Aruba - Desert in an Island

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Central America Caribbean » Aruba
December 11th 2006
Published: February 11th 2008
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Strange rock formationsStrange rock formationsStrange rock formations

These little piles were everywhere - in certain places, at least 10 piles every 4 square meters. Definitely not natural - if anybody knows what they are for please tell us.
Aruba - been here one day already and all I've seen is flab, flubber and overhang. Goodness, these American tourists need to diet. Today, a friend and I decided to venture out of the comfort of the resort to experience the offroad Aruba.

Our plan was to drive alone the rugged north and east coasts of Aruba - sparsely populated and often compared to the moon landscape. The island is infact akin to a parched desert - dry sandy expanses where cactii and tumbleweed abound. Admidst this all, you often catch a glimpse of an isolated colorfully decorated dwelling - yellows and pale blues being the dominant colours. Yet on the edges, you are greeted by deep blue waters with reasonably white sandy beaches - in stark contrast to the arid interior.

First up was the northern most tip, which is meant to have wild goats running about, as well as some scenic beaches. We did stumble across some crazy goats - goats that weren't afraid of our car and thus refused to get out of the way. A few well placed stones fixed that (no we didn't hit the goats!!) Further on we came to the famed Aruban
More ocean ecstasyMore ocean ecstasyMore ocean ecstasy

Rock and ocean makes for gorgeous photos.
lighthouse. Hmmm.... if this was considered 'famed' on Aruba, well .... don't expect much for the rest of the place. Suffice to say it was passable. We did however get a nice panoramic view of the island.

We then headed over to Natural Bridge - one of the arribeans' highest and most dramatic coral structures - or so it used to be anyway. Sadly, we discovered that Natural Bridge was destroyed by some natural disaster a few years before - if only somebody had informed the local roads department, they could have taken down the numerous sign posts and saved as a fruitless 2 hour expedition. We did however drive pass some beautiful ocean scenery, as well as a number of strange rock arrangments. In fact, it seemed that along a good part of the eastern coast, people had stacked little rock piles everwhere. There were much too many in well arranged patterns to be coincidence or natural formations. The purpose of these could range from pagan sacrificial altars to kids with much too much spare time - either way, it made for interesting photo opportunities. We also drove past some picturesque rock forts - hang over from colonial
A click of cactiiA click of cactiiA click of cactii

As opposed to a gaggle of geese
days, or possibly some old pirate hang out.

Further into the island we went past old indian rock arrangments - massive collections of boulders that according to the tourist book, were awe inspiring and beautiful. Personally, we'd opt for acceptable if you have 30 minutes to waste.

That night, we met up with a few others to try out some local food. Aruba is still owned by the Dutch, so there is a strong Dutch influence in the cuisine. The restaurant recommended to us was an outdoor, dimly lit, romantic little affair - perfect for 4 four hungry guys itching for large pieces of steak. We tried some only-in-Aruba breads as well as Aruban-spiced meats. Reasonably tasty though there's a reason Aruban restaurants haven't taken the world by storm. Still, it was good eating, particularly since the expense cards were taking care of the bill.

That was it for day 1 of exploration. We'd pretty much done most of the 'typical' land sights. Next up was visiting some of the more 'local' towns and of course discovering those white white white sandy beaches.

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Local abodeLocal abode
Local abode

Many of the isolated houses were painted in strong colours such as these.
Some scenic blueSome scenic blue
Some scenic blue

You have to love that water.
Rock fortRock fort
Rock fort

This was a view from inside the fort looking out. This particular fort used to belong to the Dutch army.
Wild goatsWild goats
Wild goats

Meandering through the rocky desert. This dumb beasts refused to get out of the way of our insistent horning

One of the many cactii in cactus garden.

19th March 2008

Rock piles
Hi, I saw these rock piles in Peru myself. From whatI recall they were built as prayers to mother nature....kinda like lighting a candle in a Christian church. I've seen the little rock piles in a few places though - like Cambodia and China.
25th August 2008

Strange Rock Formations
The strange rock formations that you comment about , are simply markers. Local fishermen would come to that part of the island and if they caught good fish , they would leave stones there to mark the spot. Eventually tourists like your self and I saw these strange formations and many visitors replicated it. Imagine how hard this made it for the local fishermen.
9th July 2009

These rock formations are made by tourists and it is said if you make a tower, come back and find it, you will have good luck forever.
10th December 2009

i am doing a project on tropical deserts and this information has helped me extremely well. I hope you get more good comments from people.
27th April 2010

Ilike Aruba island From Emman,India Tamilnadu.
29th May 2012

Rock Piles
They have many meanings, we found them instresting also when we were there in April. I found a web site that tells about other meanings and sell unique one of a kind items. (Naturallyuniquerock). Really enjoyed the trip to the unique Island of Aruba.We found the best views from the Restruant next to California Light house.

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