Aruba is blooming – Turista Ariba Mi Isla

It was totally worth it getting up early Sunday morning for a drive to San Nicholas, the island is so green, practically unrecognizable.

The WMO, the World’s Meteorological Organization tells me it’s been a while since we’ve had such mild temperatures and wet mornings, maybe ten years. Yes, 2010/11 presented us with a wet December, and the following year too, 2011/12, but not that much.

La Niña. When La Niña develops, expect it to affect everything, and last into the new year, says the WMO.

WMO reports and I confirm, our La Niña is a moderate to strong one, just like the one ten years ago.

We drove down to SN via Spanish Lagoon. There is a lot to see. Drivers were tempted to flick me a finger, my slow driving seemed irritating, but they only honked.

We were heading to Seroe Colorado, scheduled for a trip with The Shack, an eco-friendly tour company, operating kayak and cave tours. We were going to down the shaft of the historic phosphate mine at Seroe Colorado,

Not so fast. The steel ladder looked secure, going down 50 feet into the belly of the steaming earth, but my head wasn’t, thanks to a previous night’s adventure.

I passed, remaining above ground, taking in the views, the breeze, and the blameful looks of the colony’s donkeys, resentful I didn’t bring any carrots, or dog food this time. The tour of eight disappeared into the darkness, with a chatty, confidence-inspiring guide.  

They re-emerged an hours later, covered with orangey grime, sweaty, with stories about a 19th century underground world of railways and even an abandoned freight cart. It was an economic pillar once, when locals found guano that could be used as fertilizer, something to do with bat and bird droppings in combination with the porous limestone, which the world hungrily needed.

For more info:

Next, a leisurely drive down the beach to Santana Cacho revealed we continue to bury our beloved pets on that breathtaking spot, the place is filled with sorrow wafting from fresh monuments dedicated to best friends who transitioned. I don’t see how GOA can even suggest bulldozing the place. It is a sacred outdoor shrine to love.

Glancing upward we noticed the yellow fencing of the future hotel development. It has a huge footprint. The developer allowed many parts of the perimeter guards to fall. They just lie around. How can you trust anyone who cannot even keep his fence up?

Then we checked the location of the upcoming Baby Beach Promenade. MinTVS invited for an inaugural event on December 1st, 2020. It is now an oversize puddle. Why are they starting the Baby Beach Promenade if they haven’t even finished the Malmok walkway – building at a pace of two kilometers in two years!  

I would dedicate some of the funds to upkeep, gardening, painting, weeding, cleaning. There is zero maintenance everywhere, we keep building, but rarely return for a touch up or facelift.

Coffee. That was definitely on my mind. We stopped at the old Peterson Ice Factory at Lago Heights. I heard Vanessa de Graaf just took the place over offering Bowls & Bakes. She left her decade-long job at De Palm Tours, thinking the economic downturn is an opportunity to pursue her dream.

We’re in a SOFT OPENING mode, she said, Very Soft, but you can have Johnny Cakes, coffee and Apple Strudel.

We did. Sitting on small chairs, facing the street. Listening to Vanessa explain the long family history of enterprising steel-forged women, first grandma, then mom Sugar, sailing victorious through thick and thin, relying on their culinary talents to bring up children, their own, and some that the universe just sent. It is a colorful odyssey.

French pressed-coffee, Aruban style Johnny Cakes with cheese on top, flaky, sweet apple strudel, made by auntie, and talk about delicious, upcoming lunch menus.

It was a glorious morning.


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November 30, 2020
Rona Coster