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Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Ohio
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Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

We will fly into the airport and take a taxi to Infinity Bay. We won't have a car. Is there a store we can walk to to get groceries and good wine, or should we have the taxi stop some place for supplies? If so, where? We also want to buy great cigars, any suggestions?

Thank you

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Infinity Bay runs a shuttle... so if you are riding that, you'll probably not have the option. But if you do indeed take a taxi, they will typically make a stop at the grocery store and expect nothing more than maybe a good tip for the wait.

You can buy all the basics, including wine, at a deli in West Bay just a short walk from IB. On the other hand, we found them expensive for the quality provided.

Far better to ask the taxi to stop at one of the two grocery stores on the hill as you leave Coxen Hole. We enjoy shopping at Plaza Mar... a little more rustic, a little more authentic, and typically a little better prices on liquor - but many folks not accustomed to shopping in underdeveloped countries feel more at home at Eldon's, which has powered doors and better air conditioning and more of a developed country grocery market feel.

Both these stores offer much better prices than any of the minimarkets and they have good selections.

We've learned by experience how long flights can turn one's brain into mush, so we try to develop a good basic grocery list before we leave home. When we get to the store, even when somewhat brain-dead, we know we are going to get rum and tonic and gin and rum and coconut cream and pineapple juice and rum... and salsa criollo and rice and snacks and some potatoes and a piece of ginger and a pound of butter and some fish and shrimp and lobster (actually, we usually get our fish from a fish truck later, but you wouldn't go too wrong with Eldon's...) and some rum... the list turns us into a two person search-and-destroy mission rather than wandering with glazed eyes down each aisle.

Don't worry if this first stop doesn't get you what you need. If you need something basic, there are places in west bay to pick it up. If you want to resupply on heavier stuff - like rum and other beverages - a taxi into Coxen Hole is not nearly as expensive as your first trip from the airport. It's not a bad "field trip" part way through your trip to take a taxi into Coxen Hole... or even more interesting, take a water taxi to West End, then take a collectivo bus to Coxen Hole, which costs a couple of bucks and takes you into the colonia where the recent immigrants live (eye-opening... makes many of us into better tippers) to Coxen Hole. Walk around downtown, go to Yabba Ding Ding, then walk the few blocks back to the grocery store (if you find the route through the cemetary you can save a couple blocks walk). Buy your stuff and get a taxi back to West Bay with your rum and cold beer.

BTW - we are told the bag boys are unpaid... work for tips... so we try not to stiff them, and give them something extra if they stand around with you in the heat trying to grab a taxi.

Hagerstown, Maryland
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2. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Idiots, this is great information, thanks. We are renting a car and had already planned to stop at Eldon's after we pick up our car at the airport. I'm sure we'll probably get everything we need there, but I also have on my radar to check out The Bulk Gourmet at some point (we are staying on the East End and I believe that will be closer to us than Eldon's?).

Is Eldon's easy to get to from the airport?

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

JenO

First... to put things in perspective... there is basically one road on the island, running basically east-west along the length of the island. As you emerge from the airport, you can head east toward French Harbour and all points east, or west toward Coxen Hole, Sandy Bay, West End, and West Bay.

There are more than one Eldon's on the island... the old one in Coxen Hole downtown isn't worth considering, the one up on the hill above Coxen Hole is the good one I've talked about... but I think there is one in French Harbour, which is on your way east.

Actually, I've never been in it, but there is a grocery store... Hy-something I think... on the main road in the only real "shopping mall" on the island. A little touch of home... a Wendy's or some such and some moderny stores and a small (and insignificant, I'm told) casino... There are phone shops there in case you need to get a phone, sim card, computer dongle, etc. I went there to get my "TIGO stick" recharged with a month of internet access.

Eldon's is the wrong direction from the airport - but I think it is something like a mile... at most two... west on the main road.

