It's not often that we get to eat at a restaurant that doesn't have running water, so Karen and I got a kick out of using the facilities at the Sacrifice Restaurant and Bar at Punta Gorda, on the north end of Roatan (see restaurant tip).
If you're going to the toilet, first stop by the big blue rain barrel on the deck beside the dining area and dip a bucket of water to take with you. They have a modern porcelain toilet which works just fine, but the only way to flush it is to pour in a bucket of water. Remember to take enough water to wash your hands also.
French Harbour, a bustling community northeast of Coxen Hole, is home of one of the largest fishing fleets in the Western Caribbean. Several fine restaurants are also said to be here, including Gio's, and Romeo's.
We did have fresh local seafood while on Roatan, but at Punta Gorda instead of French Harbour. However, we did enjoy seeing these fishing boats. Unfortunately, the fishing is not as good here as it once was. The dwindling catch, coupled with increasing governmental regulations, has put a damper on the local fishing industry. However, fishing is still an important sector of the Roatan economy - second only to tourism.
On Roatan Island we saw many poor homes as one would expect to see in a third world country. However, there were also a few very fine expensive houses. Several newer vacation homes, some of them very opulent, are owned by foreigners. However, the large white-columned colonial pictured here is the private home of the Mayor of Roatan, Dale Jackson.
Jackson is a native of Roatan whose family can trace their roots back for several generations on the island. The mayor made his fortune in the fishing industry.
The house is not a tourist attraction and is not open to the public, however you may see it on the inland side of the highway between Coxen Hole and French Harbour.
When we disembarked from our ship onto the dock in Roatan the first sight to greet us was a colorfully clad group of native musicians, singers and dancers. They immediately grabbed Karen and brought her into the group to pose for a picture.
Touristy? Sure, but after all we were tourists. I felt that their music and warm smiles added to the exotic atmosphere as we began our Roatan adventure.
If you take a photo, or even if you don't, but you enjoy the music, be sure to leave a tip.
Please remember that the locals on the island work to serve you and keep you happy and safe. They do not make much money and rely on the tips that you provide to them.
It is customary to tip at the resorts when you leave so place it in and envelope and drop it with the desk or in the box provided or even hand it to the one you want to give it to.
Do not forget the dive masters and boat captains if you have been diving.
Not once while we were here did we ever get bad service and everyone was most helpful.
Most of the people in Honduras eat beans. At the Roatan's Market, I saw a lot of different kinds of beans : black beans, red beans, white beans, lima beans, kidney beans, pigeon peas, etc.
Eating beans is part of the diet of the Honduran people
Although spanish is spoken on the mainland, english is the popular language on Roatan. This probably from all the first settlers coming from the British Caribbean.
They even have all of our US slang down! :)
Especially on Roatan, the people are very friendly. We have dealt with the tourist side of the island, but we have also dealt with the working side of the island, in acquiring things for the house, or setting up contacts in the clinic a little ways from Oak Ridge. Many times when we visit, we work more than play. I want to be there now!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I digress. The people are great, especially the kids.