A Travellerspoint blog

September 2015

Curacao Day 7: Postcard Willemstad...Day and Night

I woke up about 9a this morning and let Mike sleep in. The housekeeper, Veronica, arrived for our mid-week cleaning. Around noon, when Mike hadn't yet stirred, I woke him up to see what the plan of the day was going to be. His knee was hurting and had kept him up a lot of the night so he was in no shape for any diving. We decided to just have a down day and then explore town later on. I took some pictures of the birdlife around the house.
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Iguanas loved to hang out on the rocky cliffs over the water.
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Several large ships cruised by.
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On the way into town, we stopped at the Centrum grocery store to pick up a few items. I was very excited to find they had Havana Club rum, one of my favorites. It's made in Cuba so of course, you can't buy it in the U.S. We drove into Willemstad and stopped at Anchor Bar in Riff Fort to have a drink on the water. The Fort is located right in the entranceway to the canal that goes through Willemstad, where the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge opens, so we watched the ships go in and out and the seagulls fly by. When a ship enters the canal, the Pilot boat goes out to meet the boat and escorts it in and out.
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We also had postcard views of the bridge and the Willemstad waterfront from our perch at the bar.
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After having a drink at Anchor Bar, we walked across the pontoon bridge to the other side of Willemstad and did a little souvenir shopping. IMG_7918.jpg

We stopped for another drink and to watch the sunset at Iguana Café.
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Finally it was time for our dinner reservation. We walked along the waterway and through the streets to a little place on the water called Perla del Mar.
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Unfortunately, the food was not as good as the view but they sure could make a pretty drink.
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Mike had garlic shrimp with French fries and I had a red snapper fillet with a baked potato.
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After dinner, we strolled around town a little bit on our way back to the bridge.
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The lights on the bridge at night are beautiful. They change colors every few seconds.
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Pictures from the bridge.
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After crossing back over the bridge, we went to the casino for a bit to try our luck again before heading home for the evening.

Posted by zihuatcat 18:56 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Tagged curacao Comments (0)

Curacao Day 6: Our Age Catches Up to Us

Since we'd called it an early night the night before, we both woke up fairly early today, around 8:30a. We hung out on the back porch for a couple of hours, just relaxing and watching the boats go by. Mike loves to look them up on a marine traffic site on the computer. The site tells you each boat's flagship, route, etc., which is quite amazing with the current era of terrorism and pirating. After a while, we drove over to Blue Bay to the dive shop to turn in our used tanks and get some new ones and then headed to Porto Marie beach for some diving. Porto Marie is a nice, sandy beach with facilities just a few miles north up the island from our house.
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Before getting in the water, we had some lunch at the beach restaurant. Mike had a ham and cheese tosti and I had a cheeseburger and fries. Then we made the long trek back up the hill to the parking lot in the heat to gear up and drive the car down with all of our gear. I still had problems getting the integrated weights into my BCD and carrying all of it into the water. I never had that much trouble when I used a weight belt. When entering the water, Mike fell and hit his knee on a rock. It didn't keep him from continuing the dive but it would come back to haunt him later. We had already decided to dive separately as I knew I wanted to stay shallow. So Mike set off to the depths and I stayed behind. I didn't see much at all as there was very little in the shallows but turtle grass. Mike went to 172 feet with the camera.
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Ocean Surgeonfish with barrel sponge
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Anemone
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Lionfish
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Trumpetfish
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Afterwards, we went back to the restaurant and had a couple of pina coladas then headed home. Mike fell asleep in the car. I stopped along the way to take some pictures of a beautiful roadside church.
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Mike was done for the night. He fell asleep on the couch while I unloaded the dive gear and got caught up on emails and the travel journal. He woke up a little later and had some Cheetos and Jumex for dinner then promptly went back to sleep. I just had my leftover fettucine alfredo from yesterday's lunch. I watched Gordon Ramsey episodes on TV the rest of the night, read my Kindle, and went to bed.

Posted by zihuatcat 11:02 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Tagged curacao Comments (0)

Curacao Day 5: Pizza! Pizza!

Mike woke up early this morning and did a dive off the dock of our house about 7a. He wanted to see if he could catch sight of some big fish on the reef feeding in the early morning but he didn't quite make it early enough. I slept in. I was having none of that getting up early business. Our plan for the day was to drive to Westpunt on the other side of the island to visit Shete Boca park. We had to stop and get gas and mosquito spray on the way. We were having to almost bathe in mosquito spray every day. They were horrible at the house in the late afternoon and evening.

On the way to Westpunt, I pulled the car over so Mike could take a smoke break. We found a disgusting sight. It looked like someone had been burning goats and trash.
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We did find some scenery that was a little better.
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We arrived in Westpunt and began looking for a restaurant called Sol Food. We were headed down the wrong road (which we didn't yet know) and came upon an Austrian family who had gotten their Kia stuck in the flooded road. This area of the island had gotten lots of rain in the previous days and much of the roads were flooded. They were driving a small car and it was pretty obvious to me the car wouldn't have made it through the water. I have no idea what possessed them to try to drive through it. Mike helped push them out of the water but the car still wouldn't start. I flagged down a Dutch couple who had some jumper cables but we still weren't able to get the car started. The Austrian family had to walk back to their hotel. I'm pretty sure their rental car company was not happy to hear about this!

After that debacle, we turned around and finally found Sol Food. By now we were starving and thankful they had a spare table. I had a salad and then we split a pepperoni and mushroom pizza and had some tasty sangria. One of the pizza toppings was pickled garlic. It was fantastic. That was some of the best tasting pizza I've ever had.

The view from our table:
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We met a Dutch couple while there who live on Curacao. They gave us lots of pointers about where to go and what to do on the island. Sunshine, the owner of Sol Food, is an American ex-pat whose been living on the island for several years. She also had some helpful advice. She has two fila brasileiro dogs which is the same unusual breed of dog my parents used to own. These dogs are originally from Brazil and are bred as guard dogs. I've never known anyone else who has had one so it was interesting that Sunshine owned two.
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After the stuck car, the pizza, and the Curacao talk it was much too late to go to Shete Boca park so we just drove back to town and went to the casino for a bit. I actually won $50 on slots instead of losing money while Mike played roulette.

This little guy was hanging out on the back stairs when we got home.
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Posted by zihuatcat 20:42 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Tagged curacao Comments (0)

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