On every corner in the states there is a Starbucks and an Apple iSomething store or at least a store that gives you the ability to peruse apple products. Before we left, I upgraded my 2009 MacBook Pro to the latest and greatest 2016 MacBookPro with all the bells and whistles.That of course means a bazillion adapters to accomodate for the new USB-C connectors. All has been working swimmingly with the new MacBook Pro…until it wasn’t.
Less than 6 months old, and the charging brick gives out, now I can’t charge my laptop at all, its down to 30% and when that is over, no dice.I have the 2009 as a backup, and it works, just a bit slower. This computer has 12volt and 110volt chargers.Of course the new computer has completely different connectors and I haven’t located a 12volt charger for it yet.Ugh.
Today’s mission find one of these.
Google said there is a iCurraco on the island and its close to the places we have already walked and wandered by.So that was the destination.Take the bus to downtown and go to Digicel first to figure out what happened to our data (for some reason they stopped giving us data at 5gb instead of the 18gb we purchased).That in itself was fun, standing in line for a while only to be told, she sent an email to the support team and would call us back when it was fixed.Uhhh..I walked all the way to your store for this?No expectations, so we wandered around and turned on the phone never believing they would call, but within 15mins the call came in stating it was all fixed, and sure enough the missing 14gb were credited back to our account.
Google Maps, its an android device after all, was now in business and we were off, 3km walk through town, over to Otrobanda, to the supposed location of iCuracao. Nothing but a home there, a secondary search returned another location another 4km away which was also incorrect. Switch to the Maps.me app on the iPhone. This map gave us a new location, in another direction of course. So what else do we have to do, keep walking stopping at every convenience store for a cold “small beer” to keep the legs moving, and hydration in balance.We get close, and it looks like we are to walk down the “Ring” highway, so we jump the guardrail between cars, following some local kids and make it across. Turns out to be a shopping mecca with hardware stores, house wares, and supermarkets and low and behold an iWorld store.
Not expecting to actually find the charger, can’t have your hopes up too high when dealing with bleeding edge technology.But low and behold they had three for the 13 inch and 2 for the 15 inch MacBookPros.Oh my, I’ll take that one and it was only 10% more than what they cost in the states, score!
Success: MacBookPro gets a second chance at life with a new charger.
On the way back to the bus stop, we came across a Kooyman and had to stop in to look around. One, it was air conditioned, and two it is a really awesome store.
Well now to get back, at least to our bus route that is, quick check of the Maps.Me showed we had another 3 kilometers to get to a bus stop on our route.We pushed on and went straight to the bar “ItsLit” where we had stopped the other day, and thought there was a happy hour at 5pm, course it didn’t start till 7pm – Doh, we had drinks anyway after a well deserved successful mission.
Oh and we found me some new tennis shoes for hiking if need be as the Sperry shoes I used to own, disintegrated during the Antigua Race week.
Quinton had showed us the Bus Schedule app where you can see where the buses are so at the last minute we paid our tab, and made the last few mins of Happy Hour at Pirates (again).
After I had made Christine walk all over the place, she wanted pork chops and smashers for dinner, so that’s what we had. Concluded a good long day…
Wayne had to catch an early flight so we were up a zero dark thirty (440a) to load up the car and find the airport. Luckily our handy dandy map made navigating so much easier than a few days ago. Wayne left weighing a lot less than when he came as he was kind enough to lug several necessities from the states for us (thanx again, Wayne). After we dropped him off a little before 6a, Matt and I headed back to the boat to get a few hours of sleep. Unfortunately, sleep evaded me so I cleaned until Matt go up just before 8a. We decided we wanted to run some errands before we had to return the car at 10a. So, we headed back to the dinghy dock, hopped in our Kia and went to find the Cost You Less and Best Buy Supermarket. We loaded up on all the heavy stuff (5 gal. water jugs, diet coke, diet ice drinks, and bulk items. We tried to swing by the Kooyman but time was running out and we had to get the car back. As luck would have it, we rolled in just after 10a, but we did not have time to fill her up. We were only about 1/8 of a tank less than what we received it at so we hoped she did not notice or care. As it turned out, she noticed, but didn’t care. We walked over to Van der Tweel supermarket which is the small one on the island but only 2 kilometers away from the dinghy dock. Then headed back to the boat for a day of blogging and relaxation.
