Monday, September 30, 2013

Holiday from Heaven

As mentioned, I am very behind on my travel blog,  so I am hoping to use the next little while to catch up.

Back in May when I was in China, I got a BBM (blackberry message) from my friend Janet in Houston (Janet and I used to work together in Calgary at Shell) asking if I wanted to go on a SCUBA diving holiday to Honduras in September.  Now those of you who know me well, I am not very good at committing to anything that is too far out i.e. more than 1 month, but I thought – hell why not, so I quickly said yes.  By the next day, much to Janet’s surprise, I had my flights to Houston and on to Roatan booked!  A colleague of ours, who is uber picky had recommended the resort – Anthony’s Key Resort and we both figured that it was good enough for her, it would be more than good enough for us – and boy was it ever!  This was our holiday from heaven!

Anthony’s Key Resort or AKR as those familiar with it affectionately call it, is located on the southwest side of Roatan (an island off the east coast of Honduras in the Caribbean).  It is essentially an all-inclusive diving resort however they do cater to non-divers as well. 

So what made this the holiday from heaven – we did not have to think – AT ALL!  Both Janet and I have very busy jobs that often require a lot of brain power and to be able to go on a holiday where you don’t have to make any decisions beyond do I want soup or salad at lunch and dinner and do I want entrée A or entrée B at lunch and supper is so relaxing.  Every part of our day was planned for us but not in a suffocating type of way.  We would get up most mornings around 6:30am, go have breakfast and then would have to be at the dock for about 7:45am to go for our first dive.  We would then go out for our first dive, which was usually only a 5-10 minute boat ride away.  We would then come back to the dock for a break for generally 45 minutes and hang out, then go for our 2nd dive.  Come back, go for lunch.  We didn’t do our 3rd dive of the day until 2:30pm, so we would usually just go and float in the pool and soak up more vitamin D.  Just before 2:30 we would head back to the dock, get on the boat, go do our 3rd dive and then come back.  From there, we would head back to the pool, have our daily margarita or two in the pool.  Got to our room around 6pm to shower and change and then supper at 7pm.  Most nights we were in bed by 9pm and asleep by 9:30pm.  We were told what to do and when and it was great!  We both commented repeatedly how relaxing it was to not have to think!

On top on the not thinking, our room/cabin was located on a small quay across from the main island and on the quay, although there was a small bar, pool and spa, there was no Wi-Fi connectivity and the rooms had no TVs J which added to another level of relaxation.  The first couple of days it did feel awkward to be so disconnected from the world but at the same time, it was nice to have the electronic break.  I did have my blackberry with me, but I couldn’t get any work email J and I posted on Facebook a few times but since roaming is so expensive, I limited my time to about 2-3 minutes.  Had we wanted WiFi, we could have gotten it in the main part of the resort but that would have meant lugging around my iPad, which I didn’t want to do.

 One thing that made this holiday so awesome was the people that we met and the people who work at AKR.  On our first day, we met a bunch of people in the shuttle from the airport to the resort and they had all been to AKR multiple times before (one couple – it was their 20th time).  We then got to know them later in the day when we were all hanging in the pool.  They had tried to get us on their dive boat, however it was full, but that was okay, because we all fell into a little pattern and Janet and I would eat supper with their group every night.

When you hang out with people who share the same interests as you for a week, you pick up little tricks of the trade, you get ideas of equipment to buy and you learn about different dive resorts/live aboards, etc.    We both walked away we a few more friends and look forward to seeing them again in the water.

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