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Published: January 31st 2014
January 2014 ARUBA, Dutch Antilles
Distanced Travelled 5273 Nautical Miles
Temperature has been increasing as we cruised from Fort Lauderdale down to Aruba in the Dutch Antilles. We cruised on a south easterly course between Cuba and Haiti. Aruba is just 18 miles north of Venezuela. The Island is about 19 miles x 7 miles wide.
We arrived at about 09.15 and had a short trip booked to see the Islands Highlights.
When you’re shown the desalination plant and a collapsed Natural bridge you will come to the conclusion quite rapidly that Aruba is not the place for palaces, museums or works of art.
The real lure here is for tourists, it is the sunshine and the beaches on the leeward side away from the windward side of the island which is rugged and underdevoped. A paradise for water sports where water visibility can be up to 100 feet.
Aruba is no lush paradise; the cactus studded land is flat say for 3 hills which rise to a staggering 600 feet or so!!
Our trip took us beyond Oranjsted where
we berthed, towards the North West of the island to the Californian lighthouse. On the way we passed all the new ‘condos’ and 5 star hotels which has given a big lift to the tourist industry. Most of the hotels have casinos of which there are eleven on the island. This is also where all the best beaches are (7 miles) and as they are in the height of their tourist season were busy.
As the blurb in the handbook for Aruba says ‘the landscape is so strange as to be unforgettable with its Aloes, palms seagrapes, watapanas and cacti’. The tour took us to Alto Vista, a little chapel set high above the sea called the Church of Santa Anna with a hand carved oak altar. Next was a Rock Formation then the famous Natural Bridge, carved and hollowed by winds & waves, but had collapsed in 2005. To be fair, there are smaller ‘natural bridges’ to be seen, you’ve just got to find them!! Then it was on to the golf course (only to drive by the rich & famous owners – one was owned by a doctor no less!!!), the desalination plant before heading
back to the ship.
However, there was still some shopping to be done and LJ did her bit for the islands economy.
Next stop Limon, Costa Rica
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