so weird how one place on a small island can be worlds apart from another on the same island, have to say love them all the more for it though! Ally and I also used it to scope some places for the family, and friends and also other Volunteers on the mainland to come and stay and drink if any do make it out here.
Till next time,

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