It is time for another edition of Beach Thursdaze, those days when the garden crew blasts their terribly loud blowing machines and round up renegade leaves, dust and iguana poop at Playa Lechi. It’s our cue to evacuate the place, get outta town, vamanos, or in the local language of Papiamentu, Laga nos ban!. And in our determined avoidance of the high-decibel disruption, we do the only sensible thing. We head to the beach.
This week it’s up the Tourist Road, a twisting, 2-directional, one-lane asphalt path that hugs Bonaire’s rocky island coast from the Oilslick Leap dive site to Karpata, a century-old abandoned plantation. Half way up, the road becomes one-way to the north, a point of no return. Continue past this spot and there are only two ways to return to town. One is over a bone-crunching dirt road up to Subi Rincon and then across the high ridge of the island and back to the pavement. The other is a long route along the Wild Side, the east coast of crashing waves and erratic speedsters that roar down the highway.
We opt to stay in the 2-way zone today and settle upon a rock ledge 20 feet above the surf and white-capped sea. With beach chairs set up, we scan the horizon. Two tankers, one full and then other empty and high on the water, wait their turn to dock at BOPEC. That’s the Bonaire Oil Petroleum Company where ships either dump oil into land-based storage tanks or fill up with Venezuelan oil, which they deliver to ports around the world. In the meantime we watch a 2-foot long green parrotfish bob in the gin clear water in search of food. It is an incredible site watching the fish roll with the incoming waves. Soon a small green turtle goes floating by. It’s just another afternoon down in the land of bon bini.
We usually head to the flat, sandy south for Beach Thursdaze, but this high vantage point delivers sights that we rarely see at sea level. The Blue Moon, a dive boat from Harbour Village speeds by. One of the crew is sitting on the bow and waves to us as his ride heads home after a day on the water. The sun starts to shine under the protective limb of the shady divi divi tree. Soon we will be out of the tree’s cool southern comfort. Plus, Sparky the dog awaits my return for her afternoon walk. It is time to conclude yet another episode of Beach Thursdaze.
•photos by Hettie