Alone on the Island

Last week we went on a mini island tour and found an impossible number of people everywhere, Alto Vista, Eagle Beach, and Arashi were heaving. So, we made an executive decision to veer south and check if we could possibly find a vacant spot, for just us girls and a cooler of new and improved Balashi Chill.

First stop Mauchi Smoothies in Savaneta. I heard about this place before but never experienced it. Apparently, this pioneer farmer girl, Maureen Laaf Ras, opened her shack roadside, and has been offering amazing smoothies made with fruits, vegetables and herbs, she grows herself. Organically. Wow. Who would’ve thunk?!

We had a very green drink with Kale, Cilantro, Moringa, Spinach, Cucumber, a touch of Ginger and fruit juice. It was incredibly yummy and then the friendly barista offered and Immune Booster to-go, made with Noni, Sorsaca, and Moringa. We fell for her pitch and invested Awg 15 in a lime-green magic potion. Another concoction available at Mauchi promises to replace Viagra, made with watermelon rind, and lemon. Call with questions, tel. #584-7115 Savaneta 87, open until 8 pm, including weekend.

From Mauchi’s we headed south into Parke Arikok. There were people everywhere, especially those pesky ATVs and UTV’s buzzing around, blowing sand, like they owned the land, with total disrespect for the patient, tolerant, and mostly old landscape.

So, we headed north-west to Dos Playa, and there on a low stone fence, we cracked open our first Balashi Chill with absolutely NO ONE around. The beach below had a fresh blanket of seaweed, and a shattered criollo boat. The ocean has been active recently, disgorging algae, churning, obviously endangering any desperate soul on a match-stick wooden skiff, attempting to reach the safety of Aruba.

We enjoyed the second cold beer on a stone bench, mid-climb to Miralamar, up the hilly trail leading to the abandoned gold mine. The terrain at that elevation is strewn with quartz nuggets and chips, explaining why the ancestral local prospectors, looked for hard rock gold deposits, on top of that hill. Gold is certainly found in quartz, but the extraction process is toxic, involving cyanide. We drank our golden chilled liquid in reflection of the fatal gold found in quartz veins.

We did stop for an amazing bite at Mundi Health Cafe, at the Nicolaas Store in San Nicholas – don’t panic, it’s organic. Their Turkey Pesto panini is amazing, so is Grandma’s vegetable soup. This little café is charming, owner Tristan Nedd really serves grandma recipes, in a 1940 setting. Promise me you will swing by. @mundihealthcafe. This is worth the trip down from Oranjestad. Park behind the Police Station, go visit the murals, and then stop for lunch on the plaza!

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March 17, 2018
Rona Coster