HEY EVERYONE! WELCOME BACK AND THANKS FOR CHECKING IN!
On Day 3 we drove to Shete Boka National Park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Shete Boka Hiking Mountain!
We drove to Shete Boka, which was towards the tip of the island. It was basically a straight line and we were STARVING! Now all over the island—like most places with an abundance of Latin and Caribbean influences—there are shake stands everywhere. Now shake actually isn’t a milkshake it’s a smoothie and the fruit there is the BEST! Back on track now lol
We stopped and got some shakes to fill our stomachs and then stopped to eat at a restaurant. I can’t remember the name but it used to be a slave plantation that was abandoned once freedom was given to the slaves. Once again, Liz is the whitest of the whitest lol She has never had oxtails or goat or anything of that nature so we both ordered curry goat with rice, salad, and plantains.
Once at Shete Boka, we were given a map of the 4-5 lookout locations we could go to, although one was closed off for the day. You could drive and park and then walk over to the area or you could just walk. Since we specifically went for hiking we decided to walk. First off, I clearly did not pay well enough attention to know that there was a trail and walked overexposed and dead coral. Which was hard as hell and hurt my feet lol Once I made it to the lookout point and saw the trail I was SIIIIIIIIICK! But anyways lol There water was blue and refreshing as heck. There was a man made bridge formed between the two rocks and the coral. Poor Liz fell down the stairs and I swore she died lol The water, views, sea creatures, birds, giant iguanas, caves, and nature, in general, made everything—all the walking, sweating, sunburn (we put sun protection on about 8 times lol but it wasn’t enough for us)—more than worth it.
-One part of the man-made bridge with different words and names formed from big rocks, THE TRAIL WE DID NOT SEE (all the little rocks are old dead coral), bones and dead coral fossilized in the rocks, me sitting on a branch in the grassy plains part of Shete Boka. TONS of Iguanas were running around and I tried to get pictures and they ran away so fast!
After Shete Boka we went down to a shopping outlet that had a private beach called Mambo Beach! Almost everything was closed and there weren’t many people out. We did, however, sign up for a next day all day tour to a Bat Cave and two beaches! Afterward, we went to the main mall—which is also their biggest mall—called Sambil Curacao. Inside there is a trampoline park, mini golf, a movie theater and plenty of great shopping. We walked around a bit did some shopping then got pizza and fried chicken for dinner because I couldn’t take being hungry anymore lol After we went to the grocery store to get snack foods and local pastries and finally headed back to the Airbnb since we had to be up at 6:30am.
-Living my best life at one of the overlooks GLOWING! The words between the man-made bridge some said names like Jeanine, Lil Rome, I love You etc., The mini beach that was tucked away and past the forest. Me walking on the trail that we were too ridiculous to see lol, Another view of the hidden beach but there was like a secret walkway to actually get to it. There was a cave with seating and a sign that said enter at your own risk! It was actually very nice on the inside because all the water splashing on us! But be warned, it is extremely slippery on the inside and on the outside path.
We woke up early and proceeded to drive down to Willemstad to the cruise port to get breakfast at Greka (because it was the only place open before 7am) and wait by the Giant Curacao sign to be picked up to start the tour. Our tour was through Does Travel and Cadushi Tours. Our tour guide through the company was Lisa, who was very funny, polite and just all around great and very comfortable to talk to. We paid $60USD for the tour, which was 8 hours with pick-up and drop-off, a cave tour, an hour driving tour to 1 beach to swim with sea turtles, then another mini-tour to a different beach that had lunch (not included but on their website it says now included), then a few stops on the way home. The first stop on our tour was to Hato Cave. Hato Cave is a bat cave, that enslaved black people would go and hide in to escape slavery. The cave has artificial lighting throughout but when they turn them off, it becomes so dark human eyes cannot adjust to it, so at night they would sneak out and get food and go hide back in the cave.
-Me outside of Hato Cave at the start of the Trail. Various pictures of the cave, a small opening with a blue light for the bats to hide out at, Stalagmites. the opening where the slaves would hide out until the sun started going down. More formations and discoloration, the opening to Hato Cave and the Trails.
