A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands Antilles

So Quiet and Peaceful in this "Yellow" Town!

I can't believe I couldn't book a tour in Bonaire, they were all sold out the first cruise day! Not really a problem, our ship is docked near downtown Kralendijk, we can walk off the ship and explore on our own. Most everyone here speaks English, Spanish or Dutch, as well as Papiamento.

The ABC Caribbean Islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao all speak Paplamento. The precise history of this language has not been established, but there are many theories. It is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and also some Arawak Indian and African influences! The language is recognized on Bonaire by the Dutch government.

Another cruise ship is docked here at the same time we are, a German ship, Mein Schiff 1, with the 2 ships here at the same time, it isn't very crowded. Interested fact about this ship is it was originally the MV Galaxy in 1996, a Celebrity ship! It was sold to a German company in 2009.

The weather was great, I checked the temperature averages before I booked to come here, and it changes very little. From January to December the high averages are 84-89 degrees and low averages 76-80! So all year round they have this same great weather, with very little rain. Bonaire is situated very close to the equator so the sunshine in this part of the world is strong and very bright. The water is so clear and clean and those blue shades are amazing! We could see fish in the water, right next to the walkway, especially liked watching the Bonaire blue fish. They were a little difficult to photograph!! There were benches along the walkway so we sat and enjoyed the scenery!

We saw the mounds of salt as our ship was leaving, from the main dining room. We found out the majority ot the salt produced on Bonaire is used in water softeners, but with the worse weather in the Northeast USA occurred over the past few winters, salt from Bonaire was loaded on container ships and ended up on our streets to make our lives easier! <br style="line-height: 18px; font-family: arial, verdana; font-size: 12px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;">"The harvesting of salt has been a major industry on Bonaire for over 350 years. It was a laborious task first done by slaves, and after abolition of slavery, by laborers from the surrounding villages. Over the ensuing years, due to high tariffs and little capital investment, the industry fell on hard times until it was revitalized an modernized in 1963. Throughout the centuries, salt has been an important trade commodity. In early Roman days, the soldiers were paid their wages in salt - salarium- hence the English work for pay became salary. Salt was no less important to the sixteenth century Dutch- they had cornered the European market with salt that came mostly from Portugal"

Fort Oranje, the small fort, was built in 1639 and has four English cannons. It was built to protect the islands main resource, salt. The fort never saw action. It has an adjacent stone lighthouse. Some of the buildings now serve as the courthouse to the island.

Venezuelan merchants have a Roman-style covered pavillion where you can find fresh produce, near the town pier.

Most of the buidings are painted yellow, maybe it's a law, or maybe they just like yellow!

The waters around Bonaire are designates as an official Marine Park, so it is like the way the Caribbean used to be, untouched and unspoiled. It must be amazing for underwater photography! Recent studies have shown that Bonaire's fish population is the most diverse in the Caribbean and ranks among the best in the world.

I would definitely like to return to this island and find the adventures and attractions we missed!

Donkey Santuary and Tortoises Pink Flamingo Santuary near the Salt Flats Witte, A Pink Beach with tiny houses that were used for slaves that worked the salt mines.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk, Bonaire


Colorful truck

Colorful truck


Fort Oranje

Fort Oranje


Fence

Fence


Government building

Government building


People with signs

People with signs


Jim

Jim


United Nations, Help

United Nations, Help


Bicycle tour gathered near "yellow" Customs Office

Bicycle tour gathered near "yellow" Customs Office


Our Explorer of the Seas - Relatives?

Our Explorer of the Seas - Relatives?


Mein Schiff 1

Mein Schiff 1


Walkway near the water

Walkway near the water


Only saw 1 iguana

Only saw 1 iguana


Fresh food market

Fresh food market


Market

Market


House

House


Church

Church


Kaya Grandi, towns Main Street

Kaya Grandi, towns Main Street


Downtown

Downtown


Downtown, A blue building!

Downtown, A blue building!


Bonaire Mall

Bonaire Mall


Can rent this boat, really cheap!

Can rent this boat, really cheap!


Not a sandy beach!

Not a sandy beach!


Nice little perch

Nice little perch


Nice place for lunch!

Nice place for lunch!


Bonaire Blue Fish

Bonaire Blue Fish


?

?


Clear water

Clear water


Tour the island?

Tour the island?


Even the flowers are yellow!

Even the flowers are yellow!


Boat on the beach

Boat on the beach


Tour Boat

Tour Boat


Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree


Scuba Company

Scuba Company


Scuba Diving Lessons

Scuba Diving Lessons


A

A


Which way should we go next?

Which way should we go next?


Message

Message


Before I Die?

Before I Die?


Salt mine

Salt mine


From our Cruise Ship

From our Cruise Ship

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Comments (0)

Curacao Carnival Experience

We were informed by the Captain of our ship that we would be visiting Curacao during their Carnival Parade, so that was exciting information. We have been here before and taken a tour of the island and didn't plan to do another one, especially with the Parade going on.

We did walk to a different part of Curacao, called the Otrobada "other side" is where most of the residence live, so we saw what it is like being a local. A lot of locals were setting up chairs and coolers, getting ready to watch the parade. We saw a guy carrying this huge iguana and Jim immediately pulled out his camera to take a picture, I knew that wasn't to happen! He motioned to Jim "no pictures", obviously he was using the iguana to make some money. It's quite the contrasts from the Punda side, where the town starts and where we saw most of the tourists shopping and eating along the water's edge. The two different areas are separated by St. Anna Bay and we could cross back and forth via the Queen Emma Bridge.

Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]