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Thread: A few Bonaire memories

  1. #1
    tunicate is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Default A few Bonaire memories

    I guess its a part of modern online life- I'm spread across a ton of different hobbies and interests and sometimes more focused on some than others. Maybe I need to drop some things but I'm afraid of getting bored !

    We made a bunch of trips to Bonaire from 1990- 2006 and then life took some turns and our ability to go diving as often diminished as careers and family intervened. Life cycles, etc. Now we are getting more interested and have resumed diving again last year with a refresher class and a few short dive trips. Bonaire again is on the radar and a trip is being contemplated for spring or early summer 2019.

    Since we are pack-rats we dug out some old stuff and wow the memories. In no particular order:

    ALM- I don't know why but it seems these days getting to Bonaire is less easy than it once was. The Major airlines are involved now but that doesn't mean more user friendly.
    Air Aruba- we used to live in NY state and when these guys were flying it was a really good connection for us. Maybe it was the open bar ??

    Bonaire Beach Bungalows- used to stay here often and enjoyed the house reef. Basic accomodations but all we needed combined with unlimited air from Carib Inn. Now the Belafontes 22 apartments crush the same space where BBBs 6? units sat.

    Budget rental car- the 4 door pickups really weren't as numerous early on, and we rented those little Suzuki carry vans. Took them everywhere, including a few dicey places but somehow they always got through. Had to rev the heck out of them but very useful.

    Restaurants: You can't go home again but fondly recall Bistro Des Amis...just this little oasis of civilization for that once a trip special dinner. We mostly did our own cooking but would eat out a few times each trip. The original Green Parrot burger at sunset. Wasn't a huge fan of the Rendezvous but ate there a couple times. The Beefeater and Mona Lisa we went to also once or twice, as well as Richards. And no trip to the Park was complete without a stop at Priscas ice cream afterwards.

    Shopping: Cultimara, where you never knew what was in stock this week. ( Or not in stock.) Exito Bakery and others I've fotgotten. Warehouse is still there I guess - but what about Joke's over near Bruce Bowker ? Is that still in business ? Used to get Amstel cases there, it seemed those little 9 Oz bottles didnt go very far !

    Diving: I'd say 95% of all the dives we did were shore dives. A lot of cool stuff over the years... mating octopus, brittlestars releasing eggs, coral spawn, smoking sponges, frogfish, seahorses, all the usual suspects. Town piers, Salt piers, Dee. No mantas or whale-sharks...we would always hear about what was seen "last week, you should have been here " LOL All day dive trips in the Park...a hot, salty but rewarding experience.

    I understand Guilders ( NAF) are gone. I kind of enjoyed the fact that often things were cheaper if you knew the tagged price was not in dollars, so offer guilders first.

    All for now !

  2. #2
    Cornhusker is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    The Green Parrot--our 1st trip was with our 4-kids and we stayed at Sand Dollar and used their dive shop. Our 3rd son just turned 12 and we had him certified that summer and it was a blast! Person at the dive shop named Alveen (sp) took him under his wing and kept him safe.....and 12-years later he returned with us and found him at Divi Divi and brought him a picture of him in his speedo with Michael and the office staff was just amazed! Green Parrot was fun as on the water and we did some close dining in the area--best part of the trip besides diving are the people. We are making i think our 16th trip and cannot wait to stop and say hi to those great people who continue to help us make our trips a great memory like Marjike @ Bonaire Rent A Car, Sue from Wil's and the dive staff at Dive Friends Bonaire. Yes grocery shopping was a mystery but what memories! Hope you get back and enjoy Bonaire again. Cornhusker

  3. #3
    tunicate is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    I left out a lot as often no one wants to hear our "war stories." But we still have a baggie of yeast in the freezer that is the remainder of what we bought in Bonaire in 1990 when we wanted to make homemade pizza and all we could get in Cultimara at the time was an entire Kilo (!) 2.2 Lbs of yeast. And yes, it still proofs some 28 years later !

    I suppose there are folks here who recall driving the road north out of Kralendijk on the shore road before Sabadeco where the overhanging rocks threatened to can-opener the top of your rental van...there also was a "road" out of Rincon that angled towards BOPEC that I cannot find on any map today- it was narrow, rocky and overhanging trees scraped the car...a trail, really. But I remember it dropped out near the stone wall there by the "fishermans wall " spot just before BOPEC. Or maybe I dreamed it...?

    We used to feed the small lizards on the shore intervals during lunches- sometimes all we had for snacks afterwards was cheese doodles. Well, of course the little lizards ate anything and after 5 minutes the artificial orange cheese doodle moustaches marked all the locals. Yeah sure, bad for them and bad for us, too probably. We discovered that the sugar water we put out for the birds ( in our cleaned out tuna fish cans) was also attractive to the bats at night.

    We used to go to the Lac Bay jump-ups on the weekends to listen to the music of Magic Sound. Is that still a thing? , music on the weekends ?

    The more I recall, the more stuff keeps coming up. I will be asking dumb questions for hours !

  4. #4
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    I would happily listen to (read) war stories every day Bill.

    My last trip was in 2009, I seem to recall there was two roundabouts (I think you guys across the pond call them Turning Circles) on Bonaire, if my memory serves me correctly there's at least 6 of them now, so that will be one difference you should notice whilst exploring Bonaire next year

  5. #5
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunicate View Post

    I suppose there are folks here who recall driving the road north out of Kralendijk on the shore road before Sabadeco where the overhanging rocks threatened to can-opener the top of your rental van...there also was a "road" out of Rincon that angled towards BOPEC that I cannot find on any map today- it was narrow, rocky and overhanging trees scraped the car...a trail, really. But I remember it dropped out near the stone wall there by the "fishermans wall " spot just before BOPEC. Or maybe I dreamed it...?
    You did not dream it. I made some dives there too. A lot of mosquitoes

  6. #6
    tunicate is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by smits View Post
    You did not dream it. I made some dives there too. A lot of mosquitoes
    I do recall diving at Nukove one year when the biting flies- not mosquitos or no-seeum sand flies- were biting so bad after a dive we were desperate. Us being covered in salt after diving just seemed to drive them into a frenzy and they filled the truck. We ended up with our little rental van both sliding side doors open and us holding open the passenger doors as we drive down the road at 30 mph trying to blow them out...took all the way to BOPEC to get the last few out, and a bit tricky not to lose things out the side of the van on the way.

    I never could adequately express to folks that have never been there how sere and arid the Park could be and how every animal and insect hungered for water of any kind. Literally at times you could believe you were anywhere but on an island in the Caribbean...stark, dry, desert... windblown...moonlike- and yet there's the ocean RIGHT THERE.
    A cold nine ounce Amstel and a sandwich out of a cooler was divine against a wild backdrop like that. At one time, they had the place open at Slagbaii and one could sit a spell with a cold beverage. No idea if they do that now.

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