Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bonaire


When I tell people I have been to Bonaire, they always ask, "Where is that?"


Well....


Bonaire is one of the Netherland Antille Islands, located north of Venezuela in the Caribbean. It is one of 3 Dutch Islands, including Aruba and Curacao.


Bonaire calls itself "Diver's Paradise" and it is true. The island was formerly a large reef, and as the waters receded, the reef became an island. Tropical reefs remain along much of the island's shores, and are easily reached after a breif drive, entry to the water, and swim.


The weather is spectacular, temperatures in the high 80's are moderated by the regular trade winds of anywhere from 8 to 15 mph.


Besides tourism revenue, Bonaire produces salt by flooding large ponds with sea water and allowing the winds to evaporate the water, leaving salt. Large piles can be seen near the Salt Pier on the island's north side.


The native language is Papiamentu. This is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and it also has some Arawak Indian and African influences. Papiamentu is one of the few Creole Languages of the Caribbean that has survived to the present day. A Bonaire local will greet you with "Bon Bini", or welcome.


I have been to Bonaire for the last 4 years, and it remains a favorite place to visit.


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