Today, we're ditching diving in favor of exploring the island on two wheels!
Many of my favorite memories from our bicycle tour involve riding scooters or motorcycles with Pete and Natasha. On this bright, sunny afternoon in Roatan, I'm thrilled that we're on a brand new two-wheeled adventure with them. Backpacks stuffed with water, sunscreen, bug spray, wallets, lenses, and a map… we're ready to roll! "Roa-TAAAN" we shout into the wind!
We haven't looked for much to do or see on the island, and I'm glad of it. It's so freeing to be unburdened from the idea that we should be sightseeing. Instead, we just motor along. There's only really one road that runs the length of the island, so we don't have to worry too much about navigating.
We pass through towns with crowded markets, colorful houses on stilts, tropical flowers, rutted dirt roads, and plenty of random cats, dogs, and chickens. Pop-up barbecue restaurants along the side of the road blast music, and I smile as I watch Natasha's arms fan out and undulate as she dances to each blaring song. We stop occasionally for snacks and photo-ops, including Natasha's and my favorite: laundry on the line!
Our ride is a tad mountainous—as our crappy, underpowered scooters make it to the crest of each hill, we're rewarded with views of lush green slopes descending to turquoise seas that spill out to the horizon.
After awhile, we all start to get hungry, and morale starts to plummet as nearly every restaurant we pass turns out to be closed. And yet, I have my sights set on the far end of the island, where I've heard there's a lovely restaurant on the water, called La Sirena. If reviews can be trusted, it's supposed to be magical.
With a bit of convincing, everyone agrees to carry on, even as our road turns to dirt and disintegrates, and the poorly-functioning-everything on our crappy scooters becomes increasingly apparent (our rear tire is bald, the suspension on both scooters is horrible, the brakes screech and howl every time we use them, etc).
The last six kilometers of rutted dirt road make for a back-destroying ride, but mercifully we make it to our destination in one piece. Best of all, the restaurant, La Sirena de Camp Bay, is open. It really is magical: it sits jutting out into the water, on a secluded beach in the middle of nowhere, an oasis for hot, hungry travelers.
Cold beers and strong cocktails await us. After a few minutes we're treated to some of the tastiest homemade onion rings I've ever had, served with sweet habanero chili sauce, and then some seriously delectable barbecued chicken wings.
Island life is relaxing as hell.
After an hour or so of chilling out at La Sirena, we figure we should probably pack it up and head home, lest we end up riding back in the dark. Tyler and Pete are sober as can be, but Natasha and I are surprisingly tipsy. As I teeter out of the restaurant, I overhear the owner mentioning to another couple, "It's the rum punch... it's really strong!"
It's a long, hot, dusty ride home, and by the end of it, we're all feeling a bit sunburnt and achey from all that bumping. Next time we'll definitely get motorcycles instead! Time for a dusk dip in the ocean, piña coladas, and a viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean!