A Rental Car Day In Roatan

Scott and I rented a car for the day, to load up on groceries from Eldons, run other errands and drive the island a bit. The car was delivered to the marina, and the man who dropped it off took almost 30 minutes to look it over and check us in. He was frustrated that Scott’s credit card didn’t have raised numbers. They still use the sliding imprint contraptions here, so he had to hand write the numbers down..a daunting job.

We invited our new British friends, Jan and Richard, to come along with us (our first new British friends left last Saturday, and Richard and Jan arrived a day later!). They are cruising on s/v Morpheus, and we were all in Isla Mujeres at the same time. We never crossed paths there, but are having a great time together here!

First stop, Ace Hardware. Scott had been here before, and was surprised to find that it was just like walking into an Ace in the U.S. It’s a large store, with a great selection of a variety of items. We shopped, checked out and were on our way.

The phone store was next. Jan and Richard needed a sim card for their phone, and we wanted to buy some minutes for ours. The power went out while we were there, which happens regularly here on Roatan so we weren’t surprised. It usually comes back on quickly, and most all businesses have generators as well. However, computers obviously take time to re-boot, so we had to wait a bit before completing our check out.

After two unsuccessful atm attempts at two different banks in the shopping center, we decided to move on. I’m not sure if they’re effected by the power blips, but if so, they definitely needed more time to come back online.

It was on to Eldon’s, where Scott and I loaded up with non refrigerated/frozen items (they’ll have to wait until we get our new compressor installed) like canned and jarred foods, cleaning products, paper towels and Kleenex, cat litter, wine, rum and bug spray. Jan and Richard weren’t doing such a big run, so Scott ran them back to their boat. We didn’t want them to have to wait on us, and our two-cart list. It proved to be a good idea, as our things filled both the trunk and back seat of the little rental car.

With our errands finished, it was time for fun. The four of us set out for lunch at Cal’s Cantina. Both cruisers and locals have told us that the views are terrific from here, and they were correct!

We had lunch and then continued on. I spied a sign for Lionfish Louie’s, turned the car around and began following the arrows. We took the poor Kia up some steep road, but it chugged along. Eventually, we made our way back down to the water and parked in the sand. Louie’s is a huge property, but since there wasn’t a cruise ship in port, we had the place almost all to ourselves.

There were neat “tree umbrellas” along the beach. An original idea!

From there, it was on to the east end of the island. I was searching for La Sirena, a place that our friends Elizabeth and Ed had visited when they spent a few months anchored off of Fantasy Island in January. I’d also read a lot of good reviews about it online.

The paved road soon turned to gravel and dirt, with sizeable ruts, and I had to slow our speed considerably. As we traveled, it was really noticeable how dust-covered the trees alongside the road were. It has been usually dry lately, with no rain to speak of at all.

We also had to make our way over many speed bumps, that were very challenging for our little Kia. I found it odd that there were so many, considering you couldn’t travel above 10 mph due to the road conditions! No matter how much we slowed down, there was always a crunching or scraping noise as we went over them. It seemed as if they were meant to slow for four-wheel drive vehicles, being so high, but we saw endless scooters and motorcycles run over them just fine. Poor Kia.

At many points along the way, it seemed we must have missed a turn, as the road got worse and worse. Thankfully, there would be a sign every now and then for La Sirena…10 miles, 15 minutes, 2km. However, with the random distances and times, we had no idea exactly how far it was, and just hope it was soon…La Sirena must have read our minds!

Hallelujah, we’d finally made it! I have to say, it was worth the drive. La Sirena is just a shack that sits out on a pier, with two smaller covered seating areas.

It was definitely remote. We passed a “local,” napping in the sand, on our way to the pier.

I’d heard that they make a killer rum punch, and Scott concurred.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t linger long. With sunset nearing, we wanted to be on our way. Getting back onto paved road by dark would take some time, traveling at a snail’s pace.

Before leaving, I used the bathroom. Contrary to what you may expect, there was a working toilet inside, and it was very, very clean.

However, here’s the view through the wall, from inside said bathroom.

We piled into our poor, dust covered Kia (even the inside door jams were caked with the stuff) and started back up and down the mountain, stopping for a few quick photos before dark.

Scott took us on a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride back to the marina, getting there just after dark. We stopped into the pavilion for a drink with our neighbors, before calling it a night. Here are more photos of our rental car adventure.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”