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Thread: Trip Report - 23Aug - 06Sept Part 1, travel, accomodations

  1. #1
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Default Trip Report - 23Aug - 06Sept Part 1, travel, accomodations

    This time it was me, my lovely bride, oldest daughter, and new son-in-law. I have to say, it is a bit different traveling with adult children. I don’t know how to act when someone else picks up the dinner tab.

    Two caveats in advance:

    1. This is a long report, in multiple parts.
    2. This was my first-ever adventure with electronics on Bonaire – a new GoPro Hero3+. Usually I don’t even take a phone. What I’ve determined is I suck at GoPro, so apologies in advance for my crappy videos/photos. WWGuy did his best to set me on the right path and I thank him. He had a poor student. Here’s how GoPro and I got along:





    Travel

    We departed Jackson MS on Friday, 22Aug and shuttled to the airport Doubletree for the night. DT is somewhat dated, but OK, and only 10,000 Hilton points when I booked it. For the 10,000 I’d do it again, otherwise HGI or Hampton.
    We took a cab – a van to handle all of us + luggage – to concourse F and departed ATL on Saturday AM, about 20 minutes late. Made it up and arrived in Bonaire on time. Because of our overnight in ATL we had to pick up and re-check our bags. We used the curbside baggage check at concourse F – quick and easy, and they didn’t bother to check weights. It didn’t matter to us, but if you’re checking and a little overweight give it a try (I was standing there with tip in hand).

    The return was the reverse, left BON on time, arrived in ATL on time, cabbed to DT, shuttle to airport on Sunday AM...

    Essentially, travel was no muss/no fuss this time.

    There was discussion in an earlier thread about how early luggage could be checked with Delta. Our return flight was at 1459. We had an early lunch at Between-2-Buns and arrived at the airport at about 1145. Delta had 5 stations open and was checking people in. The line was pretty long, but went quickly. It took about 30 minutes to get through it.

    Security screening in Bonaire: While I was packing I took some hoses off 1st stages. When I finished I threw the wrenches in my carry-on, not even thinking about it. During screening the security agent opened my bag and took out the 3 wrenches, looked at them like she’d never seen such things, and then said “please check this bag.” I said “it has cameras and such in it. Just stick the wrenches in your pocket.” About that time a young man/agent walked up and I said “need a crescent wrench?” He grinned, put it all back and sent us on our way.

    Truck Rental

    Telerin. Semi-beater. Just great. Jacinto met us at the airport with the keys and paperwork, and we left it in short-term parking when we departed. Paid with Amex. I didn't do the math, but my engineer-daughter said gas was somewhere north of us$6.00/gal. We bought our gas at Curoil on the Rincon road instead of Bonaco by the airport - no lines, no idea about relative cost.

    Accommodations

    Once again we stayed at Beachcomber Villas, home of the lovely and vivacious Leanne Pinkerton, and her gentlemanly husband, Tim:


    Some of you reading this have heard several of us gushing about Tim and Leanne and their place, so I won’t repeat that here. It is sufficient to say that this is our home on Bonaire from now on.

    As this was Chappell & Matts first “adult” – that is, they paid for it – vacation, I pointed out that they could surely do this trip more economically, and that there were many places to eat and stay, some all-inclusive. Matt quickly said, “Yea, but they don’t have Tim and Leanne”.

    Go here www.bonairebeachcombervillas.com and read the reviews. They’re all true.*

    Continued later. It said I could only post 1 video per thread. Now that I have this damned GoPro I wanna post a bunch of videos. Besides, I have to go to the grocery. There is nothing in our refrigerator...

    * We have no interest in BCV, financial or otherwise, except we like staying there.
    Brad Ford

  2. #2
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Oh my hell... Best GoPro video ever! (Was hoping for a gratuitous Polar beer shot though.). We're missing dushi Bonaire and T&L big time.

    Come back at Christmas and let's enjoy some sundowners together. By now you've probably found all the frogfish too!

  3. #3
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Well, you know I don't drink Polar but maybe this will suffice:
    Bright.1.jpg

    Leanne said yall had booked Christmas indefinitely, but I just can't do Christmas - water is just too cold for this confederate boy, among other things. I am concocting a plan to make a trip - my young daughter who missed this one and I - sometime in June/July.

    OK, back to displaying my inadequacies with GoPro...
    Brad Ford

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    Yeah Brad gotta agree that is a pretty bad video, but great report so far.
    And Jerry said, Keep it light, Keep it friendly. Post Like Jerry.

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    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Accommodations (continued)


    Most evenings we all gather on the seaside terrace for drinks and the (still mythical) green flash. We had the drinks, but no green flash. Here’s a bit from sundowners:



    (Sorry about the inadequate sound. I only discovered this week that I should have taken the camera out of the housing if I wanted sound on topside videos).

    Security:

    No problems of any kind for us. As always we left nothing of real value in the truck while diving, just our cheap shades, t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, cooler with water and sandwiches. Nothing went missing.


