Bon Bini, as you will hear many of the friendly locals say, means “Welcome to the island of Bonaire”.
Bonaire, a world class diving and snorkeling destination is located in the ABC islands off the coast of Venezuela. Besides being a world class diving destination, Bonaire is excellent for all water-sports. The constant trade winds provide continuous propulsion for sailing and windsurfing. One of my favorite sports is land sailing on a patented Blo-Cart, reaching speeds of nearly 50 mph, it provides a thrill a minute.
Diving and snorkeling are still the primary activities of Bonaire, however in modern times other activities such as kayaking,bird watching andeco-tours have become popular.
It is a relatively small island ,being home to roughly 15,000 inhabitants. The island is only 24 miles long and 7 miles wide at it widest point, the capitol is Kralendijk.
Kralendijk means”coral reef” and is a clean well kept town with many examples of Dutch architecture.
Bonaire was discovered in 1499 by a group of Explorers led by Americus Vespucci who found the natives living in stone age conditions. The island was used primarily for supplying livestock, corn and salt,the Dutch established plantations for the growth ofdyewood cochenille, and aloe. In present day the island boasts one of the most successful salt mining operations in the world.
Having never been to Bonaire, my wife and I decided along with several friends to hire a local driver to escort us around the tiny island.
Driving along the island’s northern coastline we could observe the island’s blue water,One of the highlights was a stop at Goto Lake, one of only four breeding grounds of the pink flamingos in the world. As flamingos outnumber humans on this tiny island, the breeding must go rather well.
Also located on the island is Trans world Radio, one of the most powerful private broadcast stations in the world. Towering more than 500 feet into the air, the station’s antennas transmit Gospel music as far away as the middle east.
After that it we passed through many small villages, including the tiny village of Rincon, with it’s picturesque pastel-colored homes, it is the oldest settlement on the island.
Needless to say time prohibited us from enjoying everything the tiny island had to offer, although I would have liked to visit the Dutch sailing ship, the mangroves and participated in some surfing, diving and sailing, these activities would have to wait until our next trip.
Gary has traveled to many parts of the world, see more articles and photos at:
Gary has developed a line of novelty gifts featuring some of his photos taken around the world.
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