November 15th, 2006 – by: islandflavour
Finally , we were arriving into Roatan! We informed the purser's desk the night before that we'd be disembarking, they took our passports and cleared customs for us (easiest customs I'd ever done!). The boat got in at 11, but we had made arrangements to be picked up at 1, so we wouldn't be getting off with the crowds, and could have some lunch before we got off. So we had a leisurely morning: up by the kiddypool for most of us. Arranged for our luggage to be picked up- the ship was right at the dock, so we wouldn't have to go in a tender.
The porters took our luggage just off and onto the start part of the dock, and then we were on our own (there are two gates: one at the mainroad, and then another about 150metres past that, and then a bit of an area next to the boat, which was where we were).
My friend Peggy, an incredible woman who runs a medical clinic in Sandy Bay
(completely funded through donations, check out www.missionroatan.org
under her link if you're interested in volunteering or donating), had offered to pick us up. Jumped on that offer, since I knew the cabs would charge a fortune from the cruiseship dock, and we had so much baggage- she's got a pickup. She said she had a contact, so she'd be able to get inside the gate. So we waited. I walked out to the outside gate, just in case, no sign of her. Waited some more, started asking cabbies for pricing, just incase. Then I remembered that there was an hour time change-duh! So we hung around, and a 1pm Roatan time, I did another walk over to the outer gate.
Peggy ended up being tied up in a meeting, so she sent Clayton from our church, but he wasn't having any luck getting in the gate, apparently Peggy's contact at the police wasn't involved here (he was municipal rather than federal). But he had a nice sign 'Clinica Esperanza welcomes Dr. Carley, Mel and the boys', so we talked to one guy, who talked to another guy, and they let the truck through. Then they kept asking about papers- I showed them our entry papers in our passports, they said there was some other papers, for the bags (maybe they thought it was clinic donations- it was a pretty big mound of stuff!). Anyway, they finally stopped asking about it, and about 5 armed guys helped load up all our stuff- how great! And then we were on our drive to see our house, it had been a year and a half since our last trip down. Ahhhhh, so good to be back in Roatan!