OH The Beauty of The ABC’s

Its Sunday October 18th and I’m still in Curacao. Didn’t really expect to still be here, should have been in Colombia weeks ago, but then living on a boat things rarely go exactly to plan. Daisy is still in the workshop, although I do believe that she will finally be finished this week. Looking in on her on Friday they were getting ready to put the final top coat on, of course then she has to have her bottom (hull) painted, and the prop needs cleaning and re-coating too, but none of that should take more than a day or two. Can’t wait to get her back.

Bob and I are so lucky, we are blessed with such wonderful friends, while Leo & Karin, Debbie & Stephen were still in Curacao they all helped Bob with the removal of the boom, spinnaker pole & mast; obviously a crane takes the actual mast off but there is so much more to it than just lifting it, it’s all so much hard work, and in 90 degree heat its exhausting. The sails have to come down folded and put away, all the wiring needs to be disconnected, the dozens of lines, halyards and other attachments all involve a great deal of work and time, and both Bob and I were so very grateful for the help we received.

We didn’t expect the paint jobs to take more than a couple of weeks, how wrong could we have been, OH well, they are doing a really great job and she’s going to look fantastic when finished, I’m so excited.

While Debbie and Stephen were here they were kind enough to have us stay on board while Daisy was in the shop, but they have made their way on to Columbia now to meet up with Leo and Karin and eventually Paul & Trish, so once again we are last in the fleet to leave! In the meantime Bob is back in Europe working for 6 weeks and visiting his Father and my Mother. I’m still in Curacao for another two weeks before I fly back to the States to visit my children.
I’m currently staying in a dear friends house, Louis. The top floor of Louis house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms a kitchen, living room and large balcony facing South and overlooking the bay of Spanish Waters. The views are breathtaking. And I have it all to myself for the next five days.

Each morning I sit on the balcony sipping my tea and watching the sun come up, the local parrots take flight and the boats on the water come to life. It’s really beautiful.
The view over Spanish Waters

Curacao has a bad reputation of being the ugly industrial sister of the ABC’s, and industrial she is, but there is so much more to her. One of the major advantages (for me) is the shopping, I’m talking food here, the supermarkets here are as good as most back in the States, there is little you can’t find here, although all produce is shipped in, not much grows in her desert like conditions, other than Cactus and shrub.
There are some great restaurants, Mundo Bizaro being my favorite, right in the downtown area of Williamstad; its eclectic, unusual, fun decor is a delight, the atmosphere is always lively and the food is also very good. We all had a few fun nights out there.

There are also some lovely beaches here in Curacao, quite upmarket and contemporary, Bob and I spent a fabulous day at Mombo Beach with Debbie & Stephen before they left for Columbia, it was a break from work and a wonderful treat. The beach bar was extremely comfortable, the food fantastic and the cocktails not too bad! The staff were great too, in fact before we left we were given complimentary drinks. Debbie and I had some fun shopping in the modern stores surrounding the resort, both of us managing to make a few purchases. Definitely a destination worth a visit.
Mombo Beach

Of course Curacao has its ugly parts (what island or country doesn’t!) and sadly the crime rate here is very high, nothing is safe if left unlocked, Paul and Stephen had their car broken into in the harbour parking lot, even while a security guard was on duty! The crime here is the one thing that would put me off living here. However it shouldn’t stop anyone coming here for a vacation, there is much to see and enjoy.

Of the three ABCs, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, Bonaire has to be hands down my favorite, its the smaller of the three islands, and doesn’t offer much to do other than, some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, and a few good restaurants, Mona Lisa being far and away the best. The Park is worth a visit, also go and see the flamingos. Just like Aruba, the Island of Bonaire is quite flat, dry and desert like, but don’t miss the diving, Bonaire is fast becoming the dive destination of the world.. Debbie and Stephen (keen divers) stopped in Bonaire for a visit and stayed three months they loved it so much.

Barbecue at Village Harbour Marina Bonaire.

We are not stopping at Aruba when we leave here, we plan to sail straight to Columbia. I’m not a fan of Aruba, I found it very American, when I’m in a different country I want to experience their culture not a carbon copy of Miami! Aruba is very expensive, and glitzy. To my way of thinking it has tacky Vegas feel to it (I’m also not a fan of Vegas). Aruba is the most expensive of the three islands to visit. Its great if you like water sports, kite surfing, water skiing etc, but the beaches are always overcrowded, and fast food joints seem to spring up like weeds everywhere. It’s a popular cruise ship stop so the Island is often very crowded. However should you go there, the private island of The Renaissance Hotel is worth a visit, and the only restaurant I would recommend is “The Flying Fishbone”, fabulous fresh fish, beautifully prepared. The tables are on the beach so you dig your feet in the sand as you eat. This restaurant is the only reason I would go back to Aruba, but then thats just me! There are always thousands of people on the beach so its obviously very popular, particularly with the younger crowd, I think I’m just too old for all that now.

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