|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
We spent a good part of the day snorkeling off the beach in Klein Curacao. I also had the opportunity to watch a kite surfer set up his gear and do some kite surfing. Amazing sport, and I'm now thinking of taking it up myself. At one point, I was in the water up to my shoulders, and he came flying by with a low five. Pretty cool.
We weighed anchor at 3:15pm and set sail sail for Aruba. It was an overnight sail, so we each stood a 3-hour watch. 123 miles later, we dropped anchor in Aruba, at 9am. Aruba is different from Curacao and Bonaire. Anyone arriving in Aruba by boat would think they were in Fort Lauderdale. It is a very manicured place, and full of tourists. It's a very small island, so there really isn't a lot to do. There is a dinghy dock, close to one of the beach bars, so that was pretty handy. Just as you get to the main street, just behind the beach bar, there are a couple of cafes, one called 'Sandy Garden,' where you can get some cold drinks and a decent wifi signal. We sat there for a bit, having a beer and catching up on emails. Then we went in search of an ATM and found one in the Renaissance Hotel, about a 15-minute walk up the road. From there, we continued on to the supermarket to buy provisions for the boat. It's expensive here in Aruba, so you might want to think about just getting the very basics and wait til you get to Cartagena to do a bigger grocery shopping.
While in Aruba, we heard about this place called San Nicolas. It's a city about 25 or 30 minutes away from Oranjestad. We heard that it was a fun place, so Markus and I jumped on the 10pm bus and headed out. It cost $5 US for the two of us, for the fast, 25-minute bus ride. San Nicolas is at the end of the line. We really didn't know much about the city, except that there was a decent night life. Turned out that San Nicolas is basically a red light district. During the day, the locals are out and about, doing their thing, but the night belongs to the 'ladies of the night,' and to their avid admirers.
So, as the bus stops where the red light district begins, Markus and I started to walk up the street, which happens to be the lower end of San Nicolas' main street. Then we started to notice all of the ladies standing around, in their abbreviated clothing. We walked all the way to the top of the street and went into a place called 'Fung's Bar.' It looked very innocuous from the outside, so I was very comfortable going in, and the interior was as harmless looking as the outside. In fact, there was a dominoes game in progress, being played mostly by elderly men. There were only two women in the place that kinda gave things away.
There was a Chinese gentleman sitting at the end of the bar and it turned out that he was Fung, the owner of the place. So, Fung and I got to chatting, and I expressed my surprise that San Nicolas was just one big area for brothels. He gave me a sort of funny smile. He went on to tell me that the area along the main street is very safe, and that we were welcome to go into any of the bars along the way. He warned us to stay away from over-friendly people and the side streets. So, after thanking Fung for the info, Markus and I headed out again into the humid, dimly lit and, mostly still deserted street.
We went into a few of the places, just so we could say we saw the place, and we never had a problem and we never felt unsafe. Then we went back to Fung's Bar, and called a taxi. It was $40 US to get us back to Nikky's Beach, where the boat was anchored. I want to try to sum up the experience, but what do I say? We went and we saw it. That's about it.
Unfortunately, I've somehow lost most of the pictures of Aruba. These are all I could find. Made some schnitzel, though. You take a few good-sized chicken breasts and slice them as thin as you can. Then you use a kitchen mallet and pound them til they're nice and thin. Then coat them with flour, dip them in lightly beaten eggs, then press them into the bread crumbs. One of the secrets is to make sure you use bread crumbs that are very fine, not chunky. Don't forget to season the chicken with salt and pepper. You can season it with anything you want, of course. I also added some mixed dried herbs to the flour.