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I’d never heard of the A, B, C islands and like people of a certain age, when I looked at the map I saw that west to east, the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire are not in ABC order….

People who visit these Caribbean islands have their favorites. Some prefer Aruba for the well developed beach of high rise hotels that looks a bit like Waikiki. Others like Bonaire for its dive sites. The islands are south of the hurricane zone, appealing to anyone fearful of bad weather. Aruba is mostly desert, too. Though the air is humid, not much rain falls and the temperature is in the 80s all day, all year, with sea breeze to stir the air and dispel the heat. I’m not sure how anyone managed to sleep before the invention of air conditioning. The blue water and white sand make you forget everything but floating.

Aruba is a small island (8 x 21 mi) of volcanic rock covered with coral. The rocky coast is cut by numerous sandy beaches, though the east side of the island facing out to the Atlantic is rockier than the west side.

It was a pleasure to find our house on the “far” south part of the island meant it was about a 15 minute drive from the airport. We are in Savaneta, a residential community of beaches, bungalows, restaurants and small markets that each sell a little of a lot of things. When we drove into the only large town, Oranjestad (the capital), we visited the “American-style” supermarket. Ling’s has a larger selection, stronger A/C, and higher prices than other stores, and its where we found peanut butter, half and half, and a big wine and liquor department.

All of our subsequent stops have been beaches, working our way from Savaneta south around the tip of the island and up the east side. We snorkeled at Savaneta Beach and Rodgers Beach (top), beachcombed at Baby Beach, Pet Cemetery (Santana di Cacho) beach and Bachelor’s Beach. We watched kite surfers at Boca Grandi–what strength they possess! An Amazon swooped up out of the water about 20 feet, hung upside down for a moment and landed back on the water.