The day started so calmly, we figured we’d take a drive down to the south part of the island and take a dip in Baby Beach. It seems to have undergone some improvements. There are a lot of palapa huts up there now, and they have added another place to get snacks. They’ve added another parking lot, so people don’t have to park on the road.
The swimming is nice of course. The sheltered cove is perfect for people wanting to just get in the water. It’s very sandy on the bottom, for quite a distance. When you approach the opening to the ocean, the water fills with fish! It’s really cool to see. I’ve written about it last time we were here – click here for more about our 2008 trip. One problem with Baby Beach – the best fish to see, are out in the “rough area” where the ocean is well oxygenated, and that makes taking a clear shot very difficult. The Black Durgon, a type of triggerfish, is one of my fave fishes, but I’ve never been able to get a decent shot of him.
We’ve been smart about the sun this time, Joy – we used this new invention called “sunscreen” – and you know what, it works! Usually I get burned in the first few days, but this time, we’ve just browned up. No burns. Well except maybe the bald spot on my head! Pam is starting to peel on her right arm and she is not to happy to have that blemish on her brown bean tan!
It got quite windy while we were there, so we headed over to San Nicholas and Charlie’s Bar, a local institution for over 60 years. The place is really a delight, with bric-a-brac from customers lining the walls, the ceilings, the table tops…. I’ve made a quick little movie that I hope will give you a sense of the place.
Lunch was amiable and goofy, with Andy and the rest of the staff making sure you all have a good time. They are famous for their peel and eat shrimp and with good reason! If you come to Aruba, the Baby Beach/Charlie’s Bar combo is a must! Peter had mentioned to Andy last year, that he had an old 1960 Alberta car license plate, and would Andy want it for the bar? Why yes! So we brought it here for Peter, along with a picture that was taken in 2008 of Peter, Pam and me. It was laminated so it should stand the test of time. Andy put our picture up right away but said it was not the best spot and he would find a better one, plus he would put the license plate up later (he eyeballed it and took it away as a coveted prize).
We made our way back up north to near Boca Catalina and found another easy entrance to the ocean. We found a fish called a Highhat – and close to them were these two little tiny baby ones. I tried diving down to get their picture, and stuck my hand under the rock and clicked the picture. The flash went off, and you can imagine my surprise when a BIG green moray eel pushed out from the rock and glared menacingly at me!
Pam suggested that perhaps I shouldn’t be diving down there again, and sticking my hand under rocks is not the brightest thing to be doing! 🙂 Hard to argue with that logic…
We came back to the condo to wash the salt off, and they had their welcome party. Last year they had a local artist there who made wonderful water colors of the DiviDivi tree and I regretted not getting one. Well, she was back, and this time – no regrets!
They had a Carnaval Dancer there too – and then suddenly we realized it was Cuba, the waitress at CocoLocos, all decked out. She looked sensational! And this woman can dance. Latin Ladies know how to move those hips, and man, she can move!
We had dinner at Bingos, a restaurant with mostly Dutch locals in it. People who came in waved to other regulars, and hugged the waitresses. We’d come here last year, and the food this year was of the same high standard. I had the steak special, with a cheese sauce and fresh veggies. They did a great job cooking the steak the way I asked for it – which is hard to do, cuz I like it well done. Pam had the chicken brochette with salad and it was simply too much food for her to eat.
The only problem is, I can see the end of our vacation fast approaching. Three more sleeps and we’re outta here! Still need to get to El Gaucho’s, we want to dive the Antilla, the largest wreck in the Caribbean, and we’re going to try to fit in the sunset cruise. Plus I’ve only been in ONE jewelry store – that is simply NOT enough. (Did I mention that I bought a ring in that one store? No? Oh – I did.)
Below is a movie of the fish columns I mentioned in the post yesterday. Enjoy.