Our stay in Bonaire has been disappointing. It is a small, flat island, apart from the northern end where there are some low hills and which is a national park. This is home to flamingos, parrots and turtles, and we had planned to visit despite the US$25 each entry fee. As you are only allowed in by car, not by bike or scooter, we spent a hot hour or more walking round hire car companies to find one that had a vehicle they would let us take there (they won’t hire you anything less than a pick up due to the state of the roads in the park). We eventually found a vehicle ($66 per day) and arranged to be picked up the next morning. We waited for 45 minutes for the pick up to no avail and as no other car had been available gave up on the idea. As a result we have not got away from the main (only) town of Kralendijk.
Traditional Dutch Building
Cycle Hire Shop
Main Street Kralendijk
We have done some snorkelling (US$10 for an annual pass – their information mentioned a $2 day pass, but no one could sell us one ). The water is amazingly clear, but there is only a narrow shelf shallow enough for snorkelling and this has been no better than other places we have visited, but the fish are bigger.
On the plus side for our visit is the local supermarket, that lays on a free minibus from the waterfront for yachtsmen, and which is reasonably well stocked – as long as the supply ship has just been. The self service launderette, which had WiFi and air conditioning, and the locals, who are generally friendly and helpful. Sarah was in a shop looking for a new bikini, and commented that Phil was waiting outside, so the shop assistant took him out a beer! Most of those who were born on the island speak four languages: the local language, Dutch (which is the language used in schools), Spanish and English.
This has been on of the quietest places we have visited for some time. There has not been loud music from shore every night, and the local lads who rev their quadbikes and scooters along the seafront go home quite early. Tomorrow we are moving on to Curacao, the C of the ABC islands. Reading the information that we have this would appear to be more of a ‘working’ island and less of a holiday resort, therefore may be more interesting.