Thursday, August 10, 2017

Day 5: Bonaire

Day 5: Bonaire

Juvenile Schoolmaster: this one we probably have seen
We never saw a donkey play goalie before

Same-same for breakfast. 

THB goes to the Coral Paradise Resort (CPR) office and gets some help planning next few days: 
  • lunches, best spots for snorkeling to the north, confirm Divi Resort meet-up spot for Woodwinds tour tomorrow
  • when to go night snorkeling to see the phosphorous ostracods (answer: ask on Woodwinds tour) 
  • try one of CPR's free-left-behind masks (not as good as THB's 30 year old one) 
  • buy one of CPR's spiffy UV long-sleeve snorkel shirts to replace THB's skins (a good move, no more struggling in and out of the skins 2/day, quick to dry out)
Breakfast companion

Usual snorkel in morning at paradise, see giant barracuda (giant to us!), several other unusual fish, and stop short due to murkiness on fringes of paradise (a bit more "surf"?)

Lunch at Mi Banana: a great experience! It's a mostly-local spot which we could tell because LB ended up in a long conversation en Espanol with the woman sitting behind us. She's from Aruba, lives on Curacao, and works distributing to all three of the ABC islands. This is her fave place on Bonaire.

Veggie plate includes onion rings

Semi-tough pork chops with nice flavor and great with spicy/hot condiments

Arepa, ah-rep-ahh (slightly out of focus)

How did we meet her, you ask? Because THB saw something interesting being served at another table and asked the waitress: what was that? The waitress asked (in the local Creole lingo) the woman to help us. It's "arepa" she said, a "cake" made of white corn (it can come with fillings, these were solid, sort of like Indian idli).. When a plate of four arrived shortly after our main courses (pork chops with rice and plantains for THB, veggie plate for LB), LB turned to her and offered her one of our arepas, and they chatted away for quite a while. And, the arepas are not on the menu, THB and LB confirmed that with our dining neighbor. Two Polar minis, one lemonade, one order of arepas, $35 (which included a small tip, our dining neighbor explained she leaves one or two dollars though a tip is not expected).

It is impossible that anyone walks across the street in a wetsuit and fins...too hot!!

Though every snorkel/dive spot has a number, vast majority are marked with the name....1000 Steps

It was a long lunch! This afternoon we do the north island, snorkeling at 1000 Steps (50 down and what seems like 950 back up). It is very different than the other spots we've tried because it is mostly coral and other vegetation on the seabed, not that many fish. There was a fascinating set of hollow purple "tubes" that, as LB said, looked like something ceramic THB and DB might collect. 

Pics along the northern road:

Black and white indicates one-way or one-lane...something like that

Tanker taking on oil...or a delivery?

Signed for the gringos?

Bonaire is a desert and has cacti to prove it

Per our lunch companion, the flamingo fly over from Aruba and Curacao in the morning and back in the evening

From there we finished our north end tour: close to the refinery, along the flamingo sanctuary, past the donkey football pitch, down the rough east side of the island, and near the CP Resort (not hotel) we rent an underwater camera for tomorrow's tour to Klein Bonaire. So, we may have "real" pics of sea life to post tomorrow (THB is fortunate that his travel partner is a terrific camerawoman, otherwise all you'll be seeing is blurry shots of sand....or an arepa or the dining room at the pizza place)

Where is the rest of the team?

Working construction

The fans haven't shown up yet either

More shots around the island

All the rural street lights are solar

The closest thing to a utility box

Dinner at Pasa Bon Pizza and Bar, run by an American

Tomato and mushrooms pizza, two small green salads, one garlic bread, 3 Polar minis, and so old-style traditional that you might have thought they turned the clock back maybe 40 years. $42 and a few slices left over and now in the fridge at CPR.

Ambiance....? It's actually a semi-enclosed back patio where we both think we were being bit by small creatures

Old style...

Book Review: The Animators, Kayla Rae Whitaker (novel): Another bad choice by THB where the main character is supremely talented, mostly drunk and drugged and without nuance, the discussion of the art (animated films) is puffed up art-speak, and the caricatures of real people (e.g., Terry Gross) are ridiculous distractions. Partly placed in NY such that maybe it appeals to Brooklyn hipsters?  Not finished, Not Recommended

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