Since I am part of a group that documents cemeteries, I am always looking for new ones to photograph. There are a couple of cemeteries in Kralendijk. They were even on the otherwise useless port map given out by the ship. So Bob went and took some pictures while I was out snorkeling.
There were several cemeteries near each other so Bob took a lot of photos.
If you go, wear shoes and not sandals, and probably long trousers too. The cemetery is quite overgrown. Bob said he was afraid he would fall into a grave.
If you have access to a vehicle, go for a relaxing drive along Bonaire's winding roads to see some beautiful scenery. There's the Scenic Drive along the Northwest coast which has lush vegetation and amazing coastal views. The ranches, deserts and cliffs in the central areas and to the South provide a really relaxing and non-touristy atmosphere. Drive South past the airport along the Salt Pans for great ocean views and a chance to see flamingos.
There are no huge major attraction art galleries in Bonaire, but there are a few unique small galleries on the island that sell pieces too.
Richter Art Gallery features Linda & Jake Richter and other local artists. We didn't end up visiting because of the hours and bad planning on our part, but wanted to based on what we heard.
JanArt Gallery in Kralendijk displays art by Janice Huckaby. We were lucky enough to get invited to a gallery open house. She paints a lot of reef scenes and marine life and I remember many of her pieces having this really calming, almost hypnotic feel. She has lots of postcard prints for sale so if you don't pick up some art you can get a very nice souvenir.
Bonaire is known for amazing reefs and marine life, but also has interesting and unique birds and land animals. You can spot a variety of different species with a short hike through the cliffs and trails on the Northwestern coast, the desert areas to the South, or through Washington Slagbaai National Park.
Endemic species include the Bonaire Green Parrot, Blue Whiptail Lizard and Bonairean Anole among others. You can see geckos, whiptails, anoles and iguanas everywhere on the island and it's pretty cool to watch them skitter around (they also always seem to make it off the road in time). I don't know very much about birds but there are lots of colourful and beautiful kinds to see including parrots and herons. Make sure to see the flamingos.
These are down near the Southern tip by the Solar salt works ponds.
It was really sad to see and imagine how horrible it must have been to have to live in these huts.
The Slaves were brought in from West Africa to work the salt ponds and were only allowed to rest on Saturdays.
Did you know?
Papiamentu is one of the few Creole languages left in the Caribbean.
It is said that the early forms of the Papiamentu language was made up with the mixtures of languages of the different Slaves and Owners.
Old abandoned lighthouse on the Southern tip of Bonaire.
We could not find much info on this lighthouse while here but you can see that there was once a need for it, as it is located at the tip of some very rough seas.
Located past the salt ponds.
Is that snow on Bonaire?
No, it's just the salt mine.
There is a conveyor belt that goes over the road to a pier for loading onto ships.
Next time you salt your fries, just think that it may have come from Bonaire.
Located close to Pink Beach.
Did you know?
They have been mining salt on Bonaire since the early 1600s.
Bonaire gets it's tap water from desalination of the seawater.
The south side of the island is where the main beaches and diving spots are since they are on the leeward protected side. The north coast is rocky and has larger wave action. If you have a car, drive the north coast and check out some of the lighthouses and tidal pools in the rocks.
Directly across from the bay is Salinas Slagbaai. You will see flamingos here since these salt pans are a favorite feeding ground from Jan. to June. There are also many other species of waterfowl seen here.
The salt industry was also introduced during this period of time. The large yellow colonial-style building seen here was used as a salt storage warehouse. It dates back to 1868 and has been restored to use as the park's administrative offices.
Down a steep decline to what was once one of Bonaire's most important harbors, Boca Slagnaai or Slaughter Bay. Nowdays it is a popular dive and snorkel site.
Its history dates back to 1868 when goats grazed and were slaughtered here before being exported to Curacao.
On the road around the park you will probably see a donkey or two. These donkeys have been running wild since 1925. We happened upon a mommy,daddy, and baby. We passed the adults but the little one wanted to walk in front of the truck. I finally got out so he would move but all he wanted to do was follow me.
If you stop by to check out Playa Funchi you probably will be joined by whiptail lizards.
Found only on Bonaire, these lizards are quite used to people and will come out to see what you have to feed them.
Males have blue heads and greenish-blue hind feet and tail root. the females are mostly brown.
we fed them crackers but we saw a lady feeding them cucumbers so it seems they will eat most anything.
The northwest end of Bonaire, is covered by the 13,500-acre/5,463 hectare Washington-Slagbaai National Park.
The park can be toured by 4-wheel drive vehicle on the two well marked routes. The yellow route is 34km, the green route is 24km. The day we were there the long route was closed because of the roads being unpassble due to rain. The roads we did go on were bad enough and we couldn't have made it without the truck.
Rincon is so isolated that it protected the spanish colonist from pirates, so secluded that it housed its slaves here in the 17th century( many slave families were housed here and the slaves would walk 20 miles from the salt pans to see their kin on week-end), and so remote that it was able to preserve its rich African/Spanish/Dutch culture for nearly 300 years.
Come on one of Rincon's many festival days to sample local foods and dance to the beat of musical instruments made from goatskins.
When we were there it was a rainy day and the streets were almost deserted.
The view of Rincon was taken from the lookout point Alta Mira Unjo ( Uncle Joseph's View).