Dutch Antilles

ARUBA

We were supposed to go to Antigua, but because of hurricane Dorian we spent an extra day at sea so we could make it to Aruba instead. After five days at sea I rush onshore to give my legs something solid to walk on. After ten minutes of walking in the heat, its suggested that we rather sit down and have some Balashi beer. That is the pace of this place. Slow and mellow. I speak some Dutch to the bar lady and she tells me she came to Aruba thirteen years ago as a backpacker on holiday. She never left. Whenever I hear these kinds of tales I need to investigate for myself as to why this happen. When we get to Arashi beach I totally understand why she has got stuck here.

aruba

Arashi Beach

The sea was a kind of blue that made me doubt my perception of things. Can it really be that blue? If the mesmerizing blueness of the calm water does not convince you that this is a super cool island, then maybe the lazy Iguanas walking all over the place will. It is absolutely stunning here and I immediately understand why on all the number plates Aruba is referred to as  “One Happy Island”.

iggy

I can spend years exploring this small Caribbean island with its Dibidibi trees giving the white powdery beaches even more character than they already have, but the ship is leaving in the afternoon and if I don’t get on I will have to find a way to get my self to Curacao, the next port of call.

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dibidibi2

Dibidibi tree on Eagle beach

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cocktails

Curacao

curacao

There is a definite natural mystic blowing through the air in Willemstad. The people are dressed as colorful as their houses are painted. There is a Rasta man playing catchy tunes on his beaten guitar, and his fellow band member is smiling a smile so wide and bright – the sounds coming from him clanging on a glass bottle obviously giving him great pleasure. 

irie brother

Rasta man vibrations

It doesn’t matter which way you pronounce the word Curacao. It sounds cool anyhow and the activities on the streets reflect the irie vibe of the place. In many ways it is similar to Aruba, with Papiamento being the local creole language of both islands. I say Buenos diaz to a lady selling fish at the floating market and as I walk on she replies: “Pasa un bon dia!” (Have a nice day!)

 

irie tours

Local bus

Whilst in search of a beach to spend the beautiful day on, I cant help but notice some interesting contrasts:

 A broken down building that would not appear as interesting if it wasn’t for the colorful house next door.

willemstad

 I see people writing on money and sticking it to the roof of a bar as a memoir while there’s a man on crutches outside begging for food.

 traveling

Not all the contrasts I notice are bad though, and this one made me smile for a while.

funny sign

I eventually end up on a stunning beach and spend the rest of the day under the palm trees, sipping on some Caribbean rum. Scanning the blue horizon, I feel like I am in some kind of Mainstay advert and I know I am extremely lucky to have spent a day exploring the colorful island of Curacao. Te otro biaha!

colourful curacao

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