It is not so easy for an outsider to imagine life on a sailboat. Especially not in the current situation with the closed borders in most countries. My Aruban acquaintance Lel can imagine that too. He thinks I'm sitting on the boat all day, killing time.
I don't kill time. Instead, I kill the flies by the dozen with my blackjack. Day after day. Sometimes I think I've already wiped out the Aruba fly population. Then I don't see any flies on Sissi for several hours. However, at least 100 flies come to the funeral in Aruba if you have flattened a single one.
In any case, Lel stands at the jetty a few days ago and asks me if I would like to take a tour of the island. He doesn't have a lot to do right now. I am very happy and ask him if we can go to the Arikok National Park. You cannot go there by public transport.
The park is located in the southeast of the island. We have not thought enough, because of course the park is closed like all other public facilities. The landscape looks like Bonaire - dust and cacti.
Too bad but we can't change that. I will come back again when the park is open again. We drive back and along the coast towards Saint Nicolas. We keep turning off the main street and Lel shows me one or the other beautiful place.
Aruba is eaten by the Atlantic on the east coast. The island is losing more and more substance on the east side. The Atlantic works with all its might on the coastline and removes the soil. But Aruba grows on the west side. The side facing away from the ocean is getting bigger and bigger. So the island is moving very slowly.
The inscription on this monument reads: “TO ALL SEAMAN”. I feel addressed immediately and try to find out who Charles Brouns Jr. was remembered with this huge anchor.
This inscription does not mean the seafarers at all, but all Arubans, no matter where they are in the world. Charles Brouns Jr. has done a lot for the Aruba economy by boosting tourism.
Baby Beach is one of the most popular beaches in southern Aruba. There would normally be no place for the seagulls between the bath towels. I can only see people sporadically. People have set up two deck chairs, which is not really allowed under the current legal situation.
You can go into the water. It is not forbidden to sit in the sand if the safety distance is kept. The police come when using deckchairs. It is not allowed to rest in a deck chair on the beach. These are the current rules of the game.
Lel worked in the Baby Beach restaurant until a few years ago. On a nice day, a family from the Netherlands came to the beach. They had their car fully loaded with beach utensils, deck chairs, cool bags and a baby in the child seat. They had to walk several times to carry all their things to the beach. A gust of wind has thrown the car door shut. The car was now locked, the baby was still sitting in the car in his child seat. The joy was great when Lel was able to break into the car after a few minutes. Lel shows me photos of the family and the baby. This is now a toddler and the family still comes to Aruba regularly.
Then we drive to Saint Nicolas. There I take dozens of pictures of graffiti on house walls and walls. There are so many pictures that the paintings in Saint Nicolas will get their own contribution on the blog.
When Lel drops me off in front of the marina, I feel refreshed. It is very good to get out of the marina and its surroundings. The trip refreshed my brain. I invite him to dinner on Sissi for the coming week.