Bonaire. Boneiru, in Papiamentu (more on that for D day). Divers' paradise. Hippie haven. The most laid-back atmosphere in the ABC islands. And, as of 2012, a province of The Netherlands.
We'll leave the politics for G day (or maybe skip them altogether). This post is all about aaaaaahhhh--relaxation. Blissing out. Zen. It's in the air even as you board the mosquito plane that hops over from Curaçao.
Or maybe not anymore, after that little mishap in 2009. Haven't been to Bonaire since 2008 myself.
This is what arriving in Bonaire looks like:
See that huge runway in the pic above (top left corner)? You're probably wondering how much use it gets in an island with only 16500 inhabitants. Answer: a LOT. KLM operates 13 roundtrip flights a week during winter, and those big-ass 747s need a lot of space to land and take off.
16500 inhabitants. In just under 300 sq. km. That's to say, most of the island is empty of humans.
But not life.
|Butterfly farm @ Bonaire|
|Meanwhile, outside the farm...|
|That's me with the big smile.|
|You thought I was joking about the 6' tarpon? I'm not.|
[Photo credit: Gparet (Flickriver)]
|Corals and sponges and fans, oh my.|
|Underwater PYTHONS? Of course. Come to Bonaire.|
Seriously. Some f•ckin' awesome stuff down there, by night or by day. If you dive and haven't been to Bonaire yet--well, book that ticket.
And if you're not? There's more to Bonaire than just underwater adventures, right? Sure. I think. Haha--ok, bad joke.
Look. Bonaire is no Aruba. If you're looking for a party--all-night bar hopping, illegal substances handed out like flyers at election time, boom-boom music, the works... Please do us all a favor and don't come to Bonaire. Bonaire does not like you. If, however, you're a flip-flops-wherever-I-go, sand-between-my-toes-24-7, Pink-Floyd's-the-bomb person... Then Bonaire loves you and shall do forever.
Typical Bonaire weekend plan: a group of friends, a rented (borrowed, or otherwise acquired) bungalow, two or three bathing suits (so you always have a dry one to change into), a few bottles of whatever spirits put you in a conversational mood.
The divers dive, non-divers lounge by the beach (or cliff) with the gear (and the car). Dinner is prepared on a grill outside, where the breeze can soothe sunburnt skin. Plates are passed around, laughter and garlic shrimp compete for your attention. Lounge chairs, a couple of hammocks (that everyone fights over), a couple of glasses of those previously mentioned spirits. Good conversation, maybe a book you simply can't put down.
In terms of renewal of soul and mind, Bonaire puts the best spa weekend to shame.
Thanks, Patrycja, for taking those amazing underwater shots. That was one awesome trip to Bonaire!
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Remember to visit the other A-Z bloggers--some outstanding writers out there.