November 12, 2018

Cruise Vacay - Roatan, Honduras

We're continuing with the cruise vacation posts today, and this time our stop takes us to Roatan, Honduras. To be honest, if it wasn't for the cruise, it would never have occurred to me to visit Honduras. It's just not simply a country I had ever considered going to - mostly out of ignorance, I guess. But it proved to be our favorite stop during our week long Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas!

Because there is so much to share, I'll just talk about my Top 3 things from the cruise.

OUR TOUR GUIDE - CLEVE!
Our Tour Guide, Cleve Bodden, is easily the happiest man on that island of 50,000+ people. My sister and I found Cleve via TripAdvisor - which is our preferred website to get travel reviews. He has a 5-star rating, ranked the number 2 tour on Roatan (out of 251), and we were anxious to get our day booked with him. Thank God, he was available as he does only one tour daily. He greeted us like long lost family members, prayed before we started out tour, and off he went. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about his country and his little island. You can tell that he loves God! He told us his testimony, and how the first thing he does every morning is thank God for another day alive. He knows that everything he has comes from God!

He took us deep into Roatan, where we saw the local people (there are 5 different tribes in Roatan). He took us to different parts where the poorest people live, and to where Hollywood celebrities and billionaires own homes!












THE MANGROVES TOUR OF "LITTLE VENICE"
This was one of the big draws for my sister and I when we chose this tour. The great thing about Cleve's Tours is that no one tour is the same. If you want to go to some of the best beaches in the world, he'll take you there. If you want to see animals, he'll take you. Wanna go diving or snorkeling, Cleve's got you! For our mangroves tour, he handed us over to a boat captain who ferried us through a different side of Roatan. We loved the views and were quite happy to have done this part of the tour.

I'm sure you've already figured out the reference to Venice. Quite a large number of people in this part of Roatan live on houses on stilts - similar to Makoko in Lagos, or Venice, Italy!



















The Food!!! 
Oh my, the food was delicious. I think that almost every country has a version of meat-pie. Jamaicans have patties, the Brits have all kinds of pies, Hispanics have empanadas. Roatan's version is called Pastelitos. Cleve stopped at a street vendor's stop and got us all pastelitos and a local juice drink, Maracuya (made with passion fruit).





We had also heard about a local dish called Machuca, which is a swallow made of plantains. It's a delicacy made by the Garifuna people in Roatan, and guess what? They are descendants of slaves that have been traced back to Nigeria! According to history, they got to Honduras when their slave ship from the Bight of Biafra capsized near the island. They swam ashore and have fought to keep their culture and history alive. They even have a yearly festival that's attended by lots of visitors from all over the world.

We thought it was interesting that they have a plantain-based swallow, because where we're from in Nigeria, we have Onunu, which is also a plantain swallow. They eat machuca with a coconut seafood soup, which is easily among the best dishes I have ever eaten in my life!

Cleve took into the Garifuna village to what he says is one of the best restaurants on the island. I can't remember the name, but when we walked in, they welcomed us like lost relatives!













My sister, Tammy also has a post up on our trip to Roatan that you can check out here and here.







To end, I have to say that I wish Nigeria would capitalize on what we have. Travel Bloggers and Tour Operators are doing what they can, but they can't do it all by themselves. We have so many resources and so much potential going to waste, and it's a big shame. If our brothers and sisters in Roatan can do it, so can we!

I hope you've been enjoying the cruise posts. I think I have one or two more left before we're done.

Have a pretty week!

4 comments:

  1. It’s always interesting to learn about other cultures and fun to see that there are some unexpected similarities. You are a very good descriptive writer.

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    1. Awww, thank you very much Lola - that's a sweet compliment!

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  2. Vacation in honduras?

    Which vacation can beat that not even in UAE!!

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    1. LOL. I loved Dubai when I went. But I like to see different places too.

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)