As we still had a few things that Farrel needed to finish at the cabin since the last visit, I had really wanted to get back and see how everything looked. This week is a huge holiday week, Semana Santa, which meant a different ferry schedule, so it would be possible for me to take the ferry over for a few days. Even though it's a busy time at the hostel, I decided going over for the start of the week would work.
I was sad not to have my DAM team with me, but I recruited a hostel guest named Kelley to come over with me. He's here for a month and a half, and was curious about Guanaja. We caught the ferry on Sat afternoon- it didn't leave til 4, which meant we arrived to Low Cay at about 5:30. By the time we got our bags and got in the water taxi, it was after 6, which meant darkness was falling as we got dropped off.
We had just enough light to make our way to the cabin. I've put on a combination padlock, so I opened things up, and we got everything inside and switched on the solar light that we hung up last trip.
The porch had all gotten screened, screens in the windows, bunk beds in place (with ropes, so that the top bunks can be tied out of the way when not in use), and a little kitchen counter- so cute! We got things put away, had some cheese and crackers, and a salad that I had packed, and decided not to bother cooking anything. We took a walk out to the dock to enjoy the stars, and then called it a night.
The next day, I was up early and went for a walk on the beach. I saw Jose, who accompanied me back, and brought along a few things that we had left with him previously, like a big plastic pan for washing and a machete. We discussed our next steps of clearing all the land in the back, and filling in the marshy spots. Jose gifted me a cat, Payasina. She had followed him over, and when he said she was ours, she stayed! Not sure how that plan will work with us not being there, but he'll bring over some food for her, and hopefully she'll stick around and keep any rodents away.
Over the next few days, Kelley helped out a ton as we got more of the back area cleared. He put up a shelf in the kitchen with some scrap wood, so I got my kitchen area all organized. We also worked on putting in a little footpath up to the steps, mosaic style using some broken pieces of cement from around the property (there had been a home there that got destroyed during Hurricane Mitch in 1998), and then filling in the spaces with pretty blue stones that Farrel had left for me. We mixed some work and some fun. Kelley brought an inflatable paddleboard, so we took turns going out on that in the morning, and took a few swim breaks during the day. I brought along a couple books, so had a few book reading sessions on the dock and in the hammock. Of course, leaving on the busiest week also meant that I needed to keep up with some things at the hostel, so I listened for the 'ding' of my phone to keep up with messages. The connection as a bit more in and out than last time (I'll need to look into how I install a booster to get a better signal).
Jose has arranged a guy to bring us bags of fill, so he and his family came several times to drop off bags of sand. He has 5 kids that look like they're about 7years and under- they played in the water with me, while their mom and dad unloaded bags of sand from the boat.
A friend who spends part of the year in Roatan and part in Canada sent me a message on Facebook. She was in Guanaja! I told her that we were too, so she decided to take a water taxi over on Monday and spend the night. She arrived with a bag of ice and 2 bottles of sparkling wine to toast the new home :) We had dinner together, and a few drinks and watched the sunset, which is so spectacular from our side of the island. We headed to bed fairly early. The next morning, Kate cooked us all breakfast, and then we took a walk along the beach to the south. There are 2 houses further down the beach, both which just have caretakers in them (Jose in one, and a guy named Manuel in the other). The owners of Manuel's house were there, so I got to meet them, a very nice family that live in San Pedro Sula and come over a few times a year. The 2 little dogs that followed us last time followed us again- I ended up having to walk down the beach with them later to bring them back home, as they didn't seem to want to leave on their own, and then that time, the bigger dog followed me back!
Kate headed out early afternoon on Tues, and Kelley, Jose and I did a bit more clearing out back (well, mostly the 2 of them, I helped a bit). We had Jose stay for dinner, and then went to sit on the beach for the sunset. Another early bedtime.
Wed we had to head out by 9:30. I got up and took a walk on the beach, then starting packing up and organizing so I wouldn't be rushed. Once everything staying had been stored and everything leaving had been packed, I headed out to the dock for one last reading and relaxing session. I tried to take lots of pics so we can remember the various stages of progress, and so I can share them with the boys.
I've made notes of what I need to bring next time (hammock hooks, spring for screen door, coffee cups), and what projects take priority (gutter and a tank to collect rain definitely high on the list!). I'm hoping that I can stay for a week sometime in May, when things are quieter. Maybe I'll also be able to get a group interested in going over just for a night or 2 on a private boat in the next few weeks, so that we can bring over the other mattress that we need and a few bigger/heavier items that don't work so well if taking the ferry.
I'm Mel. Together with my 2 sons, Deo and Auri, we form the DAM team (Deo, Auri, Mel). I'm Canadian, my boys are half Canadian, half Honduran, and have grown up on the island of Roatan. We have a hostel in Roatan called Roatan Backpackers' Hostel, which I started when the boys were young. Now that they are adults, we've decided to start a new venture together on the beautiful neighbouring island of Guanaja. In 2022, we purchased our land, and in March of 2023, we put up a little cabin so that we have a little spot to sleep in and store things while we slowing work to get our project together. We are hoping to get our business running in the next 3-5 years, with these next few years giving us a chance to save up capital and advance a bit at a time at planting and infrastructure. Our blog will share our adventure with anyone who wants to follow it!