Aloe plants (Aloe barbadensis) were also cultivated for use in the pharmaceutical industry. There is the remains of an aloe plantation in the park, even the ruins of an aloe oven.
Visitors with sunburns can feel for themselves the soothing effect of aloe by cutting a leaf and rubbing it on the skin.
The divi-divi tree grows pods which contain large amounts of tannin. Until the 1950's, this tannin was exported to Holland, where it was used in tanneries (which converted animal hides into leather). Visitors to the park should look for divi-divi trees on hilltops, where the constant winds have forced the trees to grow almost sideways.
The Flamingo Airport's landing strip starts right next to the public beach. The very low flying planes skim over the beach and locals line up and park in the afternoon to watch the flights come in. There are large warning signs posted on the runway fence cautioning people about hearing damage and hot exhaust. Still, it looks like it would be pretty great to be snorkeling at Windsock Beach and have a jet fly over.
The currency of the Netherlands Antilles is the Antillean Guilder, sometimes also refered to as Florin. But you can also pay in US$ (and sometimes even in Euro) nearly everywhere. Usually you pay a bit more if you use foreign currencies, as it's common to use an easy-to-calculate exchange rate.
All major creditcards are widely accepted.
You'll find ATMs at the Airport and in Kralendijk.
Driving is on the right, and was overall very sensible and safe. There are a few major roads for getting around the perimeter of the island, with a couple of narrow sections. Of course locals who know the roads will want to go faster than you so don't be that annoying tourist driver; let people pass you and they'll be grateful. Traffic is easy to navigate in the towns but parking can be frustrating in downtown Kralendijk at certain times of day.
Driving in Bonaire is a memorable experience in and of itself- there's a beautiful Scenic Drive along the island's Northwest edge, winding roads through the desert in the South, and both long & short scenic roads in Washington Slagbaai National Park.
As you drive along, keep a look out for the yellow boulders on the side of the road. They are stone painted yellow with black letters, each telling the dive site or point of interest.
The Yatu cactus is used to build fences to keep out the wild donkeys and goats.
All they do is cut the cactus off and replant it where they want a fence.
You can drink the water on Bonaire.
There is a water desalination plant here that supplies the island with fresh water as well as electricity.
There is a fresh fuit stand on the waterfront where you can get your fruit from Venezuela.
It doesn't have the choices that we saw in the floating market in Curacao but it does have nice fruit.
Some of the locals don't necessarily look both ways when crossing the road. They don't seem to mind you taking their picture, though!