A Travellerspoint blog

Last Day in Curacao

March 8

The men went off to snorkel at the tugboat site again, their last chance to snorkel for awhile. I just stayed home and relaxed. We had a bad night last night, because the resort across the bay had live entertainment for their guests. They started playing loud music around 9 or so and kept it up until 3 in the morning. Even with earplugs in, I could hear everything. Don managed to go to sleep, but it woke him up and he finally gave up and read until the music quit. Yikes!! Thank goodness they only do that Saturday night.

I thought I would show you the alien installation we have discovered here in Caracasbaai.

Alien installation

Alien installation

It is really a pipe layer for ocean gas wells and things like that. Very, very strange looking.

We went out for supper to a lovely restaurant very close to us called the Pier. It is right at the water and we watched people bring their boats in and clean them up, as the sun went down. We had great food and a wonderful, very personable waitress.

Rob and I at the Pier

Rob and I at the Pier

After we had eaten and we sitting at the table talking, I realized a tiny gecko was sticking his head out of one of the cracks in the table top. I tried to get his picture, but he was a lot faster than me. The red light of the camera trying to focus sent him back in the crack so fast.

The crack on the right is the one the gecko is in, although you will have to use your imagination

The crack on the right is the one the gecko is in, although you will have to use your imagination

So tomorrow we start our journey home, flying to Panama City and Toronto. We will overnight in Toronto and fly home on Tuesday. So no more blogs after today, hopefully we will make it home without any flight delays or problems.

Posted by katdill 18:11 Archived in Curaçao Comments (1)

Tugboat and Open Atelier

March 7

Don and Rob went off fairly early to snorkel at the tugboat site that we had investigated yesterday. They reported back that it was great - it has the best reputation for snorkeling on the whole island and I guess it lived up to its reputation. While they were gone, I went for a little walk up and down our street, just having a look at the neighbourhood. I didn't want to go to far because that involves some steep hill climbing and even in the morning, it's too hot for that.
After lunch, Don and I set out to visit artist studios. They have what they call "Open Atelier Route" on a couple of different weekends, with different artists participating on each weekend. Rob stayed home to paint with the watercolour pencils he bought. We first visited a photographer's studio with beautiful work. He's fascinated with doors also! His web site is www.cw-photographystudio.com .
Then we tried to find the studio with a group of 4 art quilters. The map that was given out was wrong, and after driving down a very narrow (think back lane) street twice and not finding the place, we stopped and asked a woman who was looking for it as well. She phoned someone and got directions, and then, because she was walking, we gave her a ride and followed her directions to find the studio. We were glad we hadn't given up because the work was so interesting and varied. The studio space itself was wonderful - a former dance studio converted to textile studio. Unfortunately, they did not allow any picture taking - I so wanted to bring some samples of their work back with me, but only in my head now.
We had planned on going to another studio down by the beach, but decided to travel across the island to the north coast to have a look at it. It is a very wild coast with very few people living near it. It is mostly rock and wild seas. We did find one beach where there were some brave young people surfing. It looked very scary to my prairie eyes!

Don getting caught by the spray almost

Don getting caught by the spray almost

Line up of wind turbines

Line up of wind turbines

Don at base of turbine to show you how big it is!

Don at base of turbine to show you how big it is!

Blow up of Don at base to prove he is really there!

Blow up of Don at base to prove he is really there!


We did a little shopping on our way home and decided to go out for supper. So after collecting Rob, we went over to Caracasbaai to Pop's Place, a restaurant right along the beach. We all decided to have the lionfish special. Lionfish are an invasive species from the Indo-Pacific and are spreading very rapidly in the Caribbean. They produce 15,000 eggs every 4 days all year long!! However, we were told they are considered a delicacy to eat here, once the poisonous spines are removed. So we tried them out - I found them very bony and the flavour no better than any other fresh fish. So many bones makes the small amount of meat you get just not worth it, in my opinion. However, we can say we were helping eradicate the lionfish by eating them.

Lionfish at aquarium

Lionfish at aquarium

Lionfish on plate

Lionfish on plate


After we finished supper, we drove over to Papagayo Beach to get some gelato dessert. We walked around on the beach by the restaurants down there. There was a beach volleyball game going on and the music was getting revved up at the beach nightclub. Lots of young people standing around and it was very loud. A beautiful night by the ocean, with the breeze blowing and the stars shining. Then home to bed.

Posted by katdill 17:15 Archived in Curaçao Comments (1)

Visit to the Sea Aquarium

March 6

We had a very laid back morning, although having finished yesterday's blog with a moonrise picture, I feel compelled to show you the sunrise picture Don took this morning.

