It is now day five and around 8:00 AM and we are approaching Willemstad, Curacao.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I saw many tugs approach our ship and transfer a man aboard as in the following photo. The only reason I can think of is for that person to take over the controls for docking of for him to assist.
This is the way we will go into the city.
We decided to explore a little before taking a tour to one thing that we wanted to see. Within walking distance from the ship was an area that looked promising. Some photos follow.
I soon realized that this is a relative new area. Many of the shops were just being completed and available for rent. In a few more months this will be another booming tourist area.
Assuming that the main shopping area was in another area, we returned to the area that contained all of the tour drivers to see if we could go to the spot we had picked. We got there just as a lady had acquired a driver to take her around and we decided to take the same driver.
This is another one of those things that happen and amaze me. While we were waiting for the driver to acquire two more people to make his trip worthwhile, I began talking to the lady we had joined. She was from Panama City. After talking for a while, I gave her a card and she looked at it and knew me. After we talked more, I remembered her. Back in April of 2007, I had posted a piece on the Read & Relax book store in Boquete. She had been in the store at the time I took photos.
She was Nilka and her daughters had opened the bookstore. It is a small world and Panama is an even smaller part of it.
I think I understand from what she told me that Read & Relax is no longer in Boquete. I understand that Giovy has remained in Boquete because she loves the place so much.
About this time the driver came back with two more passengers and we were ready to go.
The new couple was a daughter with her 80 some year old mother. The daughter was a doctor and an architect from Ecuador. The daughter said every year, she and her mother took a nice trip some where. The mother was in a wheelchair and sat in the front seat across from the driver. She was a bright lady and the driver had a good time talking to her. Somehow, I can’t imagine being 80+ and my daughter or son taking me on a trip. (No offense daughter and son.)
Here are a couple photos take while we were driving. Since we were driving a fair distance, there was no stopping to take good photos.
The next two photos were taken from a large bridge, which I have a good photo of later in this post.
I don’t remember what this was, but it is worth posting just because it was a pretty building.
Finally we arrived at the Cave of Hato, which want we wanted to see. The following photo was taken close to the tourist area and overlooks the airport.
This is the sign that shows a map of the area.
I have been to several caves in the US. The part of this cave that was open to tourists with little time amounted to about a 45 minute tour.
To get to the entrance, you had to climb stairs that amounted to over 40+ and it was a pretty steep grade. From there on, it was easy. I understood the guide to say that it was possible to schedule other tours that could go up to 8 hours and required crawling to enter the various caverns.
In some areas you couldn’t take photos because the flash affected the bats. Other areas permitted photos.
These two photos were taken a short way after entering the cave. You can see that there is a nice sidewalk to walk on.
This was an entrance to another chamber.
This is where we are heading next.
Do you remember how to tell a stalagtit from a stalagmite? As I learned it, as the mites go up, the tights come down. When the stalagtits and stalagmites meet, they look like this. Kind of corny, but it has always helped me remember the difference.
I did manage to clibm up to this photographic point.
I really liked the coloration of the rock in this area.
Here you can see a pool of water.
Back at the tourist waiting area, we had a cold drink while we waited for our driver to return. He had take the couple from Ecuador on a different tour, while we walked the cave. While waiting, I noticed this antique music box. I have seem similar, but this was a little unique. The attendant was kind enough to give us a demonstration. She cranked and turned a drum with steel pins coming out of the drum. This tripped hammers that struck the strings of the music box. Now the reason, I thought this was unique, was because she said the box came from Italy (if I remember correctly), but the drum, which had the music encoded in its pins came from Colombia. The drum had two separate pieces of music on it.
Leaving the cave area, the driver took us to the main city shops and dropped us off. Here are some photos of that area.
If you are tired, feel free to pause a while and have a cool drink or something to eat.
Ok, lets head back to the Entertainment od the Seas. This bridge connects the current area, with the one in the first photos of the new section.
Remember my telling your that two photos were take from the top of a large bridge? Here is the bridge we were on.
We have now made it across the bridge and are passing the last opportunities to buy a remembrance of Curacao.
This evening, I was able to capture one of the better sun settings of the voyage.
I may have mentioned that each evening meal was usually followed by some sort of entertainment by the serving crew. The second lady in uniform was our tables waiter. She was fabulous. I will cover more about her later in another post.
This evening we spend some tile looking through the shops on the Enchantment of the Seas. I thought the quality of the products was high and the prices equal to a mall in Panama City. They would have specials that improved the price and they were duty and tax free. Taking that into account, they did have some good deals.
So much to do and so little time. I hope you enjoyed our day in Curacao. The next post will be of day 6 in Kralendlik, Bonaire.