Hato Cave is a very beautiful and majestic place and we got to take pictures in only 3 areas and our cave tour guide was very lovely and taught us so much! While there we met a white couple who were from Upstate New York from both of our hometowns which was very nice, and also showed us how small the world truly is. Attached to Hato Cave is a nature trail, but that wasn’t part of our tour tickets and we were on a schedule so we didn’t walk it.
After Hato Cave we drove to the top of the Island back towards Shete Boka on an hour-long bus tour, learning about the chattel slavery of the island, the different cuisines, why the homes are colorful (check out the Instagram page @drinksdessertsblog to find out why!), and how they got their independence and other great facts about the wildlife and beaches. Once at Playa Piskado (West Punt), we had to pay for chairs (which is common and also at every beach and also kind of expensive -$12-50) and we went out into the water. Liz went into the water before I did because I was more concerned with getting a chair and putting our things away.
The water at all the beaches are so clear and blue it was marvelous, truly no lie! I was in the water with the sea turtles and the fish for about 10 minutes when I looked up and saw Liz get out of the water and start reading. I was so confused but I let it go as I continued to swim around and talk to a mother and son duo from the island who was on the tour with us. The mother actually worked for the tour company and her son came back home to visit from college. I then saw Liz inspecting her leg and as I tried to walk over to her, there were huge rocks with coral and sea moss covering them. I ended up slipping on it and hurt my arm and once I got out the water and made it over to Liz she was bleeding and her leg was all scratched up, turns out, Liz slipped on the same rock and scratched her leg up really horribly. It was burning and over the course of the next two days, it got kind of brown looking. We spent more time in the water for about an hour before sunbathing so we could be dry on the bus.
-The water from the top of the deck before all of the turtles and fishermen come. The giant turtles waiting for the fishermen to clean their catch. More beach vires, swimming with the sea turtle (I got to touch a few). LIZ'S LEG BEFORE IT BECAME CRAZY LOOKING!. The deck. The bathrooms and vacation homes.
We drove to the next beach about 30mins away called Porto Mari. Along the way, we were able to see a statue of a black power fist with broken chains hanging from it that was gifted to the Island of Curacao by a local artist (all information will be on Instagram @drinksdessertsblog) to commemorate the freeing of slaves and the revolt at Kenepa. At Porto Mari, we had lunch, cocktails, and swam all over that beach. Liz’ leg started to hurt a lot so she sat down for the majority of the 2 hours we spent there after lunch but not me lol I was all over that water looking at the sea animals and creatures and touching the starfish!
Eventually, it was time to go and I was a bit sad because one of the tours had a stop at a beach that we were able to see Flamingos but it wasn’t our tour. On the way back however Lisa (our tour guide) saw some Flamingos at Jan Kok, which we drove past and we were able to get out take pics, walk around and see another statue. It was so much fun especially because I only had on my neon yellow bathing suit and looked so contrasting next to the flamingos.
-Willobough Restaurant that we ate at. The Flamingo bay but I had no real shoes on so I didn't walk that super skinny muddy walkway to see it. Liz's bacon and cheese sandwich. There was a tower watch before going down to the beach. The Trail of Resistance statue (check out @drinksdessertsblog on Instagram).
We got dropped back off at Willemstad and embarked on a journey to find more souvenirs and street foods. We got empanadas, churros, fries, and seafood wraps and salad (well I did), like 3 shakes each, ice cream and then we got these little dutch donuts I’ve only ever had in Canada called Oliebollen. They were filled with raisins and made fresh right in front of us! The best part of it was that they had supreme Oliebollen which was split in half and filled with tons of custard! After that, we went home to clean ourselves and up and cook dinner. I made fish for myself and steak for Liz and ate the fish with my seafood wrap and fries.
-OLIEBOLLENSSSSSSSSSSSSS omg they were so good! I love custard everything and mines were deep fried fresh and the custard was also super fresh! The man only spoke Spanish and he had a helper with him who was making the churros crazy fast. I have tried to remake these and have failed miserably!
WELL, THAT’S ALL! CHECK BACK ON MONDAY FOR THE FINAL UPDATE!
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE PODCAST THIS SUNDAY!