Curacao

 The Best Laid Plans…………

 

Our plan was to contiune to Columbia, find a place to leave the boat and head home for Christmas.  When we realized there wouldn’t be a marina, nor a marina yard to leave ALegria until after the holidays, that was still ok, we would fly back to the States after Christmas.  Unfortunately, I received word of my Mom’s health and we needed to be home for Christmas.  Fortunately, Curacao has an excellent haulout facility. 

Checking into Curacao is a real pain.  It is a 20 minute bus ride from the harbor to customs, then another half hour walk to immigration.  Luckily we missed the bus the first time and a lady gave us a ride in her van.   Curacao is an industrial city, and a cruise ship destination.  The downtown in really pretty, and we enjoyed going to the movies with Salt and Light.  We had a lot of work to do to get ALegria ready to go on the hard.  We weren’t sure how long we would be gone so we needed to clean and pack up everything. 

 To make it to the boatyard we had to head to downtown Willemstad, where a footbridge had to be opened to allow us through.  We felt like celebrities as everyone snapped pictures or took videos of the bridge stopping traffic and opening up for us to bring Alegria through.  It was one of the coolest things we have done!!!! Alegria will forever be etched in peoples memories!!!

The haulout went fine.  Here they use a trailer to pull Alegria versus the sling method used at other boatyards.  It took them awhile to get the trailer lined up and we were worried they wouldn’t be able to do it, but they did.  We stayed in the yard that night.  The next day, Dan had to head back to immigration with a letter from the boatyard saying our boat was staying there, and showing that we were leaving.  (in Curacao, boats can stay for 6 months, US citizens 14 days).  We called a taxi to take us to the airport.  This was the same taxi driver Dan and Tristan had used earlier that morning to go to immigration.  On the way to the airport HE FELL ASLEEP WHILE DRIVING!!!!!!!  He swerved in the other lane and Dan had to yell and wake him up.  We nearly had a head on collision!!!!!  Not a good way to start our trip!!!

 

The flight on Air Jamaica wasn’t bad, but we got into O’Hare (Chicago) at 10:30 pm and were greeted with a snowstorm.  It it wasn’t snowing it was sleeting!!  Need I say it was COLD???   Anyway, we made it safely to my parents house for the start of our Christmas Holiday!!

  The footbridge that needs to open.

 

  Bridge starts to open

  Haulout

 

 

    

The yard is really clean, being paved instead of the usual mud and gravel.  We did have mosquitos though!!!  We also caught up with Cloud Nine.  Last time we knew they were heading to Cartegna with Dawn Dancer.   They decided they needed to get their bottom painted now and head to Columbia later.  Maybe we can make the crossing together??

Bonaire

 

When most people think of Bonaire, they think of incredible diving or snorkeling.  We found the island to be just as incredible on land.  We rented a car for a few days and had the best time going where we wanted, being our own tour guides, and seeing things on the island most people don’t see.  Tour guides are great, but we have always had the best time when we’ve rented a car and gone off on our own.  Bonaire has such a diverse landscape.  One end has lakes, flamingos, a national park, caves and hills.  Another side has flamingos, salt flats, former slave quarters and donkeys.  One coast is desolate and rocky, resembling a moonscape.   Bonaire is also very mystical, with Indian writings, and a rock that the original Indian tribes believed was connected directly to the center of the Earth. 

 

  Flamingos at the Flaming Sanctuary

    Piedra Bonaire (Bonaire Stone) 

Piedra Bonaire is an important site associated with the original mythical ancestor whose name is Boynay.  It is written in the Boynay Mythology Book, “Boynay Tey” that Peidra Bonaire is the birthplace of Boynay who is the first Bonairean “Yu Di Baranca Mama” (Son of Mother Stone).   Legend has it this stone is connected to the center of the earth.  To quote “Piedra Bonaire represents the navel rock of Bonaire; a central place in the mystical relationship between Baranca Mama (Divine Mother Stone) and the umbilical stone that once attached Boynay (Bonaire) to her deep womb under the island where she lives in Luga Bibu (The Living Place”).

Read the legend. 

 

 Early Indian Shaman astronomers   The drawings tracking the planets and stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds of Bonaire

 

 

 

 Slave quarters

  

 

 

Salt Flats

 

Photo gallery Aves de Sotavento

  Cruise ship headed to Bonaire

 

  You hate to leave this kind of place

 

 

 

  Brittle star

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