Checking in, I say to the front desk. A bellhop has already insisted on taking our bags. Is Jason here? Has he already checked in, I ask. Jason? Jason?
Ah yes, he says, there is someone at the bar. Maybe that is him
I walk over and am surprised to see that that the entire pool area is empty. There are only two people who sit at the bar. Wow, maybe the Dutchman was right, no one actually stays here.
One of the figures rises with a backback and heads over, beer in hand, and gives me a hug.
Lisa!! He says. Hey!
I’m so sorry, I say. I tried to send you an email. We got stuck up the mountain. There was literally nothing we could do.
Yea, he says. I got here around 4:30/5. I waited for a while.
Why didn’t you just check in, I asked. Have you been at the bar all this time?
Yes, he tells me. This is his 7th beer. I’m surprised it’s not more full, he says.
Did you eat? I ask. I am starving.
Dammit, he says, I just ate. A bowl of fries. I ordered right before it occurred to me to check my phone to see if there was wifi. Thank you for sending that email, by the way.
Well, good thing fries don’t count as food, and you’re going to eat again! I say gleefully. He looks at me suspiciously. We’ll see.
We all head back to the front desk where Cynthia is already done filling out her information and checking us in. Room 210, they say, and send us up.
The room is fresh and clean, although the sheets look like they hadn’t been updated since the 80s — the thin quilt, covered in pastel colored flowers. The balcony is incredible though, a stone ledge jutting out over the pool, facing the ocean.
We settle into our beds briefly. We feel like it’s been forever since we’ve slept in a real bed (since Granada really… those cots at Santo Domingo hardly felt like hotel quality anything.)
Jason and I jump into one. I lean back, relaxing. Whoa.. Whoa.. The bed scoots forward when we lean against headboard.
“Wait.. Is this a the same as a La Quinta Inn?”
No, I think it’s different, I say laughing.
I think we can lock the wheels on the mattress, Jason says. He jumps off and “locks” the wheels. I test out his mechanical saavy but leaning back into the headboard again. The bed slides again.
Dammit, he says.
Psh… mechanical engineer.
Go to La Palapa next door for dinner. The place is huge, two stories built in solid wood, with large plasma Tvs situated blasting everything from Hooters competitions to sports to music videos. There are disco lights, disco balls, music blaring, and outside, there loads of pictures of people looking like they are having a good time (sponsored by Barena). Although it looks like there are quite a few people eating, it doesn’t quite look like anyone’s in the mood to party.
We order a round of beers (Cyn gets a diet coke), and order some salad, fried chicken and pescado frito for dinner. We find out there is a bucket beer special, so we order a bucket of beers. Can’t say no to a good deal!
Initially we think we’ll stay– after all, the location adjacent to our hotel is undeniably convenient, but the longer we stay, the more people that get up and leave. As it gets later, La Palapa gets more tired, not busier.
Jason and I decide we need to check out the town. Cyn leaves after dinner (we find out later it’s already midnight)
Upon asking around, our waitress writes down the name of a cool discotec named Hibou, just two blocks past our hotel off the main road.
Jason and I walk over, past the street of the Rotterdam Hostel, past an open lot, past a huge tent with blaring lights, and finally to Hibou, a discotec with equally bright disco lights.
In regular fashion, I see a line outside, leading up to a ticketing window. I decide waiting in line would be a complete buzz kill, so I decide that I would prefer not to wait, and I step in line, ahead of the security guards. One door, check, two doors, check, and it’s only at the checkpoint at the third door that I realize they will not let us in.
Where are your tickets? they say, and when I say I don’t have any, they say I have to get in line outside. Unwilling to do so, I mill around in the middle of everything, until the finally, a small man approaches from the ticketing office and offers to allow us to buy our tickets inside.
How much, I ask. 260 lempiras for both you, he says. Fine, I say, handing him 300. We are scotch free!
The club is massive and bumping, two stories, with VIP bars by the entrance and upstairs. In the center, there is a huge dance floor where scores of people–probably 85% locals–grind and dance. The music is largely reggae-tone, but every now and then I hear a song I recognize and get excited, singing along to the words (or pretending as though I know it).
Jason and I head over to buy a round of drinks.
Is credit card okay? He asks, and the bartender nods. He orders a Port Royal beer, and I have a cuba libre. I had just taken my first sip of the refreshing drink, when Jason hands over his card.
ID? Says the bartender.
Oh crap, I say. You know, we’ve left our Ids at home tonight, but I swear that’s us. I’ll even give you my credit card as collateral. I even try to offer her my hotel key card as collateral, as if somehow, staying at the best hotel would help give us credibility.
The stone faced bartender still says no, so we are SOL with the 250 lempira combined that we have left in our pockets.
Luckily, as we find out, cuba libres are 35 lempiras, but shots of rum are only 30, so we spend the remainder of the night taking shots of cheap CA rum and dancing on the dance floor.
What time is it? I ask a girl standing next to me at the bar. She glances down at her watch and holds up 3 fingers.
Can we leave? Jason asks.
Yes, I say and I wonder how on earth we’re going to get up the next morning and make the 9:30 ferry to Roatan. I guess we’ll play it by ear, I say.