Not so lazy day 

Today hasn’t been as relaxed as yesterday. I guess that’s not surprising since it would be difficult to get any more relaxed than that. Kelly suggested this morning that we go to the dive center, The Dive Bus, which is located to the east of us, almost down to Mambo Beach. Google claimed it would be a 29 minute walk. He said (optimistically) that we could probably find a place to eat breakfast on the way. It sounded reasonable to me; we would walk for 15 minutes, stop and have breakfast, and then walk the rest of the way to the dive center. On the way back we could get groceries. Sure it’s hot and humid like crazy, but it sounded like a reasonable plan. 

So we walked and we walked. There were no cafés or restaurants, only houses after houses. Some really nice, some derelict. Lots of people had dogs in the yard. It rained. First just a drizzle, but then it turned into more steady rainfall. We passed the grocery store and eventually arrived at the dive center. At The Dive Bus we met Darren, a very friendly dive master from the UK. He booked us in for a refresher dive on Monday morning. The rain was now drumming angrily on the ground outside, so we really didn’t want to leave. Darren kindly offered to go over some diving theory with us since neither one of us could go anywhere anyway. We took a quiz and I did okay on it; I think Kelly got all the questions right. Since we hadn’t eaten anything at all, and barely had any water either, I now had a pounding headache. Darren gave me a cup of water and two painkillers, and I ate a cookie that I had in my bag, and was starting to feel a little bit better. 

The rain stopped and we asked where we could get something to eat. Darren directed us to Mambo Beach Boulevard nearby. We took off walking again, and it was a bit longer than I had wished. Plus there were no sidewalks for a large part so we had to walk  in the mud on the side of the road. At least I got food at the boulevard! We had Dutch mini pancakes called poffertjes – a super healthy meal with loads of butter and powdered sugar on top… And then I bought a pair of board shorts for diving and snorkeling in. 

After having at least that little bit of nourishment, we walked all the way back. First to The Dive Bus, where we picked up fins that we rented for snorkeling. Then to the grocery store to get some breakfast food, snacks and water. And then back to the hotel; now it was sunny and hot and the rain was long gone . It was already two o’clock in the afternoon when we got back! Unfortunately my headache was so bad at that point that I basically spent the rest of the day in bed :(. We didn’t even go out for dinner, but ate some of the bread and cheese we got from the grocery store earlier. 

I took some pictures from our walk that show a bit of a different side of Curaçao compared to when all you see are beach pics, piña coladas and fancy hotels. 

 

Mambo Beach

Mambo Beach

  
    
    
    
  
Cute house

What a lovely little house! But it needs a lot of loving renovations to be liveable…

  
Avila Beach Hotel

Kelly outside the Avila Beach Hotel

 

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Lazy day

Today was a very relaxing day. We really only did these 5 things:

  1. Had breakfast at a lovely little café right downstairs from our room on the Octagon square. Listened to birds singing and saw a hummingbird. 
  2. Sunbathed on the hotel beach and went snorkeling. Saw lots of fish, most notably two spotted trunkfish and yellow (juvenile) and blue tangs. 
  3. Ate lunch by the beach. Shared some crumbs with a bunch of lizards, some of whom had beautiful blue tails and legs. They became increasingly aggressive and we had to shoo them away from climbing up our legs and getting on the table. Ordered two cocktails featuring blue Curaçao – the world famous local liqueur. 
  4. Returned to hotel room. Discovered we got a bit sunburnt. Took a looong bath. 
  5. Went for dinner down the street from the hotel, at the well-recommended Rozendaels restaurant. They serve local cuisine and everything was of high quality. 

I almost wanted to make the title of this post “Oh, life is so hard” but then I decided that that would be pretty obnoxious of me… However, I do have to admit that we’re having a pretty good time.

 

The eastern beach of Avila Hotel

The eastern beach of Avila Hotel

  
View to the east

View to the east

  

blue curaçao

Two Coco Locos with the island’s signature liqueur: Blue Curaçao

  
Dinner at Rozendaels

Dinner at Rozendaels

  
Rozendaels

Kelly ordered the chef’s special. Unfortunately we don’t remember what that was…

  
Rozendaels

My food was tasty, but not so photogenic. So I had to put a handsome man in the background instead.

 

Initial Curaçao experience 

We arrived to Curaçao airport yesterday afternoon and took a cab to Avila Beach Hotel. I had already been in contact with the hotel previously to ask about agent rates, and our last communication was that they would do their best to get us a room with an ocean view. It didn’t seem like there had been much effort made in that regard when we came to check in, but when I asked again (nicely of course), they did switch our room to one with an ocean view. We are staying in an Octagon Deluxe room; I’ll take some pictures later. The hotel is gorgeous and we really like our room too! And every single one of the staff has been wonderful so far.

We walked around the property to see what’s around, and sat on the beach enjoying the beautiful sunset. After an early dinner we then kinda crashed… and went to bed not long after 8 o’clock. But at that point we’d been up for almost 24 hours, traveling far, and before that we only had a couple of hours of sleep. So I guess it’s understandable.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention! This place really is paradise 😃

Just a snapshot from the beach bar

New trip – to Curaçao!

Stockholm had 0.75 hours of sunlight in October last year, if I remember correctly. In either case, there is no doubt that it was an exceptionally dark and dreadful fall. Kelly and I decided then, that we would have to book a trip for the following fall, i.e. this year. And so we did! We’re on a flight to Curaçao as I’m writing this. 

Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea just outside of Venezuela. Together with Aruba and Bonaire it makes the ABC islands, which used to belong to the Netherlands but are now autonomous countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curaçao has a nice climate and is mostly out of the way of hurricanes. 

The day started very early. We had a taxi pick us up at 4:15 in the morning to take us to the airport. We had already checked in the night before so we had our boarding passes and were all set; when we got to the airport we just had to get baggage tags for our suitcases. Then we still had to stand in a long and organized-yet-complicated line just to drop our bags off. I probably thought it was worse than it was because I was feeling tired and nauseous from not having breakfast. After we dropped our bags, I finally got my breakfast and was feeling much better. I ate at Starbucks despite Kelly’s complaints that they’re taking over the world and ruining Sweden… While I do agree with him that I don’t like the way they do business – and the cost of a meal there is ridiculous – I didn’t care much at that point and besides, there weren’t a whole lot of other options. Kelly had already eaten at home. 

We took the 6:20 flight to Amsterdam with KLM. I generally like flying with KLM. They have new (not run down) planes and tasty food. Fancy, nice smelling soap in the lavatory, and high quality Ceylon tea instead of what most airlines serve, which I like to refer to as “brown warm water”. After a 1h 30 minute layover in Amsterdam we went on the direct flight to Curaçao. Nine and a half hours is too long to sit in a much too small seat, but the destination makes it more than worth it :). I hope we’re going to have a great trip!