Sunday, 23 December 2018

Sunny days in Cozumel and Roatan

This was a port heavy itinerary with 6 ports back to back, one sea day at the beginning and two at the end of the cruise.  Normally I wouldn't have gotten off the ship in Cozumel, I've been there several times, but it was the first port.  In addition, K and J wanted to visit the San Gervaiso ruins, which I've been to before but felt was worth a second visit (and it was).  

Again, I was awake early and up on the deck to try to get photos of sunrise.  And as you can see, it was cloudy. This is the pier that we walked to get into the port area.  For those who don't want to walk, there are men with bikes that will drive you in for a small fee.  I don't know what it is, as we walked in.  At the port we found a cab driver that was willing to take us to the ruins for about $20 USD per person.  K tried to bargain him down to $15 but he was having nothing of it.  He told us he'd wait an hour and 15 minutes, I convinced him we'd need an hour and 30 minutes.  Which turned out to be about the right amount of time needed.

San Gervasio is an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the northern third of the island of Cozumel off the northeastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in what is now the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. San Gervasio's pre-Hispanic name was Tantun Cuzamil, Mayan for Flat Rock in the place of the Swallows. The ruins were once a hub of worship of the goddess Ix Chel, an aged deity of childbirth, fertility, medicine, and weaving. Pre-Columbian Maya women would try to travel to San Gervasio and make offerings at least once in their lives.  - Wikipedia

As you can see, excavation work continues.  

The arch was reconstructed in the 1980's and is the main entrance from the north and west to San Gervasio’s District 1 Central Plaza Group. It is a simple arch about seven feet tall that straddles the main religious pathway (called a sacbe in Mayan, a word meaning "white road") running northeast from the plaza. - Wikipedia

It is my favorite spot in the ruins because I can stand there and imagine the pilgrims and locals making their way along the road nearly 800 years ago. 

I believe this building was a temple.  There is signage, but as I said yesterday, I neglected to take many notes.  The steps are incredibly steep, about the width of a foot, but the climb is worth the look into the building (no photo, sorry).  

The ruins are also a wildlife refuge. We saw several iguanas sunning themselves.  

When we returned from the ruins, we learned that it had rained most of the time we were away, and while we were only about 20 minutes away we had sunshine for the entire time.  Good choice!

After a bit of a wander in the port shops, K picked up some vanilla, J a Coca-Cola, while I abstained, it was back to the ship by mid-afternoon.  The sun was shining so if I recall, I spent some time on the deck reading and enjoying the heat.

The following day we were in Roatan, Honduras.  Roatán (Spanish pronunciation: [ro.a.ˈtan]) is an island in the Caribbean, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) off the northern coast of Honduras. It is located between the islands of Útila and Guanaja, and is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras. - Wikipedia

The day started out cloudy, and foggy but by the time we were at the port at 10 a.m., the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was perfect.  After checking in with at the port booth with the owner of the company, we met our guide and bus driver, just beyond the little blue building on the right of the photo and were off on our tour about 11.

I had found the tour in an internet search, Victor Bodden tours and we chose the Fun-n-Sun tour, with a drive through the countryside, a visit to the Monkey and Sloth farm (a highlight as you'll see below), and a visit to Bananarama Beach.  For $30 USD it was far less expensive than any of the ship's excursions.

After a drive up a long, winding and very narrow road up to a view point (with the obligatory shopping area), we had a short stop for a chance to look back at the ship.  The stop was longer than planned as one passenger decided to shop, and shop, and shop some more.  We, however, were anxious to get to our next stop...seeing the sloths.

But first, we had to visit the monkeys...
 and macaws.  I actually had one of these on my head (that's J's hat below).  

and finally....
 a sloth!  If I recall, her name was Annabelle. While the hair is coarse, it is very soft. She was quite happy to snuggle in.

Most of the sloths were sleeping, but a few were eating the plants nearby.  We made it just in time, as they tend to sleep much of the day.

From there it was off to Bananarama Beach, a small resort on the west end of the island.  The sea water was warm, almost like bath water.  While J relaxed in the shade, K and I went and floated about before taking a walk down the beach and back.

Funny story, we were chatting with our guide when we reached the beach, while J was off buying himself a Coke.  At some point, the guide referred to him as "extra-white".  We had a laugh over that, because it's true, he's a red head and doesn't like the sun. 

Perhaps I should have taken his advice as I did get a bit of sunburn but it wasn't bad.  Besides I wouldn't have wanted to miss the time on the beach.

We had two great port days in Cozumel and Roatan!  Next up (likely after Christmas) Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico.


  1. The sloth! She's adorable. I know they're not "lazy," their slow movements and sleep relate to their food and their digestive systems. Can't say I'm fond of primates, though, including my own species. :-P

    Looks like it was a great day. I wish we had some of that sunshine and warmth!

  2. What a good idea, to have ruins a wildlife refuge. They would be a protected location anyway, with no development (hopefully), so it would serve a double purpose.

    Sloths always look happy. Maybe because they take life so easily, or so it seems to us. I think they are happy because they are so slow, they kept missing the buses and trains to work, so they eventually decided to chuck it all and live in trees. Not a bad philosophy.

    Roatan looks a very pleasant little place.


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