Sunset on Bonaire

Some thoughts on Bonaire

Downtown BonaireI have been surprised by how few people there are here. When we’ve been in the Caribbean for Christmas in the past, it’s been very busy. This year I’d call it dead! One day there was only ONE person laying on “the point,” a normally very busy section of the resort that has bar service. Is it the economy? Fear of ISIS, as one restauranteur insisted? I don’t really know, but it is concerning.

In the casinos, most of the people used to be visitors, having a bit of fun on a night out. There is precious little night life here on Bonaire (one of the things we like and dislike) and the casinos are a nice diversion. The other night, we were in the casino, and there was only one other vacationer – all the rest were locals. Used to be us tourists injecting the cash! That can’t bode well can it?

Impressive fenceBut what keeps people coming back, of course, are the diving and snorkeling opportunities. If there is no dock, entry into the ocean is often very difficult here, due to the mostly rocky coastline. But somehow Bonaire has allowed it’s best coastline to be gobbled up by individuals who restrict access to the sea, as if it is their private playground. On Bari Beach, some one has constructed a rock wall barrier right on the beach to block people from using the only sandy entry point to the bay. They have even put up No Trespassing signs!

It is unconscionable that this is allowed to go on. For the most part, Bonaireans don’t seem to care that this is the case. And people like Pam and I are wondering why bother coming back? If you’re going to go the route of Aruba and lose your soul for the all mighty dollar, then you deserve your fate. And maybe empty hotels, bars, and beaches will impress upon them the need to change. But I’m not holding my breath…

Salt marker in BonaireDo I want something for free? Not at all! Do I mind paying to enter the ocean if someone has constructed a dock? Absolutely NOT – I’ll gladly help pay for any infrastructure.

We pay fees at a lot of the bays in Curacao – Jan Thiel, Blue Bay, and others have parking fees, as well as beach chair fees. Not a problem. You’ve created something for which you should be paid.

Places like Captain Don’s resort say they have a fee for snorkelers to use their facilities, but every time we try to pay it, they tell us to go ahead and jump in. As a result, we grab our lunch in their restaurant after our snorkel – it is a win-win situation. They get way more of our money, and we get an easy entry into the ocean.

Here’s a brief movie just to put the focus back on the ocean, which is why we come here!

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