Natural Pool   We decided to rent a car and take a tour of  the other side of Aruba.  The Natural Pool was a place we hadn’t seen yet, and wanted to go.  When Dan, I and the kids had rented a car back in April, and tried to go to the Natural pool,  we decided against it as it was tough going in a car.  You could take a “Safari” tour there, but that was expensive.  While I was doing laundry one day, another tourist was talking about the Natural Pool, saying we needed to see it.  Her group had walked, instead of driving.  It was a long walk, about 45 minutes, but she said it was worth it.

The Petty/BeDell group was no stranger to hiking….. in the blistering sun….. with no water. (Just check last April entry in the BVI’S).  This time we had water.  But it was still a blistering sun.  Alan parked the van as close as he could and from there we had to walk.  How my laundry friend described the hike was, “You go up a hill, then another hill.  Then you keep going to another hill and then you can see the Natural Pool.  You think you should be there but your not.  You still have another fifteen minutes or so.”  As questionable as her directions sounded, she was surprisingly accurate.

 

the hike  The hike

 

 

trail  The trail

 

 

 

 

 

trail 2

 

 

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There were no marked signs to the Natural Pool, just a blazing sun beating down oh hard rocky soil, so we started walking up the nearest hill.  The ruts from the tire tracks left by the large 4 wheel drive safari trucks were easy to follow up, but on top of the hill, the road was harder to distinguish.  Here the road became fainter, splitting  off into two different directions, and we had to have a group discussion on which way to go.  We did not want to go the wrong way in the heat, especially since we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for.   We decided on the road heading more toward the ocean and kept walking, doing our best to avoid the cactus and sharp thorn bushes that would were so sharp, the barbs would puncture rubber soled sandals.   Finally,  in the distance, we spotted a pickup truck coming toward us, so we figured we were on the right track.  About forty minutes later, on top of I think the third hill, we looked down and saw a Jeep parked in front of  some big rocks by the ocean.  We guessed this was the place.  The bad news was that it was still a ways away, while the good news was it was all downhill.  About fifteen minutes later we reached what we thought was the pool, only to find that we still needed to walk down a series of steps, then crawl over some rocks and finally we would be there.

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Was it worth it? Yes.  The Natural Pool is a small pool surrounded by high blackish gray rocks, sitting on the ocean edge.  The pool is fed by ocean waves crashing over the top of the rocks, filling the pool.  After the long hike, the water felt incredible.   The pool itself contains some interesting sea life and we had a good time snorkeling seeing small fish.  The kids were excited when they were able to coax a playful brown eel from his hiding place.  The pool was ours for awhile, but about about 20 minutes later, the tour groups came.  We could see why the guidebook says to come early.  In one moment we had the pool to ourselves, the next twenty new people were trying to snorkel.  At one point we found ourselves pinned up against one side as a particular tour group decided to dive off the side wall.  Lucky for us, the tours only stayed there about ten minutes.  I can’t imagine paying all that money for a ten minute dip in the pool!  After that group cleared out, we had a short break until the next group came.  The kids used this time to climb up the sides and jump off the rocks into the pool.  By the time the third tour group came, we were ready to go.

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natural pool 3

 

 

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Outside the actual pool area, on a small sandy beach area,  was where visitors left clothes, towels, things that couldn’t be brought into the Pool itself.  Other tourists came and they left their towels and water there too.  As we were drying off, we were all thankfully drinking water.  Alan took a big swig from his water bottle and said,  ”This water tastes like cherry.”

Dan and I looked at the bottle thinking maybe he had flavored water, but no, it was plain water.  Alec took a drink. “It does taste like cherry.”

By this time, Karon had gone through her stuff, passing out towels to her family when she found another water bottle.  She looked at Alan. “Isn’t this your water bottle?”

Suddenly we all realized Alan and Alec had drank from someone else’s water bottle!  And I’m fairly sure the cherry taste came from that persons lip gloss or chapstick.  YUCK!  Dan and I were rolling with laughter while Karon was yelling “I can’t believe you drank that!”

Alan replied, “It looked just like ours!”  And it did.  And it was near their stuff.   Alan put the lid back on the offensive water bottle putting it back on the ground.  We finish drying off, and put our shoes on for the long hike back.

As we started to leave, Collin, who had not been around earlier, drank  from a familiar looking water bottle and  said, “This water tastes funny.”  In a flash Karon slapped the water bottle from his hands.  “That’s not our water!”  Poor Collin stood there dazed for a moment, while the rest of us couldn’t stop laughing.  I really felt sorry for the poor girl who would be returning from the pool later, thirsty for  a drink and find her water bottle gone!