It was a nice slow day today here in Bonaire, which is not to suggest that any day here is exactly fast paced, but it was not a flurry of site inspections. I begged off breakfast at Eddys since my idea of breakfast is 4 cups of muddy coffee and 5 cigarettes and then Rolando picked me up for a quick drive around the starkly beautiful South side of the island.
It rained heavily early this morning so our next stop at the mangrove centre involved quite a bit of mud. Then I hopped onto a kayak for a 1 hour tour of the mangroves. Since I took the 2 hr tour on a previous visit I felt something of a veteran and paddled and pulled my way through the mangrove forest with gazelle-like grace. It was hard to feel especially intrepid or daring as the water is generally only about 4 feet deep so drowning was not really a possibility unless I really put my mind to it.
Wilderness exploration. Check. Time then to go to my favourite eatery on Bonaire which is in the Bonaire equivalent of the Outback. Maiky’s Snack is a local favourite and serves none of that tasteless muck favoured by tourists. It is down home cooking at its best and I naturally ordered the goat stew which is essentially the national dish of Bonaire. As I sat on an ersatz Rubbermaid chair in the eating shed I must say it was somewhat bizarre eating my meal while watching its relatives wandering about the property. The circle of life I guess. I hope they felt better knowing that I thought their family tasted delicious.
After that I checked into the chicly decorated Den Laman Condominiums which is to be my home on my last night in Bonaire. Naturally, the fates conspired to place me on the side of the property which is not getting WiFi reception at the moment. I dropped my bags, grabbed some snorkeling equipment at the excellent Bonaire Dive & Adventure on the property and then hopped off the pier to visit or piscine friends below the surface. It was fun as I swam about inspecting all the fish that, like me, were lazy enough to hang around the immediate vicinity of the hotel. This being Bonaire there was actually a surprising variety of finned creatures. Sadly, being a city boy I found them slightly less mesmerizing than the BBC’s Top Gear or Google news so I came back in after 40 minutes.
After showering it was over to get a bottle of wine across the road and then to say hi to Mike at Chat n Browse – a cyber cafe. Mike is an institution on the island and I have seen him every year I have visited. He heard my WiFi woes and immediately gave me free 48 hour access to his network. Sweet of him really. A check of my email indicated that my pal Delno Tromp ,who was my first guide on Bonaire but is now running one of the Kura Hulanda properties in Curacao , had received my email and I will be able to have “breakfast lunch or dinner or all of the above “ with him when I get there. This should be fun as Delno is quite the character and, as he is quick to point out, stunningly attractive and intelligent ( the preceding was paid for by Delno).
I am now waiting for Rolando to pick me up so we can have dinner at a new restaurant called unbelievable. I kid you not..it really is called that. We shall see what that is like. I am typing this entry offline and will either just upload it when I get back by walking to the back of the hotel or maybe even add a quick take on the restaurant.
Back from Unbelievable. Well it was pretty good but I didn’t have a hard time believing it. After speaking to the owner he said the name comes from the fact that after working as a waiter for 2 decades he actually built his own restaurant and I mean including the construction of the building. It is quite large by Bonaire standards and nicely done though it needs more soft furnishings as we had to eat inside because it started to rain on the roof terrace and the noise level downstairs was quite alarming. Tile floors, lots of glass, large expanses of walls and at least 30 diners many of whom were kids can be murder on the ear. Still good food and kept quite simple for reasonable prices make for a not bad restaurant choice.