Aruba ABC Islands Caribbean

4 04 2011

3rd April 2011

Situated just 18 miles north of Venezuela, Aruba was formerly one of six islands belonging to the Netherlands Antilles and still has the Dutch influence.  Only 19 miles long and 6 miles wide, this little island has an average temperature of 82 degrees F, constant cooling trade winds, crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches.

Today it boasts of having the highest standards of living in the West Indies thanks to tourism and its close proximity to the Venezuelan oil fields.

Once again we were up and away early and at the local bus stop for a ride to the tip of the island.  Return fare for both of us was $5!  On the way we passed some ten large American style hotel complexes with their trimmed trees, hedges and lawns – not for us.  We were heading for the windsurfing beach!  Tony was quizzed by a very fit young blond (young enough to be his granddaughter) on his windsurfing abilities.  There was a gusting off shore wind and coral reefs to avoid.  A board and sail were selected so kitted up, off he sailed.  For the next hour or so Tony sailed, having fun avoiding the coral and taming the gusts.  Meanwhile patient Chris found some shade and a chair and sat and enjoyed the view.

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We then caught the bus to Arashi beach.  This area was the natural Aruba, far from the American developments; being a Sunday it was quite was busy with local families and groups enjoying large picnics.  We swam in the sea, Tony snorkelled, and just enjoyed being in the breeze on the beach. 

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The lighthouse did not appear far away, so we decided to walk to it following the approach road used by vehicle traffic.  However it took a lot longer than expected, but the view at the top was worth it.  We could look over the windward side of the island, and the countryside beyond, which is fairly arid and flat.

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Next to the lighthouse we discovered a short cut for the return trip to the beach, where  we  caught the bus back to Aurora.  A shower and change gave us time for a brief look around Oranjestad with its Dutch-style buildings and harbour full of deep sea fishing boats.  As it was a Sunday few purchases were made but we did find a bar for a refreshing cold beer.  Iguanas were sunning themselves on the rocks.

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And so ended yet another good day ashore, while back on board we were to enjoy a brilliant song and dance show after dinner.

Only two more visits to go !!

 

 


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One response

5 04 2011
davidmersea

Tony windsurfing at Aruba?!! Azure water, nice breeze? I can just about put up with the rest, but that really is too much after the winter we’ve had here!
Looks like a marvelous trip – enjoy the rest of it. Looking forward to seeing you both in a more mundane environment….

David & Val

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