Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Still in Aruba!!

Still waiting for this wind to weaken sign of that in the next few days so John and I are resigned to enjoying Aruba's hospitality for a bit longer. All of the ABC islands are arrid and having come from the lush greenery in Grenada it is a bit of a shock. There has been very little rain in the month or so since we left there. One thing we have not seen yet but have heard about are the Boa Constrictors that live on the Island. At last count there were 17000 of them on the Island! They were bought onto the Island by some unknown inhabitant who then realised that they needed a lot of feeding and so they let their 'pets' go! Unfortunately for the Island Boa Constrictors love the place and feed on the bird population quite happily. They have decimated the bird life here ! Apparently they like to hide in car engines and so have been moving all over the Island and concern is such on the Island that they have snake hunt days when the National Park Rangers will pay $10 U.S. for each live snake handed in! One guy handed over a sack with thirty of the blighters! The snakes are then killed but it appears that the population just keeps growing....

Another thing that we have noticed in all of the Islands is that at the weekends ...but particularly here in Aruba I think, is that the more affluent Venezuelans come over in their motor boats fill the boats up with food and then return back for Monday morning. It is a sad state of affairs when these guys fill up with not luxury goods but what I see as staples....sugar, flour, toilet rolls,bottled water etc. I have to say that I would not want to be in the motor boat in these winds even if fuel is ridiculously cheap!
Our neighbours here in the Marina are Keith and Ida on Cheers they have been here longer than us ...and have been lucky enough to have been offered the use of a car by other yachties that have returned home for a few weeks, so set off off on a jaunt around the Island. The importance of tourism to Aruba is evident along the coast there are strings of very smart hotels with kite surfing,snorkelling and water sports being offered. We stopped off at the California Lighthouse in the North of the Island. It is a Lighthouse originally built around around the turn of the twentieth century. It is still working but in need of some much needed tlc which apparently is on the cards.

We moved onto the Alta Vista Chapel, a tiny church and the oldest in Aruba. The majority of the seating is outside the church and there are some wonderful views. The church surrounded by cacti is still in use.

In terms of things to see .....there does not seem to be that much to see on the Island and in the South the landscape is dominated by the now abandoned Aruba Oil Refinery. The refinery is still understandably a no go area for the public and the place seemed deserted bar the security guards that patrol the perimeter but it is a bit eery! St. Nicholas ,the nearest town, previously a busy place has obviously been affected by the closure but still has a working red light district with the girls hopeful that at sometime the Refinery might open!

Latest news on when we can manage our crossing to Colombia.....the winds are looking more favourable this weekend so fingers crossed!    

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