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Published: January 4th 2018
The BLOG does not seem to have Bonaire as a Caribbean destination, so we chose Curacao (where we are going tomorrow).
This morning we had a quiet time around the ship as we were not scheduled to arrive in Bonaire until noon. So we slept in a little and then went to the formal breakfast for Eggs Benedict. Janet was a little late getting to the knitters group but she did get some work done before the Trivia Group took over Club-6. But she did get a new project started. Meanwhile David went to the Fitness Center but decided he could do treadmill at home, so instead he walked several laps outdoors on the promenade deck. Then he found a sale on “cruise T-shirt” and got one – with 10% off for Elite passengers.
David went up to the Horizon Court and got us a plate of cheese & crackers, with some sliced turkey. He also got a few tortilla chips and a couple of cookies. This was because our breakfast had been later than usual but we knew we would be really hungry if we did not eat anything before we left on our tour. Just before 12:00
well above the waterline along the Bonaire coast
they announced that the ship was docked and we could go ashore, so we did.
We met the Demings in the elevator on our way to the excursion and they were going on the same excursion as us. The pier here is pretty small and there was only a short walk to where our tour was getting organized. They lined us up and divided everyone into 16-person groups. We boarded our bus nearby and found it to be very new and quite comfortable. Our driver (Eddie) and guide (Pahle) were very good and we were off on our trip around Bonaire right on schedule.
Bonaire is a fairly small island, with a large part of the land owned by the government and with 2 large tracks having been donated to be parks. The population is 19,200 and they are some kind of protectorate of the Netherlands. People here speak a local language, Dutch, English, and Spanish – yes all 4 languages. Our guide was originally from Wisconsin so we understood her easily, but she has lived here a long time so she knew lots about everything. She was very good. Anyway, we drove around the island visiting the
seen from the bus, along the coast
key locations and then back to the ship about 3:30 – right on schedule.
Along the way we say some wildlife, including Flamingos, Osprey, donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens and iguanas. There were also things that Eddie saw but which we did not see even when he pointed with a laser pointer. The island is primarily limestone and coral, which has been pushed up from the sea. There is a small portion which is volcanic and created their highest mountain (790 feet). The climate is very arid with a lot of shrub brush and short trees. There is a wide variety of cacti across the island, including some places where people have built cactus fences around their property. They average about 20 inches of rain a year – this is actually the middle of their rainy season so everything looks green. We had great weather today with sunshine and 83 degrees.
We saw some unusual things, including several Flamingos in the water eating “shrimp flies”. Our guide said that right now there are lots of standing bodies of water, but later in the spring it will be drier and the flamingos will congregate into larger group in the remaining
Huge Termine Nest
in a tree in Bonaire
ponds. We also saw a huge growth on a tree. This turned out to be a really big termite nest. The parakeets poke small holes into the nest and eat the leftover residue from the termites – we didn’t see any today although Eddie tried to point out some of them.
The primary business on Bonaire is tourist with “diving” being the biggest activity – there are lots of dive shops and dive sites. There are 179 cruise ships coming here this year (more than usual – probably because of the hurricanes) and their international airport brings in tourists all year long. They are south of the normal hurricane tract (only about 70 miles from Venezuela) and there is an international marine reserve off the coast for the protection of 4 kinds of turtles. There are some beaches but they are not sandy – instead they are mostly shells and dissolved coral.
Our tour was essentially a ride around Bonaire and seeing the main sites. It was easy and was an interesting tour where we saw/heard a lot about the island. If someday we return though, we will be hard pressed to find another tour to take, unless
we develop a desire for water sports – basically we’ve been here and seen it.
When we got back to the ship about 3:30 it looked like there was a huge crowd waiting to get back onto the ship. We were a little irked that only one gangway was in use, but it turned out that almost everyone was waiting for their tour to leave and we actually walked right onto the ship – the “all aboard time” is not until 6:30 this evening. We stopped at the International Café for some “tide me over” snack, where Janet was able to get one of her fancy coffee drinks. Today she discovered that she could add powdered chocolate on top, which made it even better for her. We took our food to the cabin and David had one of the Dos Equis beers from our fridge.
Rather than going to the cocktail reception this evening, we stayed in our cabin and finished the bottle of wine we had brought with us on the cruise. There are a dwindling number of cruise days left and we want to get everything finished before it’s time to leave the ship. We went
Flamingo along shore
of Gato Lake in Bonaire
down to the dining room at 5:30 and it was Italian Night – we always look forward to this set of menus. Janet had the Caesar Salad and Veal Scaloppini. David had the Fettucine Alfred, Minestrone Soup, and the chef’s special Penne Pasta. We had joked with the head waiter about whether he was cooking anything tonight – on other cruises he has often prepared something small in the dining room – he said he was making meatballs. When we were about finished with our very filling meal, our waiter asked how many orders of meatballs we wanted. Since we had kind of challenged him to make these we felt we should get a few and try them. They brought us 2 full orders of Spaghetti with several meatballs – they were delicious but extra filling. Then Janet had a chocolate panna cotta dessert and David had vanilla ice cream with butterscotch. After dinner we made a point of telling the head waiter how delicious the meatballs had been.
We went to the theater this evening to watch one of the production shows called “Born to Dance”. Joyce wasn’t feeling too well so she and Jerry went back to
their cabin without the evening show. It was very good and we enjoyed it. This was a selection of dances from various Broadway musicals with some commentary about how over the years the style of dancing has changed and has been influenced by certain choreographers. Anyway, it was a good show and then we headed back to our cabin for a good night’s sleep. See you tomorrow.
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