We had heard that there was a free shuttle that picks up at Fisherman’s Harbor (the dinghy dock) and takes you to a grocery store and then brings you back 90 minutes later. So, we decided to check it out. We diligently arrived on time and found 8 other boaters waiting for the shuttle bus. Interesting. A big white bus came, loaded us all up and took us to a new grocery store called Vrugdenhil! I could not help it, I gasped when I walked inside. It was so big, clean and orderly. They had tons of people working, restocking and helping. Wowza! And the prices were pretty reasonable (better than Van der Tweel). So, we walked around a bit, then decided to visit a few other nearby stores since we were in the area. We swung in to Budget Marine, then hit Island Water World, and then checked out the Het Washok laundry services before heading back to the market to catch our shuttle home. Back on the boat by 11am.
We ate a quick lunch and decided to do a hike that would explore a little flamingo area. Our favorite bartender at Pirate’s Nest told us about this amazing app called “maps.me” which offers world OFFLINE maps for travelers. Yep, you read that right! Offline! So, armed with a really cool map guide we headed off to find the salt flat with flamingos. Matt thought it looked like a short hike and there are tons of trails to explore. We grabbed some water, phone charger and headed on our way. We easily found the trail, but what we did not know was which trail to take. At the start, there were orange and blue markers so we decided to follow those. After about 20 minutes, we came to the Flamingo area but there were no flamingos. Just a large salt flat and a few squawking birds trying to warn us away. We kept going and came across a red trail – hmmm, wonder what happened to the orange and blue trail. Oh well, this keeps going around the lake. As we headed up the other side of the lake we did spot 6 flamingos on the far other side. Sweet! Too far away for an iPhone picture, but we enjoyed them for you.
Panorama of flamingo area we hiked
Pretty yellow bellied bird who sang to us
It was really hot, we were low on water, and realized we could not walk around the entire area and get back before dark. So, we decided to find the nearest bus station to head back. Our maps.me app said it was about 1.8 miles away – ok, here we go. It led us up, down and around the back bushes, past a poor rotting dog (that just broke our heart as it still had its collar on-jessh!), past the correctional facility and up into town. Great. We landed exactly where the free bus shuttle drops us off.
Intended to walk @ Flamingo area but ended up walking into town
Overall, the walk was about 6 miles and we were spent! First, we needed some water and a drink so wandered over to It’s Lit. Since it was only 4 in the afternoon, we were the only people in the bar except the bartender, Quin. When we arrived, we were dripping with sweat and I mean dripping. Not the sweet ladylike sparkle, but puddles and coming from everywhere. My hands were sweating! Gross! But, we saddled right up to the bar, placed our order, and chatted up with Quin who was exceptionally nice! He told us about the free buss website (autobusbedrijf.org) that tells you when and where the buses are so we don’t have to wait outside in the heat.
One of many positive signs at Its Lit
Super cool bar, positive signs and décor, and really nice bartender – we will come back here again for sure! We caught our bus and headed back to the boat.
Many of you know, I am a certified project manager (PMP). I’m super proud of this license and designation as it was tough to obtain. In order for me to maintain my license, I have to take 60 hours of PDU’s (continuing education) over 3 years. In the states, that is pretty easy to do as I can just attend a few all-day seminars a year and a couple of PMP monthly meetings to easily get the 60-hours. However, out at sea, in another country, on someone else’s internet is another thing. I found an all-day virtual seminar that I signed up to take today. It was on how the Internet of Things (IoT) converges with project management. A very interesting topic that merges two of my favorite subjects. They had a pretty decent cast of presenters and it was scheduled from 830a-5p EST (which is the same time as my time ATL). This was a huge draw on bandwidth with the running chat session (with all of the hundreds of participants from around the world), the video presentation with animated slides and of course audio. For the most part, it was ok. I had downloaded all of the presentations so when the video got stuck I could still follow along. It was just dealing with the broken audio that was a bit frustrating. But all in all, I managed to sit through 6 solid hours of lecture and happily claimed the last PDU’s to get me to 60 before my August 2017 deadline.
As I was working away, Matt decided to spend the day cooking. He wanted to try a new recipe that he obtained from our friends on Contrary Mary, chicken roti! First, he seasoned the chicken and let it marinate. Then he made the flatbread from scratch! Then the rest…
Chicken Roti in the making.
