We woke up the morning of our last full day in Roatan before the sun came up. Reason: we had until 11am to use our scooter and we wanted to milk every last minute out of it. We headed to the place we had skipped by the day before, the Carambola Botanical Gardens. It took some convincing to get Mark to go after yesterday’s iguana farm disaster but eventually he caved when I pointed out a hike would at least justify the fact that he carried our sneakers across the ocean.
We were the only ones there except for the hummingbirds that taunted me by flying away every time I raised my camera. Mark read me all the plaques while I wandered around the gardens playing with my d-SLR, a camera that has been sadly neglected lately since I got my new underwater camera. We had a very vague map but mostly there was a tangle of trails heading in a similar direction and we started off up the mountain trail, grateful for the cooler morning air.
After a moderate hike we arrived at the summit, where on a clear day you can see all the way to Utila! Or so the brochure says, because this day it was drizzling and gray. I snagged this picture from their website so you can see what a nice view it is, since it photographed worse than it was. Remember the dolphins we saw yesterday? You could see right down to the resort below us. If you come to Roatan I really recommend stopping here. It was a really nice way to start the day and enjoy what this island has to offer.
After a hassle free bike return and a nice long nap (hey its vacation!) we tried to decide what to do with the rest of our last day. I would have loved to hop on a dive boat but we decided to save the rest of our dive budget for Utila and went for the poor man’s dive: a snorkel off the dock. Out of curiosity we walked to the dock of Stanley Submarines, a one man business run by a submarine enthusiast with no formal education or insurance on his submarine. He claims his insurance policy is that if you sink he’s sunk too. How very reassuring at 2,000 feet below water! Even if we wanted to go, starting at $400 USD a person, those expeditions are more than our plane tickets.
But swimming around the submarine dock was free, and at first when we jumped in I thought we’d be out a few seconds later; it was sandy and there wasn’t much life. Or so I thought. On closer inspection there was so much going on down there! I can’t stay down underwater for even a second to take a photo without starting to float back up, so in fact Mark took most of these:
The best part was right before we were about to get out of the water, I was staring intently at a fish and Mark was trying to get a photo of it, and we nearly missed the MORAL EEL SNAPPING AT OUR FEET! We got such a fright and it took a while for the nervous giggles to die down so Mark could get this great shot:
A nice hike, a great snorkel and even better photos. A great note on which to end our time in Roatan, and get ready to leave the next morning for Utila!