Bonaire, am I impressed yet???

Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Netherlands Antilles  ,
Sunday, July 29, 2007

I left you for the last of boring days in Curacao. We spent them doing all our administration, some shopping and swimming.

AND: we are going to Singapore and Australia: Dr T booked!!! We leave Belgium the 17th of September.

Hans takes us to the airport. We have a birthday coming up, so we go to the post office at the airport. 'Express, please.' 'Cannot, my scanner is broken. But you can go to another post office.' Sure, we will take a taxi to the city, pretending we do not have a plane to catch.' Next on our to do list: go to the Air Jamaica headquarters. Very difficult to find! When we finally do: closed on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, it is 1 of those days! We have to cancel 2 expensive flights. Let's go to Alke then, the airline we fly home within 3 weeks. We ARE booked but we have to drop by in one of their offices and present a credit card, at least 8 days before departure. No more Alke office at the airport. There USED to be one but ... .

Very unsuccessful so far! Check-in OK. We wait for our flight. And wait. It is past the departure time and the gate flick from 'on time' to 'departed'. Help! No, it did not leave yet, it is delayed with an hour. We wait. And wait. It is past the delayed departure time and the gate flicks from 'delayed till...' to 'departed'. No panic this time. We leave 1,5 hours late and 40 minutes later we land in Bonaire. What a cute airport, all pink!

Luggage is there too (always a win) and we take a taxi to our apartment. 10 bucks for 5 minutes rite!

At the reception, things are not that shiny either. They do not take credit cards because, euh because, she cannot really think of a reason, nor do we ask. Tony asks whether we can transfer the amount to her bank account in the Netherlands. Yes, if we pay 14 Euro extra. Why???? Because that is the costs she pays. Noooooooooooo. Nobody pays costs to receive money. And certainly not from a Dutch to a Dutch bank account. This is robbery: I am NOT paying the 14 Euro! Sigh... . Then, we need a car. For the whole stay because, you cannot even walk to an ATM or local store from the apartments. They start calling. Lots of stories and time later: we will have a car OR tonight or tomorrow morning at 9 OR here or at the airport. Tilly promises. Tilly is a fat Dutch woman in leggings and a short t-shirt, NOT a pretty combination. Tilly's boyfriend takes us shopping. He is chatting. Yes, they do have a small swimming pool but why lay at the pool if there are beaches everywhere? Because I like pools? He also claims that you can see as much snorkeling as diving but he never dove. How does he know then? I sit in the back, being grumpy.

We are back at the third world countries. Fruit and vegetables are crappy. No fresh meat or fish. We top op till tomorrow, since we have a car by then anyway. Me starting the food in my kitchen. See my mood? Poor Dr T! We eat our diner together and make it an early night.
Because of the early night, we are up very early. We wait for news from Tilly. We have not heard anything last night. 9 o'clock here or at the airport? Tony walks to the reception at 08h30, the first of many walks there. It is closed. And stays closed. At 10h30, he decides to go and sniffle in the neighborhood. And comes back with info. He found a hotel with dive shop and car rental place, they have one 'cheap' car left but only as from tomorrow morning.

We walk there. Look at our house and our terrace. We book the car. Now the diving. In Bonaire you go shore diving, just the 2 of you. It is very easy. Even inexperienced open water divers can do it. But I do not feel comfortable. You rent your gear for a week and off you go. I am concerned about the safety. What if something happens to Tony? I cannot find my way in a card board box, let alone in the sea. What if we get lost? Nobody knows where we are! We are very experienced and Dr T is good at finding his way 'down there' but still ... . Marjolein, the operations manager is very nice. We will come to the island briefing tomorrow morning. It is for free and gives you all info on diving on the island. Hubby is, once again, very patient with me. We will not do anything with which I am not confident. IF I still not feel like diving on our own, after the tomorrow's briefing, we won't. If I do not like it after the first dive, it is our last dive on our own. We book our car for tomorrow morning. We walk back home and Hubby does the dishes (is he perfect or what?) while I talk to my brother.

We call a taxi and ask for the price for a rite to Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire. Seven $. Done! The taxi arrives within 5 minutes and arriving in Kralendijk, he charges us: 13 $. This island and me is NOT a good combination. Tony suggests to walk to the tourist information, which is ... closed in the weekend. High season, the whole island fully booked and they close their tourist information IN THE WEEKEND??? It is clear: we need BEER. We sit on the terrace and we talk about sailing. Correction: Tony talks about sailing. I do not know anything about it. I would like to take some courses. Maybe here.

We go for a walk. Look at the number plates of the cars look like here. The only number plates in the world, which mention diving, all of them! After some shopping, we go for a bite. The 'city' is cute, also pastel colors like Willemstad. Only: most of the restaurants are closed!!! Or empty.

Then we find a frituur. They have a picture of queen Beatrix having a frietje. Dr T says; 'what is good enough for the queen, is good enough for me' and sits down in the same chair as Beatrix to have his lunch. Very late lunch.

We take a taxi home and ... have a nap. Old people!

I get up and start writing to you. When Dr T gets up, he turns on the TV and a movie starts, which sounds pretty interesting to us. Does not happen every day. So: that is where we are, me talking to you and watching the movie. Since it is almost 21h, I should start the food.
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