Date: August 14, 2018
We sat on the bus. Waiting…. and waiting… and waiting. Our guide had left to fetch the driver nearly ten minutes ago, after waiting twenty minutes before that, telling us she would arrive any time soon.
My family and I decided maybe it would be better to explore the island on our own, without a tortoise-paced driver showing us around. We planned on heading downtown to check out the city, but as soon as we stood to leave, she finally showed up.
This tour was incomparable to our lovely adventure through Aruba. Our guide’s microphone was so quiet, only a dull mumble could be made out, and the words she spoke didn’t even sound English (language all the tourists spoke).
The driver was worse. It felt as if we were moving at a solid 20 kph (12.4 mph), and every so often we would stop to take some random break. Every time someone complained or asked what she was even doing, her beady brown eyes would look up into her mirror and her face would scrunch into a scowl.
After a lot of bumps, scowls, and mumbles, we finally found something. I looked out the window and saw a couple dozen pink specks in the middle of a lake in the distance. It was hard to tell what they were, and I wanted to know, but it seemed the bus driver and guide didn’t care. They kept going right past them, completely oblivious to their surroundings.
Only when a frustrated tourist asked, did we get to stop and take a look. But only for a very short time because our driver didn’t like pulling over on the side of the road. It was a very difficult and frustrating experience, dealing with these two.
But what we saw was worth it.
I don’t think we would have seen any Flamingos on a walk through downtown Curaçao. It was very cool, and I wanted to stay longer to take more pictures, but with a grunt from the grump on board, we plodded back onto the sluggish bus.
Our next stop was a welcome change. We arrived at Kueba di Hato, the Hato Caves of Curaçao. And the great thing was, the two terrible guides weren’t coming with us!
As we met with our new tour guide that would be taking us through the caves, I saw something that brought a wide smile to my face. Lounging on a nearby rock was a massive lizard… an iguana!
There were a bunch of them. Some crawled through the dirt, others lazed around. Our guide told us these lizards were a popular meal on Curaçao. People would chase them down with sticks, skewer them, and bring them home to cook into a tasty snack. I didn’t like the sound of that.
On our way toward the cave entrance I saw a couple cool cacti.
The cave tour was a lot of fun. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and entertaining to listen to.
Hundreds of bats hung from the cave ceiling, and a few flew over our heads. We weren’t allowed to take pictures because it was too dark and the bright flash would be harmful to the bats.
As we weaved through the stalagmite-filled tunnel, we wound up in a beautiful chamber. The sun shone through an opening in the ceiling and reflected a sparkling light off the mossy green walls.
The guide allowed us to take as many pictures as we wanted. And I took a lot.
After the caves, we unfortunately had no choice but to rejoin our terrible guides. The trip was long with lots of stops and mumbles and vexed sighs.
At one point, we stopped in a parking lot near a beach for a good twenty minutes for no apparent reason.
My dad somehow convinced the driver to take us downtown and drop us off there. We had enough of this tour. We had seen lots of amazing things: caves, bats, iguanas, and flamingos, which I would gladly keep safe in my photo collection, but I couldn’t stand being with these guides for another moment. None of us could.
So we ended our day with a lovely family stroll through Willemstad, the colourful capital city of Curaçao.
We hiked across a massive pontoon bridge.
My brother and I played the drums.
Well… I did. I’m not quite sure what he was doing.
And then it started to rain, and our adventure came to an end.
But next on our list was Grand Turk. We would arrive in 2 days!
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