Friday was our last full day here in Aruba. We fly out on Saturday at 4 pm local time. It’s always bittersweet, that last day. You try to pack in as much as you can, but you realize that it won’t make the vacation last longer! But it’s also nice to be thinking of being home, in your own bed, with Max eagerly waiting for us.
We decided to return to the Malmok area of Aruba, where the luxury homes are… we jumped in at Boca Catalina again, a place where we’ve had a couple of great dives. We were rewarded almost immediately with a big school of Caribbean Reef Squid. These ones were HUGE. Much bigger than any we’d seen before. It’s fun to watch them shift colors through the school as the communicate with each other. We even got to see a squid ink another fish!
We saw a fish that looks like a stone, called a toadfish, we think. I’ve got a video of it, that you’ll need to watch really closely to see him. But that was cool too. There were tons of the usual suspects, with lots of French Angels. And Mike will be happy to know, we’ve discovered where all the Seargant Majors are! They’ve all moved to this part of Boca Catalina! AND we saw the biggest barracuda ever! WHOA! He was a monster.
After a couple of hours in ocean we’d had our fill. We did a little shopping, picked up a couple souvenirs, a few postcards, kept asking each other did we forget anything? We decided to make our last dinner here a memorable one, by going to an Argentine steak house called El Gauchos.
It is a great looking restaurant, with barreled roofed ceilings made of wood, with art over the walls made of inlaid leathers and cowhides. You sit at big sturdy wooden plank trestle tables, with huge comfy seats made of leather and cowhide. There are big wooden chargers at each place setting. The service is attentive, efficient, and professional.
The food was magnificent. If you’ve never had Argentine beef, you owe it to yourself to try it. One of my uncles was a cattle rancher, and I’m sorry to say, Alberta beef just doesn’t compare well to Argentine beef! We each had a big steak – I like it well done, and I apologize to the chef each time I ask for it, but these guys cooked it perfectly. There were no burnt sections, just perfectly grilled. They’ve added some new items to the menu since we were here in December, and we sampled a few of them! All good…
If you come to Aruba, do go to El Gauchos. Their deserts alone make the trip worthwhile! And try the margaritas! Best I have ever had!
Here is a picture of the rental car we had this week on Aruba. On Curacao, we were supposed to have a Toyota Yaris, but it wouldn’t start, so they replaced it with a Suzuki Liana. It’s a nice car, actually. We had fun running around in it. Then when we got to Aruba, we were supposed to have a Suzuki Liana, and I was looking forward to that… But again, it was a non-starter! So they replaced it with this American car. It was ok, but it’s no Suzuki Liana!
It’s truly been a wonderful, memorable 2 weeks, but with all the talk of Air France 447, going home has suddenly become a slightly different event than in the past. I remember flying shortly after 9/11 and it didn’t bother me in the least. This does – terrorism is one thing. That’s part of life. But was this flight downed due to the failure of the plane? That’s worrisome. Even more worrisome is the news today that perhaps pilot error is now part of the problem. Either way, it just seems incredible to me that one of the “logical” responses of a flight computer is to crash the plane!