First, let me tell you about all the wonderful places and food we had the pleasure to see and taste. My husband and I stayed at Cunucu Arubiano, a small luxury inn/b&b. Set in the middle of the cunucu (Papiamento for 'countryside'), it consists of 3 brightly painted casitas that open to the warm, comforting Tradewinds that are a constant in Aruba. If you just have to have the a/c, they are fully equipped with remote controlled units, but trust me, it felt so lovely, you didn't want to turn it on!
We were greeted with a lovely bottle of merlot when we arrived and plenty of bottled water to take with us as we hiked and swam. Each morning Andrea would start our morning with freshly made Dutch coffee (for me) and herbal tea (for my husband). We would sit and have a lovely chat on the patio, and shortly Lissette (owner and breakfast cook extraordinaire) would arrive with fabulous farmer's omelets with mushrooms, green peppers, onions and Dutch gouda cheese. Perfect way to start the day!
Since Aruba was my home as a child, the places I wanted to see most were close to where I used to live, Seroe Colorado, or as it used to be known as, The Colony. First, we visited Baby Beach, known for its pink tinged sands and calm, protected water.
Yes, this really is the place where I spent my childhood-peaceful, warm, and fun. There is a snack stand there, and we had the best sate (pronounced sah-tay). Sate is street food. Marinated pork or chicken, grilled or fried, served with the most heavenly peanut sauce and french fries. I know, I know, not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but, dear God is it delicious. Now this is not like Thai satay. This is spicier with (in my opinion) richer flavors. The meat is marinated in onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and tumeric. The sauce is also more complex. Peanut butter, soy cauce,red pepper flakes, brown sugar, anchovy paste, garlic, ginger, onion and the secret ingredient-tamarind juice. Look at the picture above, look until you can hear the waves and the feel the warm breeze of the salty sea air-now imagine sitting under a palm thatched stand eating sate. Ah, that's heaven.
Next, we visited Bachelor's beach, so named because back in the day, that's where the bachelors would go to swim in the buff. Now, it is best known for kite surfing.
There are loads of these little lean-tos along the coast, made from the flotsam and driftwood that finds its way to the shore. The water is a little rougher here, but still swimmer friendly. the strong wind and the relatively calm water creates the perfect conditions for kite surfing, and you can watch them zipping back and forth as they flip and jump up in the air.
The next day, we visited Roger's Beach back in Seroe Colorado. When I was a child there was a lovely long dock to jump off of, and people would store their sunfish sailboats on the sand. It had a pavilion with a bar and tables. The pavilion is still there, but the dock is no more. The beach is still gorgeous, and if you want to be in a quiet beach this is perfect for you. No crowds of bussed in tourists and the beach is calm and gentle.
Off to the left of the above picture, is the fishermen's boats. You cannot be anything but happy when you see them. The bright colors of the boats against the happiest of all colors, turquoise, is enough to banish all unpleasant thoughts away. Don't believe me? Take a look.
Now, tell me I was wrong. Nope. Can't do it, can you? The answer to all weather related depression problems-go to Aruba and look at the boats and the water!
The next day we picked up some pastechis at a little take away and headed for Seroe Colorado Point and the rough side of the island. Pastechis are like empanadas, but the bread enclosure is lighter and the fillings have a various influences. They come in many flavors. The Dutch ham and cheese, the fish stew, a decidedly Chinese vegetable (like an egg roll filling), chicken curry, and meat (really more of ground beef jerk). We chose vegetable and meat. Up we drove to the top of Seroe Colorado Point, packed away our pastechis and water, slipped off our flip flops and slipped on our sneakers, and we were off. Down the side of the cliff towards the blue, blue deep water, crashing and foaming below us. We skittered around the edge of the cliff, shimmying to the edge to cross a small natural bridge carved by millenia of waves and wind pounding into the hard rocky coast.