Let’s just say that it was a spectacular way to celebrate the completion of my PDU’s and the renewal of my PMP certification! Yum Yum
We grabbed the free shuttle back to the store as we needed a few items and wanted to explore Curacao Marine, Budget, and IWW (Island Water World). We picked up a few items at Curacao Marine (new drink holder for the port helm station and some on/off to clean the bottom of the dinghy) then headed over to Budget and IWW. We “needed” 1/4” line for the tramp when we replace it and would like a new piece of stainless chain for our dinghy – so this was a pricing exploration. We did not find what we needed so we headed back to the shuttle and caught a ride back to the dinghy dock. Since we had no plans, we decided to explore the other areas of Spanish Waters. Several days ago, we checked out Asiento Marina, Curacao Yacht Club, and Kima Kalki Marina. We still wanted to explore Seru Boca Marina, Santa Barbara Marina, and a few other alcoves. So, we took Sweet N Low on an adventure. We met a new friend, Steve who is in a slip at Santa Barbara Marina but he did not look like he was on board when we swung by so we decided to check out Boca 19 as it was close to lunch time. We climbed up to the 2nd floor, saddled up to the edge of the bar that overlooked the beautiful, private swim area and ordered a pineapple, ham, and cheese pannini – oh so delicious! We then continued our tour and came across our friends on “Chapter Two” who were preparing to stow their boat for season. Down the dock from them was this fixed sail trimaran.
Pretty house with LOVE artwork
As we entered one of the private bays, we noticed a small private island called Isla Kimiw (see brochure) which you and your loved one can rent out for the week!
Isla Kimiw in Spanish Waters, private resort.
We headed back to the boat to clean up a bit as we had invited our friend Steve to come over for Roti. It was great fun to hear about all of his adventures over good food and drinks.
Today we wanted to circle back to the bays (or baais) that looked like they had good snorkeling so we headed back to the north side of the island. Our first stop was Playa Lagun which looked like a fun place to come back to have lunch. We grabbed our snorkel gear, found a nice rock to leave our clothes and jumped in. Wayne was off to the races and quickly deserted us. But, Matt stuck by my side and we enjoyed the beautiful little bay’s reefs and sea life. This bay is also used for diving and many groups of people were learning how to dive and practicing their dive skills. We met some lovely people who told us about a bay where you can swim with a lot of turtles. So, we added Playa Piskado to our list.
Please don’t swim away, I want to play with you.
On the way to Playa Piskado, we came across Playa Kenepa Chiki where we hopped out, did a quick snorkel and got back on the road.
Next, we came across Playa Kenepa Grandi. There were tons of cars and two tour buses letting their passengers experience the amazing photo opp on a large overlook onto the bay. Since this was a pretty crowded place with lots of people on the beach we decided to continue onward.
Playa Kenepa Grandi view from overlook
Posers in our swimwear came in for a photo op and left without snorkeling.
Playa Kenepa Grandi crowded beach below
Playa Piskado which is also known as Playa Grandi is where many local fishermen return with their catch of the day, clean the fish, and toss the left-overs in the water. The interesting thing is that there were not a lot of fish eating the unwanted fish parts (or birds) like we’ve seen before. But rather there were lots of turtles. The young turtles are omnivores and eat both meat and plants. As they get older their diet changes to just plants. We quickly hoped in the water and enjoyed a rare opportunity to swim with large and small turtles alike!
Matt trying to say hello, he did not touch the turtle.
It was getting close to lunch time so we decided to head back to Playa Lagun and try out the restaurant at the top of the cliff called Bahia Beach Bar. We sat down at a table near the railing so we could watch the snorkelers and divers. But what we didn’t know was that the iguanas were going to provide the entertainment for the afternoon. There were a few tables in the direct sun which were occupied by a couple of young ladies. We decided to sit in the shade as we were already burning up. As the food arrived for the girls, the iguanas came out in full force and were pretty aggressive. One jumped on the table and the other sat at their feet like a dog begging for left-overs. It was pretty funny actually, but only because it wasn’t happening to me.
Wayne, the great lizard hunter catching his lunch.
After we left Playa Lagun for the 2nd time, we headed to Playa Santa Cruz where we thought mushroom forest and the famous blue room were located. Mushroom forest is what they named the coral reefs as they appear to be tons of mushrooms on the ocean sea bed. The blue room is a cave that divers usually frequent but we had heard that snorkelers can get there as well. We jumped in the water and snorkeled all around the bay but could not find either of them. Wayne, being the little fish that he is, swam half way to the next bay and came up empty handed. They remain elusive, but I will find them before we leave! It was still an ok snorkel spot, I mean how do you complain when you are snorkeling in Curacao?
We were pretty snorkeled out by the end of the day so we decided to head back into town to check out Mambo Beach. Even though this is a man-made beach, it is really beautiful with its white sand beaches, crystal blue waters. There is a boardwalk with tons and tons of nice shops, bars, and eateries that fit just about anybody’s taste and budget.
Madero Ocean Club on Mambo Beach
Another ocean club on Mambo beach
Can I get this for anyone you love?
We stopped at the Aqua Beach Bar, enjoyed the passing scenery and shenanigans of the beach goers before heading back to the boat.