Thursday 29 Dec
Christmas, Bay Islands, Honduras
Our journey to the Bay Island of Roatan (where we were to spend Christmas) was enhanced considerably by a full-on fist fight between our bus driver and a competitor before we even left and part of the gearbox dropping out onto the road half way there.
When we finally got to Roatan's West End we found all the half decent accomodation full and "Valerie's Place" was the only hostel left within our price range. Valerie looked a lot like the evil mum robber from "The Goonies" and her hostel wasn't far off resembling their hideout (an abandoned restaurant). She had a broken arm which she told us she had got from "rough sex!" and laughed with the bark of a medium-size dog. Valerie's is by far the worst place we have stayed - no water, filthy and falling apart. In the night it rained heavily on our corrugated iron roof and we felt like we would be washed into the sea.
The next day we immediately went hunting for somewhere else. After a few attempts we saw a sign for beach side cabañas pointing down a gated path. I opened the gate and two dogs shot out, yelping in delight at their freedom. Finding no-one there we were about to leave when a very cross looking old american man shouted: "you boys just let ma dogs out?! Godammit! You best go get them!" The large Alsation was mooching about on the other side of the road so I nervously approached it and grabbed it by the collar. The poor thing wasn't happy and yelped at me. It was even less pleased when I was ordered to grab it by the choker-chain. Only then did the old man shout, "watch for his teeth!"
The rest of our stay on Roatan was inifinitley more pleasant as we had booked a few days in a luxury resort. We got served a mighty American-style Christmas dinner and went diving every day. The highlight for me (apart from hot running water and not having to eat beans and rice for every meal) was seeing my first turtle. It drifted effortlessly along the coral reef in every way that I don't when I'm underwater.