After our exit from the Panama Canal “Arcadia” steamed towards the southern Caribbean and docked at Oranjestad in Aruba.
The tiny island of Aruba is just 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It’s very flat with only three “mountains” the highest of which is 617 feet. The many beaches, and the first one starts in Oranjestad, are of pure white sand and dazzling in the very bright sunshine.
The lovely buildings in the town hark back to the Dutch influence.
As we walked along the waterfront we could see that “Arcadia” certainly dominated the town.
We spent the day with fellow passengers Kim and Alan who we struck up a conversation with very early on in the cruise and found they live in the next village along the coast from us.
The south shoreline of the island is full of wonderful beaches but the constant strong winds make the north shores very different as huge waves crash into the rocky coast.
The Divi Divi, or Watapana, trees dominate the island and many of them lean at strange angles.
Divi Divi trees on the gorgeous sandy beaches.
During our walk we saw hundreds of lizards which scurried out of our way. Some of them were a striking turquois colour.
We hired a car for the day and drove to the west of the island. Not a long journey as it’s only 19 miles long and 6 miles wide! At the far end apart from a light house there was a superb restaraunt / bar with fabulous views towards the coast.
After a few beers and a delicious freshly cooked pizza ………
…….. we drove the few hundred yards to a lovely beach where we had a couple of hours of sunshine and swimming.
After giving the car back and returning to the ship for a wash a brush up we took advantage of not needing to be back aboard until 11:30 and went back into the town. The centre of Oranjestad is very pretty and the evening lighting give it quite an intimate feel. All over the town there are blue horses which seem to glow in the dark.
They take up all sorts of poses – even drinking out of the fountain.
With Alan and Kim we found the most fantastic restaurant which catered extremely well for the meat eaters, the fish eaters and the vegetarian! Superb food and wine, excellent company, a hot breezy evening – what could be better!
Those horses just creep up on your blind side! ………
…….. and they’re very willing to have their photo taken with some mad people!
Before boarding the ship we took one last sojourn at a very conveniently situated bar next to the water’s edge where we were able to keep on eye on the ship in case it departed without us!
Aruba is a lovely, pretty, clean island – wonderful beaches, excellent food and friendly people. A good contender for paradise!