• Steve

Living in paradise

It’s often easy to forget, given the labyrinthine process of moving to and establishing a business in a Central American country that we are essentially living in what many people, especially those back home in the New York City area trapped in the icy grip of winter would consider a paradise. It might be the rainy season here but temperatures still crest above eighty when the sun deigns to come out for a couple of hours and the place where we’re staying at the moment -- Parrot Tree Plantation is simply gorgeous.

It’s not the four seasons but by Roatán standards it’s an amazing resort -- dazzling with natural and man-made beauty -- and it’s virtually deserted. There are a few people who live here full or part time -- but most of the picturesque buildings and the sprawling, immaculately designed grounds -- are empty.

When we go to the huge, intimately gardened pool we’re usually the only ones there -- and if we go to the screened-in, self-contained, laguna-like beach anytime that isn’t the middle of the afternoon when cruise ship people are bused in -- we’re the only ones there aside from at most a table of people staying at the resort. -- That means we can walk the dogs around the far side of the beach almost off-leash and let them run -- chasing after coconuts and each other without having to worry about them getting lost in the mangroves chasing after agoutis or swallowed up whole by crocodiles. It’s not our own private paradise, but it’s close.

When we walk the nature preserve trail -- which we’ve yet to see anyone else on, we feel even more remote and alone -- like we’re the only ones here.

Yesterday we met a nice couple from Toronto (what Canadians aren’t nice?) house sitting up on the hill who reminded me that this is a place that people would love to visit if they only knew it existed. They were somewhat in awe of the plantation and while I felt their infectious enthusiasm, staying in a mansion house-sitting is one thing -- living aboard a sailing vessel is something entirely else.

Of course, it isn’t exactly easy getting up to this end of the island and it’s a far cry from the bustling nightlife and camaraderie of West End that initially attracted us to this island -- but the people who do live and work here are by and large friendly, outgoing and charming.

And we’ve get security patrols roaming the grounds all the time -- even patrolling the marina and harbor with shotguns -- which goes a long way to providing us with a sense of stability that isn’t always easy to obtain on an island like this where police/military response isn’t exactly like we’re used to back in the States. The head of security has taken quite the liking to Mischa -- so much so that he greets us with I Want That Dog!

There’s great diving right off the end of the beach here, we see dive boats out there all the time (we haven't dove this side of the island yet but once we get our dive gear sorted we certainly will) and the protected beach area is a perfect learning ground for paddle boarding. Hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy it a bit more once this rainy spell ends tomorrow.

I’ve been using some of the rainy time to make material updates to the sailing charters section of the website! Check those pages out and let us know of any feedback in the comments below or via email!

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