Roatan’s West End Part 2: Toppled Turtles, An Out of Place Night Club and My Favorite Restaurants
So where was I with my last post about Roatan’s West End…
I showed you around our beautiful hotel, The Beach House, had a delicious breakfast at Earth Mama’s, posted some pictures around town and of the coolest rope swing ever off a old sail boat in the bay and then I stopped at a truly intriguing sign above a man of indeterminate age snoozing…
$1US? Little higitees? This I can’t resist. Hickatees (the real way to spell it) are Central American river turtles that have been hunted almost to extinction for food. I WOULD be so happy to see so many.
I tapped him on the shoulder…wakie wakie. He led me into his backyard and I saw this.
A few turtles in extremely murky water…their only play thing or way out of the water? A cinder block. These guys were in some sort of cement turtle lock down.
So far I wasn’t SO happy. I tried to ask the gentleman a few questions but he either didn’t speak English or chose to ignore me. Hmmm…
He reached below the confine for what looked like a french fry basket on a stick and started to prod the turtles.
He plucked one out and then launched into a speech (in English) about the hickatees. Careful not to make eye contact, he urged me to hold one.
I am no turtle expert but this turtle did not look ready to be held.
Again, I asked a few questions “does he bite”, “what does he eat”…I was ignored. Nodding furiously that I did NOT want to hold the turtle, I thanked him loudly (that’s how you speak to someone who might not speak English) and backed out of the “exhibit”.
I bet this guy makes a killing on cruise ship day. I suggested that he print t-shirts with his sign and logo but I’m guessing that fell on deaf ears.
Time to eat. I know people have issues with TripAdvisor but during my brief vacation in Roatan, I used it to find two really tasty spots. It was time for lunch at Cafe Escondido. #1 pick in the West End.
A SUPER homey little second floor spot with cheap great food and a view over the bay. I love a spot that makes you want to hang around for hours…
We had two really really good rice bowls. And, with veggie only, they are just $5US. A perfect lunch.
And I’m not sure what it means but I am SURE it is something extremely portentous. An owl head. In my fudge and cream cheese brownie.
Am I the chosen one? I’ll have to wait to find out.
On the way home we passed a veggie and fruit stand. Very similar to a typical one in Belize but with avocados…
We took a short stroll along the main/only boulevard in West End and passed this bizarre construction site.
Brand new, Asia pagoda themed and with a stretch Escalade? How did that thing even round the corner to get into the West End?
The path/driveway is lined with black expensive looking imported stones.
And then a Hummer, jacked up on huge wheels with the El Boske logo on it. This place is intriguing…and so unlike the rest of this small town. What the heck?
I busied myself asking around the West End. Here are the things that I heard. It’s owned by a Colombian (we ALL know what that means) either A. planning to rent it out (snooze) or B. open a HUGE night club/lounge/sushi restaurant. Where each open pagoda will be a different theme with different types of music. A bit of Miami or Cancun totally unnecessarily ridiculously in Roatan, Honduras.
If I was the RoatanScoop? I’d be monitoring this like a hawk. In fact, my interest was so peeked, I am considering installing a spy cam.
We spent much of the rest of the afternoon in the sun…negotiating a snorkel deal for the next day with a man named Mr. Gentle and then watching the sunset from Sundowners Bar.
Super pretty. And such a cool change from Ambergris Caye where I watch the sun rise over the ocean.
Now on to dinner…an amazingly funky restaurant just about a 5 minute walk up the hill from West End. The Roatan Oasis. In New York, we’d call this a gastro-pub. Great beer, wine, cocktail selection but super homey place and FANTASTIC food. A small menu (a few appetizers, 5 or 6 main courses and 2 desserts) that completely changes each week.
The sign from the road is hard to miss.
Though not a sign that says “Come in Tourists!”…
I think this place just might be the inside scoop! A hidden gem. (Hidden at #2 on Tripadvisor.)
The chef/owner Loren and her husband Will have lived in Roatan for a few years and decided that they were enjoying their own cooking more than most of the restaurants. They wanted to share it with their friends.
They opened Roatan Oasis earlier this year and it was our favorite restaurant of the trip.
We went for starters and desserts but the main courses were HUGE and looked amazing.
I tried the Soup Trio. $6US for all of this food! And could it be any more appetizing looking? Answer? NO.
We tried them all.
And then dessert…Toffee Apple Crisp and Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate Drizzle. Divine. THREE DOLLARS EACH!
I was doing that gross thing…where you are chewing and saying YUM at the same time. Nummm….nummmm…nummmm. Please point it out to me if you ever catch me doing it.
Check out their frequently updated facebook page for the weekly menu. Even if you are not going to Roatan.
Roatan Oasis is THE spot to chat with the expats that live on the island…to get a real feel for Roatan life.
I left my card. And like Belize, all establishments take the local currency (lempiras) and US dollars. In fact, a few ATMs would give you an option for withdrawal.
Time to get to bed, we had to be up fairly early…the next day we had a ton planned. And a bit of beach time at the gorgeous West Bay area of Roatan…just a 10 minute water taxi from West End. The very best of both worlds.
And make sure to check out the NEW FLIGHT on Tropic AIr. Belize City DIRECT to Roatan, Honduras.