I hope somebody can fill in the details on the big grocery stores heading east from the airport - but it certainly would be no big deal to go west over the hill to Eldons. (BTW - check out the marshmallow selection - at least the one at Plaza Mar - they must have some crazy relationship with marshmallows... many, many multi-colored, multi-shaped... a whole section of the shelf...

and be sure to try the butter cookies... I didn't bring enough of them home and I'm jonesing for a manzanilla cookie!

and at Eldon's, in the "gourmet" section, look for a bottle of Mango-Coconut salsa... it has a little pepper bite to it... best thing we've ever put on fish!

Now about the Gourmet place. That's where you go to find the stuff you can't live without from home... I've never gone in as I prefer to find local alternatives rather than trying to bring Minnesota with me to Roatan. If it isn't in a local store, I really don't need it. Some folks swear by the place... others swear at the place. It is on the main road on the right side as you head east... I think just before you get to French Harbour proper...

so we don't shop at the Gourmet place - but we have pulled into that lot a couple of times as it is also the location of the fish shop... HYBUR I think??? A little shop, flash frozen fish, lobster, shrimp, crab, etc. Prices seem to be the same as from the trucks, so even though it is cool and a little exotic to hear somebody call "Fish truck is here!" and go down to the parking lot and buy a mess of shrimp... it is really pretty convenient to head into Hybur and see marked prices and know that the refrigeration might be a little steadier than the coolers in a pickup truck.

(Write me if you want IdiotShe's easier-than pie sea bass dinner-to-die-for recipe... btw, the sea bass came from Vietnam...)

And one final thought. When we want a new dishpan at home, we go to our local megagrocery store or to Target. On Roatan, a person is likely to go to one of the small stalls or stores nearby... as you drive east you'll go past lots of local businesses... I think Brick Bay is the town that always manages to creat a traffic jam full of life. If you want a floaty toy or some tomatoes, consider giving your business to some local person trying to support a family out of one of those 100 square foot stalls... we've had a lot of fun meeting local folks over produce and hardware...

Edited: 28 May 2013, 17:51
Sudbury, Canada
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4. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Yes the Eldon's in French Harbour is much like the new Eldon's outside of Coxen Hole just a few years older. As you are driving east you will see the store on your right at the turn into French Harbour. It also has liquor and wine and a lot of the stuff like home. If you want to use your credit card for payment you need ID. We have only used Bulk Gourmet for USDA beef, American butter and some wines. Pricey but they have it...

Saskatoon, Canada
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5. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

We've struggled to find a wine in the grocery stores on Roatan that my wife can enjoy. We're far from wine snobs, but we wnet on the Bulk Gourmet website and found that they carried one that she drinks at home. We emailed them and they had a case set aside for us when we arrived.

Bulk Gourmet might be a little tricky for a first timer on the island to find, but I think they have a google earth picture on their website that should help guide you in.

If you're planning any beer consumption, there is a beer depot right by the side of the road just before you get to French Harbour too. Best price that you'll find, especially when you bring back the emptied and pick up case number 2 ...

Hagerstown, Maryland
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6. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Thank you all for these responses. I'm starting to understand the lay of the land by reading on here and looking at google maps, so this makes sense to me. We'll probably just stop at the Eldon's in French Harbour since it's on the way to our place. That salsa sounds amazing! I'll write you for your fish recipe.

And good to know about the fish market. I wasn't sure how many fish trucks we would be seeing on the East end.

How much do some of you typically spend for a week's worth of groceries? I know it will be different for everyone, but I'd be interested to hear. We will be going to some restaurants as well, but we definitely want to have most food at hand.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

asking for typical grocery expenses is like asking "how blue is blue?" Depends on the person. But if you look at the right hand column on the Roatan forum page you'll see a "Top Questions" page and one of the FAQs threads is about typical costs. I posted some prices from my grocery reciept there...

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g292019-i4482-k617…

Hagerstown, Maryland
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8. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

Thanks! 30 days from today! Yippeeee.

9. Re: Wine/gorceries from the airport or wait

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