Day 3: Bonaire
|Lionfish; we don't see this one either (a very destructive invasive species)|
THB gets a full night's sleep after waking up at 11:30 pm thinking it was 7am. Good news: fell back to sleep until 7:20am.
THB has his usual breakfast: imported Grape Nuts (brought from E-Ville). Snorkel out front of hotel again this morning and it is excellent, really good. Lots of fish, lots of variety, little snorkeling movement required.
|THB wears skins (probably 20+ years old and they still fit....stretchy!) and thus is avoiding sunburn; the water is plenty warm to snorkel naked, not that we see anyone doing that|
Since THB and DB are going snorkeling and carrying the bare minimum, the camera doesn't come with and so there aren't pic for the rest of the day. We saw a lot of interesting pic-worthy stuff, which we'll capture another day.
|LB swimming with the rays|
We decide to go to other side of island for lunch, maybe 15 - 20 minutes slow driving. and dine al fresco facing a large protected bay with white surf breaking on a reef 20 minutes away by wading, and lots of beginner windsurfers. LB has veg curry and rice and THB has grilled fish smothered in sauteed peppers and tomatoes, a small salad and tepid fries. With two Polar minis, $40 with a $200 view.
From there we troll the south end of the island very slowly on the one ring road: flamingos, freshly painted dinky slave huts, pelicans, some beach sculptures made of washed up trash and driftwood, salt pier, salt mounds, pink salt ponds, food trucks (yep, food trucks have come to Bonaire).
|Local guy getting ready for dip (first he takes a huge dump at pool's lip)|
Stop to snorkel at #53, Pink Beach (the dive and snorkel spots are numbered and named), where the snorkeling is right off shore (10 feet?) is terrific and further out very sparse. Of course, we started by going further out, then came back in close.
|Highest risk of sunburn: large bald spot (not show in picture)|
Aside: access to water is very easy here, in fact walking from hotel to a great spot out front is longer than when you park the truck at a site and walk in. #53 was 40 feet to water from truck and 10 feet from shoreline and was terrific along a stretch of beach that went over 1/2 mile in either direction from where we started; we put our stuff down at easy in/out. Saw one other snorkeler...more divers coming in from out of the "depths" than snorkelers. In fact, we've seen many more divers than snorkelers so far.
Shopping at Van den Tweel Supermarket for more in-room dining supplements plus more sun tan lotion and aloe, $45. We're pretty much going to be dining out "nice" for lunch and eating our dinners of pupus on the the shared balcony deck. We saw an American family of four shopping: dad pulled out a beer and down crashed two or three more, exploding all over the place. THB let LB pull out the beers with less shaky hands that essential-tremored THB.
This shopping can wear out a couple of snorkelers: we stop and have Surinamese Javan ice cream. Super soft cafe for THB (gritty, so soft the scooper put the cone upside down in a cup) and cookies and caramel for LB, $6.
|Dinner on the deck (along with the local mosquitoes)|
Back to Coral Paradise (no quotes required, this place is a real paradise) where LB meets the former owners and chats them up while THB is hanging out the gear to dry overnight.
Clean up, rest up, do some e-mailing, rest up some more, and pretty soon it is time for pupus.
Book Review: With The Old Breed, E. B. Sledge: The last bit of the WWII invasion of Japan as told by a Marine who fought through two harrowing island invasions. Originally published in 1981 and then subsequently annotated later. Harrowing and numbing, Sledge was one of the few to escape physically uninjured; everyone who participated had to be mentally damaged. Recommended