Bits & Pieces

STOCKS & BONDING WITH THE CAT
Ray has taught the cat to keep an eye on the stock reports while he ‘rests’…

ray-and-cat-workingEventually, though, even the cat has to take a break too.

cat

GROCERY SHOPPING: WE’VE BEEN DOING IT WRONG
The largest grocer on Roatan is Eldon’s Supermarket: Three convenient locations! Except none of them are conveniently located in West End, and we didn’t feel like going ALL THE WAY to Coxen Hole (dramatic sigh – for those who knew us when we lived in Cape Canaveral, if it wasn’t between the port and the pier, it was too far).

eldonsSo we took our Eldon’s grocery bag and headed out on foot to Woody’s, the biggest local grocer. It was a boat day so the village was semi-busy, with at least as many street vendors as tourists out and about.

Sidenote: When you say no to the locals selling jewelry or sunglasses or carved jade turtles, their typical response is ‘okay, maybe later’ which kind of takes the sting out of your refusal. So now when they offer, I just reply with ‘maybe later’ because it confuses them. Except the one massage lady on the beach who kept insisting it was ‘later’ now; she wouldn’t give up. Oh well, everyone’s gotta make a living.

Anyway, Woody’s didn’t have everything we were after so we threaded through the beach road traffic toward some other smaller stores and found the other stuff.

We decided we should have a beer for all our troubles and went out on one of the several over-water pier bars (Eagle Ray’s) but it was full of cruise ship people so we didn’t stay – though we did stop to watch a shore excursion of kayakers lined up like ducks following their mama.

002

Then we passed a little place (the Nova Bar) with a chalkboard sign advertising $1.75 beers, and it had a nice breezy deck that looked right over the water, so we stopped there. The proprietor was a funny guy named JC who we chatted up a bit, and when Peter, the bar’s owner, stopped in, he came over and said hello and they introduced the younger kid also working there (Mario) and before you know it we were all fast friends, talking about fishing and Florida and Honduran politics. One beer and I was getting fuzzy (Salva Vidas must be more potent than Belikins) so I asked JC if he sold any ‘snacks’ there and he said no, but the guy next door did some good wings and he’d go get us some; we said no, no, we can go, but off he went and came back to report that no wings today, but chips and salsa? Naw, we’re good, except we could use another beer. Then a little wrinkled old Guatemelan guy showed up with a basket full of bagged strawberries and we all bought some and voila, snacks! I wouldn’t have thought strawberries and beer went together but it was actually quite good.

And then, since the other pier bar (The Barking Monkey at Foster’s, locally known as Foster’s) was right there, and it was far enough down that the cruise traffic probably would have avoided it, we decided to also stop and say hey to Mark, a friendly barkeep we’d met last week.

deck-view

There were three guys behind the bar so I asked which one of them was Mark. Not missing a beat, they ALL claimed to be Mark, but then the real Mark came over with a smile to serve us.

raoulOne of the fake Marks, Roland, came around and sat with us on the other side of the bar, claiming to be the bar’s “PR Guy” (and he had the swagger and the jaunty golf cap to prove it). He introduced us to a guy he identified as ‘Burt Reynolds’ (who just shook his head and smiled as he washed out some bar glasses) and also to David, a young kid who Roland claimed was the Future Manager. Oh yeah, and Ray Anthony and his brother Conway were sitting over there – they waved – and later, Mr. Foster (Ray A’s and Conway’s father and the owner of the bar) stopped by to shake our hands. I also went upstairs and met a nice couple off one of the boats, also looking to get away from their cruising compadres, and chatted with them for a while.

I think we’ve found some new hangouts. You cannot imagine how nice it is to have REAL PEOPLE to talk to again after so much time to ourselves in Belize. AND I got Burt Reynold’s autograph!

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SNORKELING HALF MOON BAY
Yesterday we walked down to the bay beach and tried snorkeling again and I think we’ve got it figured out now (yes, Dramamine is my friend!). I didn’t expect the coral gardens just offshore here to be as robust as they were, and we had a fun time checking out all kinds of stuff: Purple sea fans, brain coral, crenulated coral (not its name but that’s what I call it), rainbow-colored parrot fish, spotted fish, little schools of yellow stripey things. Since we don’t have an underwater camera, I swiped some photos from this blog post:

reef parrot fish

reef

reef yellow fish

reef spotted fish

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