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02:10 pm: Aruba, day 2
Yesterday we went to the California lighthouse at the North end of the island. It's up on a bit of a promontory, and we got gorgeous views of the northern half (or so) of the island. We also got hit up by the first of several people who wanted to take just a moment of our time to offer a presentation on real estate opportunities on the island. She was nice and all, but we demurred.

Instad we settled on Arashi Beach for some old school "sitting on the beach and reading," time. We swam, sat, and eventually paid a man with a machete $3 per coconut to lop the tops off of them. Yes, in fact, I did add rum to my coconut.

The island is idyllic. It has no history of slavery and, at least so far as I've seen in two days, lacks the brutal crushing poverty of either Haiti or Jamaica. Instead, I see people of all ages and body types wandering around an island paradise. Things are expensive because no crops grow here. That's, in part, why it was never used for forced labor by any of the imperial powers in the area.

Once we all started to feel a little tired and fearful of continued exposure to the wrathful sun god / day star, we headed back to the apartment. After a couple hours of laying low, we decided to go downtown and seek dinner. The majority of shops were closed on Sunday evening, but we had a nice dinner at The Paddock, a fun little European style cafe with slow service but great views of the sunset.

This morning I discovered that the sun god had made his mark on my poor, tender flesh. I've got a solid sunburn on my back. However, that just meant keeping a t-shirt on for the snorkeling expedition this morning. We presented ourselves at the crack of 9:30 to board the catamaran "Dolphin." Once we got underway, "the bar" opened up offering various rum laced fruit punches. We spent an enjoyable three hours puttering around shipwrecks and coral reefs. Towards the end of our time, the captain untied the rope swing and the passengers took turns swinging out over the water, whooping, hollering, and making big splashes.

Now it's nap/laptop time back at the apartment during the most brutal of the sunshine. For all the incredible number of photons, the temperature is pleasant. It's perhaps 82F, but not humid and always with a smooth breeze off the ocean.

This afternoon, I'm gunning to explore the south end of the island. I'm told that there's a beach with a derelict oil refinery, like something right out of a Mad Max. I'm eager to check it out.

Here's video (courtesy technolope of a tree gently swaying in the breeze on Arashi beach:



Current Location: Aruba
Current Mood: sunburned
Current Music: Steel drums
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Comments

[User Picture]
From:mcniadh
Date:February 14th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
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Aside from the sunburn, that sounds really nice. I could watch that tree all day.
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