    The main event, Dining

    We ate out every night, and since we are tourists, at the tourist places. Lunch was mostly sandwiches/picnics. Cereal for breakfast.

    We had no really bad food or experiences, and a few places stood out. Here’s the list:

    Rum Runners – we walked over on the first night (Pasa Bon was closed) and had a very nice dinner – everybody had fish - and again for take-out pizzas after a night dive.

    Bistro de Paris – one of the stand-outs. We all agreed to come back, and we did for lunch:

    GOPR0993.jpg
    (that would be mine with the beer)

    El Mundo – twice, get the “El Mundo Burger” and have them add bacon.

    Patagonia – our least favorite this trip, but not terrible. Sheldon didn’t like the paella but it was her taste, not the food, and Chappell’s steak went back.

    Plazita Limena at Den Laman

    Bobbe Jans – everybody raves about this place, but to me it is blah. Matt and I had the ribs/sateh/chicken thing. As in previous visits, the ribs were indifferent but sauce was tasty, the sateh badly overcooked and sauce tasted of uncooked flour. The chicken legs were good, though a little overcooked. We always seem to wind up eating here, but I think this will be the last time. Chappell had fish and said it was really good.

    Mona Lisa – a very good place to eat, but dang the motorcycles can be annoying.

    Pasa Bon Pizza – closed for vacation the first week, but reopened Wednesday of second week. We were first thru the doors. Once again, excellent pizza, and for some reason the best salads are always here – fresh, crisp and cold.

    Joes Bar and Grill – a new place for us, and it was very good. A gentleman introduced himself as the owner, and Sheldon asked him if his name was Joe. He said no, Bart, so she asked him who Joe was. He said nobody, just sounded better than “Barts Bar and Grill”. They have a sort of children’s play area with various toys behind a glass wall, and a couple of tables positioned so that you can watch them while eating – a nice touch if you have young’uns. I had the wings with spicy sauce for appetizer and they were excellent. We all agreed this was a keeper.

    Divers Diner/Paradise Moon – Ceviche was really good, and Matt had the walking sticks x 2. We over-ate and -drank here. I was glad to have a driver…

    Sunday night we went to “Taste of Bonaire”. Matt had fried lionfish, Sheldon and Chappell shared lasagna from Sonia Home. They really enjoyed it. I had smoked chicken. The chicken was truly outstanding, and that is saying something from me – a genuine BBQ/smoked meat snob. Even the breast meat was moist and smoky – a real trick when you’re cooking for mass consumption. The same chicken can be had at Van Den Tweel, but I didn’t try it there.

    We had lunch at Between 2 Buns twice, and it was very good both times.

    We stopped in Rincon for milkshakes and conversation with Norman:


    Conversation with Norman is easy. Just say "hi" and sit back. If you stop there park in the empty lot across the street.


    And then there was this:
    Gios.1.jpg

    Gios.2.jpg
    Last edited by gbf; 09-10-2014 at 09:49 AM.
    Brad Ford

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    Wow....all this info is wonderful. I will be traveling to Bonaire for the first time in January and feel anxious and excited and the same time. Seems to be a great place to visit. Prices are basically comparable to US? Although gas is a little pricey
    Any other helpful hints/advise will be appreciated
    Thanks much
    Amy
    Amy

  7. #7
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Hi Amy,

    Don't be anxious, just be very excited. Prices are higher than in my part of the US for most things. For example, a case of beer (12 oz bottles) is about us$26 here. At Zhung Kong a case of 9 oz Brights was about us$34 (or thereabouts). 7 oz Polar was less than us$30. As far as groceries go - I don't know relative prices but Sheldon said they were higher.

    I have a bunch of Word documents I did several years ago with a lot of my opinions and such to which you are welcome if you want them. PM me a real email and I'll send them.
    Brad Ford

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    You just had to show Gio's didn't you, you just had to do it. I bet next your going to rave about the diving.

    This is not helping my stage IV PBD...
    And Jerry said, Keep it light, Keep it friendly. Post Like Jerry.

  9. #9
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    As you can tell from the expressions on the faces we're SERIOUS about ice cream. And Gio's is serious ice cream.

    Cecil, I'm sure you're wondering, so clockwise, starting with me:

    Banana
    Dark Chocolate
    Mint or might have been pistachio - he had it one time.
    Dark Chocolate and Strawberry

    The time before:

    Mango
    Chocolate
    Mango
    Snickers

    I don't remember the time(s) before that.

    I'll get to the diving. I'm still having fun-with-videos for that.
    Brad Ford

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    Awesome trip report so far! I can't wait to read the rest. We will be back for the third time the last week of February/first week of March and we truly can't wait. Only 164 days, but who's counting!! LOL Love Gio's but have to cut it down a bit this year, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a year ago. But I am not going to completely deprive myself!! We also have a GoPro 3+ and will be bringing it for the first time, so I look forward to seeing more of your videos!! Keep it coming!

    Susan

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