Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z: B is for Bonaire



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.



Very small plane. Seats eight--including the pilot. Who sometimes lets an especially friendly passenger drive. No, seriously. Look at said friendly passenger's overwhelmingly competent thumbs-up. While the pilot reads his newspaper, even catches up on beauty sleep.

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...
And that's just above the surface. Underwater is a whole 'nother world.

That's me with the big smile.
Just look at that water. It's so clear you can see for miles. Ok, meters. Lots of meters. On night dives, especially if there's a full moon, you might as well keep the dive light off. Then again, those six-foot tarpons swimming alongside you are kind of freaky at first. Especially in the dark.

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.

33 comments :

  1. What a place to visit. Your photos are absolutely stunning.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bob! You definitely should come over sometime :)

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    1. I'm sure you would, Duncan :D There's so much that catches the eye, so unexpected too.

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  3. Loved this! It was like a mini beach trip in my mind before 7am.....ok, I'd really like a REAL trip now. The pics were just marvelous!

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    1. Haha--love that I can bring the island closer to you, Chantel :) Hope you get to a beach soon!

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  4. looks so nice (except for the snake - I'm not a fan of snakes)

    A to Z Ninja Minion
    http://baygirl32.blogspot.com

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    1. Eww, I know what you mean. Snakes totally freak me out, and I never ever expected to find that one underwater. I couldn't swim away fast enough, haha.

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  5. I enjoyed the shapes, ceratures and colors in your pitcorial tour of the B island. Smile. Wish I could go there right now. The sun might be shining in England, but the breeze is chilly.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Francene! Wish you were here right now too :)

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  6. Wonderful post. I'd love to visit!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Bonaire would love to have you, I'm sure :)

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  7. this is a wonderful post. so many angles to this island. loved the butterflies and the underwater moments especially. have a great A to Z blogging month - looking forward to revisit your blog! (i am here: http://virtual-notes.blogspot.de/ )

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    1. Thanks, Dorothee! Looking forward to your future visits, and off to visit your own blog now :)

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  8. Looks amazing! My grandpa used to scuba dive and we visited a lot of beautiful places when I was younger. I think I need a good beach trip.

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    1. Oh wow! Do you know if he ever came to the ABC islands? Bonaire and Curaçao have some of the best diving in the world. And I agree--you definitely need a beach vacay :D Thanks for the visit!

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  9. Wow!! What an amazing sights! Those are really beautiful pictures. :D
    Thanks for visiting the Dragon Cave. Glad to meet you too! (so you're from Mexico?) Anyway, have a great day :D

    Father Dragon Writes

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    1. Hola! Thanks for the return visit :) Glad you liked the pics! Bonaire really is an amazing place.

      Yep, I'm from Mexico (DF and Cuernavaca), but I've been living in the Caribbean for the past 10 years. Amazing place and wouldn't trade it, but I do miss Mexico. Which is why it's so awesome to bump into another Mexican blogger out of the blue, haha :) Look forward to your A-Z posts, and I hope you'll be back to visit here too.

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  10. Simply gorgeous, that's all there is to it!

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    1. So glad you liked it, MJ! Thanks for the visit :)

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  11. Such a beautiful place...how do you get any work done?

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    1. Helen, thanks for the visit! Haha--I ask myself the same question *all* the time :D Perhaps this is the perfect explanation (ahem, excuse?) for why my first novel is still in the works :D

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  12. this isn't geography...it's dreaming

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    1. Bridget, that is such a beautiful thing to say. Thank you!

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  13. I was just commenting on another blog that it's so nice we have the blogosphere where readers like myself could learn about places to travel to outside of the typical top ten vacation places. The pictures you shared here are just so lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you'll be back for more on Curaçao this month :) Off to check out your blog now!

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  14. What a fabulous place...I could really get into Bonaire! I'm not a diver but I love marine life and those shots are great!! I'm going to enjoy this A to Z tour.

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Pauleen :) Yep, you do seem like a Bonaire person--and, in my book, there's no greater accolade :D I hope you make it to this part of the world one day!

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  15. Delightful post..fun to read and look at! (Shared on G+ and tweeted it.)

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    1. Thank you so much, Ryan! Really appreciate your visit and your shoutouts :) Glad you enjoyed the post, and look forward to seeing you around here again soon.

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  16. Absolutely gorgeous. I took a lesson in a four-seater once. It was really cool. We didn't even need to ditch or anything! ;)

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    1. LOL, Cindy :D I'd love to take flying lessons. When I lived in NJ, there was this airfield close by that we used to go to on Sundays because their restaurants served the absolute best breakfasts ever. They did offer flying lessons, but I was too young. Then we moved back to Mexico and... Yeah. I should look into it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. Are these places for real? Or did you photoshop the pics LOL
    Seriously, the place is amazing! Simply out-of-this-world.....

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