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Diving in Roatan

July 5th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (3 Comments)

Two weeks diving in the Caribbean on the second largest barrier reef in the world, can it get any better? Certainly not and what a way to end our trip.  The pictures are amazing and definitely our best yet.  The diving here (in our opinion) shits all over The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

So far I’ve done 6 dives (1 night) and Sam 3.  Sadly that will be Sam’s lot as she’s picked up yet another ear infection.  She has started a course of antibiotics so she should be as right a reign in a few days, but no more diving.

Below is an extract from a local rag which goes some way to explaining why the diving is so good here.  We cannot understand why one of the best is one of he cheapest in the world, we are only paying $30 a dip, an absolute steal.

What Makes It Unique?

Why is Roatan’s diving so good? The island, nearly forty miles long and about three miles wide, is actually the top of an underwater mountain range called the Bonacca Ridge. The ridge includes the other Bay Islands, Utila and Guanaja, and the many smaller keys and islands nearby.

Roatan is surrounded on all sides by a living coral reef containing nearly every species of coral growing in the Caribbean Sea, including several species of rare black coral, and sponges of all colours and shapes. Some barrel sponges located off the east end of the island are the approximate size of large refrigerators.

The Reef

The reef, home to such beauties as seahorses, queen angel fish, stoplight parrot fish, blue tangs, and fairy basslets, slopes gently from shore providing excellent snorkeling and diving from nearly any point on the island. The reef stretches out to sea then drops off. Literally. Roatan is famous for its wall dives and nearly all dives are wall dives if you swim far enough out. Many crevices, chimneys, and caves punctuate the reef creating an impressive and varied topography.

The reef’s walls vary from inclines leading to sandy bottom at 30-200 feet, to sheer cliffs plummeting dramatically into the abyss. And I mean abyss. Roatan is on the edge of the Cayman Trench that provides clear water from the depths as well as a variety of pelagic animals such as whale sharks, turtles, dolphin, and rays. The trench plunges thousands of feet right off the west end of the island. In fact, the deepest tourist submarine in the world is located in Half Moon Bay next to West End. For about $500 it will take you to a depth of 3000 feet.

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Roatan, Honduras

July 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 20-Honduras - (0 Comments)

A quick catch up on some posts as they will be rather thin on the ground from this day forward due to a lack of electricity here on the beautiful Caribbean island of Roatan in Honduras.  Things could be worse .

We had a rather quick and pleasant flight from Mexico City to San Pedro Sula.  Because of the political coup all roads were closed so we had to take two 15min flights on these toy planes.  All things considered, we arrived safely and in one piece.  How these planes flew I’ll never know, they must have been at least 40 years old.  The pilot had his hand out the window throughout! – keeping himself cool I assume.

We checked into a lovely room, $25 a night with a shared bathroom and kitchen, and will be here for the next two weeks.  We have done a couple of dives so far but you’ll have to wait a bit for the pics, they are just amazing.

Don’t worry if you don’t hear from us in the next week or so, the electricity is due to shut down, all part of coup, and we have have a 9pm curfu.  Other than that the island is nothing short of paradise and we are loving every minute of it. 

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Mexico City

July 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 19-Mexico - (0 Comments)

We stopped off in Mexico City for 3 days en route to Honduras.  We weren’t expecting much but were pleasantly surprised by its charm and vibe, a real gem.

Seeing a beetle taxis whiz past every two seconds was a good start.  Anybody cool enough to drive one of these hippy vehicles for a living is cool enough for us.  We started with a tour of the city on the usual open top bus.  The food on the street was delicious, albeit dripping with fat.  We had (to name but a few):

  • chilpachole
  • tortillas
  • taquitos
  • chimichangas
  • empanadas
  • tamaleschoriqueso
  • glorias
  • chorizo
  • enchilada
  • fajita
  • flautas
  • cocido
  • fritadas de camaron
  • cochinita pibil
  • gringas
  • gorditas

We definitely left carrying an extra inch (or two). 

I won’t write anymore but just let the pics speak for themselves.  A great stopover!

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Although we have well and truly left Cusco, Peru and South America, we felt it was an injustice to write only one quick post on the city, so here goes another.

We stayed in Cusco for just over a week and a half, and although ill for part of it, we enjoyed it immensely, the place has a unique buzz and is a well deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is fair to say that it has knocked Buenos Aires into second place on our favourite retreat in South America.

While there we were lucky enough to experience the Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun. Before the colonial Spaniards banned the ceremonial events occurring each Winter Solstice in Cusco, the native residents gathered to honour the Sun God, sacrifice an animal to ensure good crops and to pay homage to the Inca, as the first born Son of the Sun.  Today, it’s the second largest festival in South America. Hundreds of thousands of people converge on Cusco from other parts of the nation, South America and the world for a week long celebration marking the beginning of a new year.

What an amazing festival, it puts our 1.5hr Easter parade to shame – these people certainly know how to celebrate in style.  We really enjoyed our time here and so help us God we will return again one day.

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Where do we go from here?

June 25th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 18-Peru - (5 Comments)

A few weeks ago we spent countless hours on the internet researching the last leg of or trip (only 3–weeks remaining).  Initially, we had planned on heading on up to Ecuador and Colombia and flying home from Bogota, but we were really keen to spend our final few weeks chilling on a beach somewhere so we revised our plans.

Today we fly from Lima in Peru to Mexico City with a 3 night stopover en route to the Caribbean islands of Utila and Roatan in Honduras.  From San Pedro Suala we fly to New York with 4 night stopover before we catch a direct flight to Dublin.

We are really excited about our two week holiday in the Caribbean and hope to spend the majority of our time either diving or chilling on the beach.

We are almost ready for home!

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