RUNNING ON THE WEST END OF ROATAN

From East…

Yesterday my cousin Sherran took me and her kids to the West End of Roatan to explore this place, albeit, we made it there rather late in the evening.  Our trip took us from Pandy Town through French Harbor, Coxen Hole, Flowers Bay to west end.  We made several stops to complete a brute-load of errands Sherran first had to run—yesterday was the last day for the whole island to pay their electric bill—before RECO  outto (cut out) the people’s electricity.  So the whole town came out to bum her the favour of paying their light bill at the RECO station.   Poor Sherran, kind hearted cousin of mine, looked flabbergasted as Pandy Town flocked to her car to give her their cash.

Wash Board

I had my eyes fixed on the road surveying the land for possible routes that a visitor or local can safely run.  I have a mouthful to report, but I will stay focused on the positive instead.  Decades ago my people were very healthy folks and that is because we had little convenience and had to do things the old-fashioned way. We worked hard dragging barrels and tubs of water from Tommy Well (this dipping-the-bucket-and-pulling-it-up-filled-with-water-action is good to keep the boobs perky) over the bay and home and had to walk Jesus miles upon miles to get to a grocery stand.  We also planted our foods, paddled in a dory boat to get where we needed (also good for the boobs), and washed with washing boards (remember these?—see picture to your right)

So the roads from Pandy Town to West End were narrow, and except for the strip between Coxen Hole and Flowers Bay, there was little shoulders or side walks on which one could safely run on.  My cousins Sharron, Cierra, and I ended up on the gorgeous West Bay Beach.  We were fortunate to have this beautiful beach on the West End.  It was one of the safest place I saw fit to run.  Locals tell me the strip is a bit under one mile but to my keen good eye, it looked maybe a bit over a half of a mile.  The beach is pristine with white sand and sparkling clear water.  It reminded me of the time I lived in Sunny Isles Beach, FL and I had that ‘ole feeling of running free and barefoot on the sand once again. The weather was very nice and there was little traffic at the time.  It is a bit down season since the economy in the US and Europe is down.  A manager of a nearby hotel had so much time on his hand that he came out to flirt with us and offered drinks and so and so (his offer was as clear as his blue eyes).  I guess this sort of things happens in low season.

…to West

If you love snorkeling or scuba diving, you will find yourself in heaven!  On this side of the world is the second largest reef in the world (second to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia land).  There are many dive resorts and dive shops looking to scoop ya up.  This place has become a great hub for Australians, Europeans, other extranjeros, high class folks, and a few backpackers too.

Follow the one with hat and snack

There were armed guards at each hotel guarding their beach chairs, coconut tree shade, and entrance to the hotel (to make sure there are no stray locals squatting for cool air-conditioning or shade).  While trying to take a picture of an armed guard and turning up my nose at him, my barefoot Vibram five-fingers running shoes fell off my bags where I’d attached them.  It was not till I was settled way on the back end of that beach that my Vibrams came up missing.  Lawd!  I ran way back up, passing the guards I’d passed on the way down (and being chased by a friendly brown pitbull—until his owner called him out), and as far as the car and… No shoes.  On the way back, as a reflex, I glanced over to the place where I’d wrinkled up my nose at the armed guard and noticed my Vibrams neatly placed on the beach chair in front of him.  The guy thought one of the tenants had dashed into the water and left their shoes on the beach and so he said he was only protecting what he thought was the tenant’s property.  I was so happy for his thoughtfulness I could have hugged him.  Instead, I flashed him a big sincere smile, thanked him, and bid him very well.  This armed guy made my heart very warm and juicy inside.  I don’t care what some folks may say about this little island…there are still many honest people around.

Go Forrest Go!

After all this hoopla and hustling for a piece of shade and a pair of shoes, Ciarra and I settled our barefeet into the white sand and off we ran!  Running is such an awesome feeling.  If you already are a runner, then you know that this sport makes one feel HIGH.  Okay, not that kind of HIGH, but high in that you feel like you are flying in between the sky (and you are if you think about it), and the earth.  And if you’ve gotten your breathing under control in this sport, you will have the stamina to greet the cuties on the way back (many men sporting those nice Speedos!).   Hallelujah!

This run was 4 miles or more (if I include my running to find those Vibrams shoes), and we did it with much ease.  The feet massage one gets from running in the sand, the caressing of the water on this skin, the being kissed by the soft evening Sun is an experience to die (or pass out?) for.   I was told by a local that every year there is a Bay Island Triathlon (one took place this past January?).  I couldn’t get much info out of this person on the event, but I wonder if they have to shut down the whole main road to do parts of the event.  The main roads in this joint is a very busy place with white taxis coming from every direction, as fast as you can blink your eye-winkers (island definition–eyelashes), and motorcycles, bicycles, and many pedestrians posing in the way.  Despite the crowd, I think it maybe fun to come back next year for such triathlon event.

Getting ready for the run

OYE!  Even though we covered one of the most popular spot on the West End, West Bay, there are still many places on this little 26x 3 miles (survey and estimate done by my wise father) island to explore.  I particularly enjoy the food and the entertainment at Foster’s place in West Bay.  These folks know how to treat a good local and a good tourist.  I think I’ve said written enough here today.  Need I remind you?  I come from a family of long winded folks.  Not enough space here to mention some names, so let me conclude this post by saying this: you will not regret coming to this beautiful heaven sent place—ROATAN.  I’ve met people from Miami, Florida and as far as San Francisco, California, who have visited Roatan, and their smiles are still imprinted on my inquisitive mind.