|Painting by local artist Den Spotlait|
BON BINI MEANS WELCOME in Papiamentu, and you see these
words all over the large Dutch island of Curacao, located between Bonaire and Aruba.
Papiamentu is a Creole language based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and several
African dialects. It's been spoken in the ABC islands for 300 years. Another phrase often seen is
MI DUSHI and means My Love or My Sweetheart or just sweet.
On the east end of Curacao is the colonial-style capital of Willemstad. Many of the ornate buildings were built in the 1700's, and are painted bright colors, creating a beautiful backdrop to the busy downtown port area. Most of Curacao's 130,000 residents live close to Willemstad, while the west side of the island is dry and desert-like. Curacao is less than 50 miles from Venezuela, and has an oil refinery, Isla, that produces 320,000 barrels of oil per day, operated by the Venezuelan state company PDVSA.
|Our favorite restaurant in downtown Curacao - The Gouverneur|
|Delicious Cuban Banana Soup|
I ordered fried fish at a local restaurant and was served the entire Snapper,much to my surprise! It was wonderful, served with sides of salad,
fried plantains and black beans in rice.
|Having a romantic dinner at Hemingway's, |
an eclectic restaurant right on the beach
KLEIN CURACAO, or Little Curacao, is a small island located near Curacao. Day-trip boats bring loads of tourists over to explore the rocky, windswept island that maintains one of the oldest abandoned lighthouses in the world. The 66' high tower and red brick buildings were rebuilt in 1877 after a hurricane destroyed the first one built in 1850. The newer building sits in the very middle of the island, and has received some recent tender-loving-care, mainly a new roof. The two keeper's houses have been gutted, but you can still walk up the narrow staircase for fantastic views. In 1888, Germany established a naval base here, but storms finally forced them to leave. We enjoyed snorkeling, and saw a pod of 16 dolphins and several sea turtles.
|We were the only sailboat in the anchorage - a rare treat!|
|A Plumed Scorpionfish, camouflaged to blend in perfectly with the sea grass and algae|
|A Flame Box Crab being shadowed by a flounder|
|A strange looking jelly fish found washed up on the shore that I can't identify|