I guess by now you realize that I love to travel. One of my goals is to see as much of the world as possible. My husband, Paul, and I just returned from a wonderful cruise to the Western Caribbean. The ship left from Miami, Florida and our ports of call took us to places we had never been to before; Cozumel, Belize, Grand Cayman and Isla Roatan, Honduras. We enjoyed every stop but our favourite was Isla Roatan.
Colourful Garifuna Dancers greeted us as we got off the ship. The men wore long loose brightly coloured dresses and their faces were covered with masks. We learned from our tour guide that many years ago the African female slaves were often given their freedom.
There was no chance for the African men to gain freedom so the women dressed them in women’s clothes, covered their faces and snuck them out into the hills and caves of the islands. They eventually intermarried with the local natives and created a new culture. They do the special costumed dance to commemorate their freedom and their unique history.
The tour bus took us to Gumbalimba Park. There we found a virtual Garden of Eden with well kept grounds, beautiful foliage and vibrant flowers. We walked past gentle waterfalls and over a scary swinging rope bridge. We were given the choice of taking the “Chicken Walk” or the bridge, but as no one wanted to be known as a “chicken” we all opted for the daunting bridge. I managed it just fine by holding on tightly and not looking down into the lagoon below us!
It was well worth it as on the other side we were greeted by the most vivid coloured birds I have ever seen. Splashes of brilliant reds, blues and yellows could be seen in the trees above us. A large bright green parrot alighted on my shoulder while my husband quickly took a picture. He soon had his turn as another landed on his shoulder looking very comfortable. Now if only he had been wearing his pirate costume.
Further on we met some mischievous white faced monkeys who were only too ready to play with us. They jumped on our heads, looked through our pockets for goodies and provided us with displays of their acrobatic ability. One even took a pair of glasses off a visitor’s face, tried them on, decided it was not the correct prescription and returned them to the astonished tourist. They were most entertaining and so cute I wanted to take one home with me.
The park was situated near a beach so we spent the rest of the morning relaxing on the beautiful white powder sand and paddling in the clear, turquoise, warm water with bright tropical fish swimming between our legs; and thinking about the cold weather everyone was experiencing back home in Canada.