Sunrise over the bay

Sunrise over the bay


After we had lunch at home, we went to the Sea Aquarium. We are now trying out new side roads to places if we can find a way on the map. So we explored some new roads and found the aquarium without any problem. The aquarium was very interesting, particularly for the snorkelers, because they got to see some of the fish, etc. that they had seen while snorkeling but they also got the informative panels about different species. We watched the flamingos being fed; Don fed a stingray and we got well splashed; we all got to pat the nurse sharks and help feed them; Don got kissed by a seal lion female, Snapper; and of course, we watched the dolphin show. The staff were very friendly and helpful and wanted to share any information they could about their charges.
Flamingo showing his filtering plates

Flamingo showing his filtering plates

Me patting a shark

Me patting a shark

Don getting kissed

Don getting kissed

Lobster

Lobster

Dolphins jumping

Dolphins jumping

On our way home, we did some driving around the neighbourhood we can see from our front patio. There is quite a variety of housing - from tiny little places to huge mansions - and lots of them are waterfront properties. We also checked out where another snorkel site is - the Tugboat. It was a little tricky to find, it involved driving over a windy road past the old quarantine building, past the old fort, etc. etc. But we did find it and I think the guys will go snorkeling there tomorrow.

Old Fort Beekenburg

Old Fort Beekenburg

Posted by katdill 17:15 Archived in Curaçao Comments (0)

Snorkeling up the Island

March 5

With a very relaxed start, we set off to drive up the island to Kas Abou, a rather isolated beach which is privately owned. We paid the admittance fee and the men went snorkeling and I sat on the beach in the shade reading, until it started to sprinkle rain. They got back soon after I returned to the car and we went off to Porto Marie, another nice little beach. We had lunch at the beachside restaurant before going in the water. Yes, I had a swim there while the men were snorkeling. The water is so nice and clean and warm. And they had showers so you could wash the salt off when you were done swimming - what luxury!

Pretty empty beach at Kas Abou

Pretty empty beach at Kas Abou

Lunch at Porto Marie

Lunch at Porto Marie

Beach at Porto Marie was very full

Beach at Porto Marie was very full


It started to rain there as well as we were leaving - lots of little sharp showers happening every day it seems. While driving around the countryside, we have seen these little old cottages, that are often still in use. Upon doing research on these "kunuku" houses, I found they were built by the black slaves after emancipation and have some of the same characteristics as traditional African houses.We drove back towards the city and went into an area called Sint Michiel to have a look at a house that's for sale. I had found this one during my customary real estate search and so we went to see what the area was like. Nice looking house, but very close to the neighbours on all sides, and not much yard. Just a fun way to look at a new area.

House for sale

House for sale

Kunuku house

Kunuku house


We stopped at a new to us supermarket on the way home, to get the ingredients for the shrimp (prawns) curry Rob wanted to make. By the time we got home, the full moon was rising. Just beautiful!

Full moon rising across the bay

Full moon rising across the bay

Posted by katdill 18:03 Archived in Curaçao Comments (0)

Arts and Crafts

March 4

We set off this morning to check out some art galleries and museums. We drove downtown and immediately got caught in a torrential rainstorm. So we sheltered under a canopy and watched a couple of local men play dominoes, with a great deal more style and flair than I've seen before.

Domino players

Domino players


After the rain let up, we visited the Rif Fort, which has shops mostly aimed at the people off the cruise ships, but is inside the old fort walls. The fort museum was not open so after a look around we left.

Rif Fort

Rif Fort


We wanted to cross the harbour to the other side, from Otrobanda to Punda. So we started across the floating pontoon bridge. It used to be the only traffic bridge across, but once the new bridge was built they turned it into a pedestrian only bridge. We were almost across when the bell rang and the bridge started moving. So we stayed aboard while the bridge moved part of the way open to let a little boat thru the opening and then it closed up again. Then we could finish our walk across the bridge!

One of the places we visited was a little art display for a "Plein Air" festival which is going on here now. The signs said Please don't touch, the paint is still wet! The pieces had all been produced in the last few days by the participants of the festival.
After buying some fruit at the floating market we headed back to the car. It was time for some lunch, so after some driving around having difficulty reading the map and lamenting the lack of street signs, we finally found our way to Piscadera Bay and The Pirate Bay restaurant. It was very pleasant sitting under the thatched roof enjoying our lunch.

Pirate Bay Restaurant

Pirate Bay Restaurant


We then visited the Curacao Museum, which is a large old building that was a military hospital originally. It has some rooms with art from Curacao and Dutch artists and some that are decorated with historic furnishings. I liked the historic furnishings better than the art, particularly the kitchen that was painted with white polka dots, supposedly to confuse the flies!

Polka Dot Kitchen

Polka Dot Kitchen


Stained glass map made for the New York World Fair in 1939

Stained glass map made for the New York World Fair in 1939

The carillon of 47 bells

The carillon of 47 bells


We found our way over to the Landhuis Habaai, which is a former plantation house that now houses an art gallery, Gallery Alma Blou, and giftshop. It had a lot of very nice pieces of art, but not only was there no room in the suitcases, there was not enough money in the wallet!! The giftshop was more affordable with some very nice local handmade items.

On our way home we stopped at an art supply store, so Rob could buy some watercolours, which was, as always, a fun place for me to visit. And after another stop at the supermarket, we finally made it home to have supper and relax.

Posted by katdill 16:42 Archived in Curaçao Comments (0)

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