The oil refinery we saw on the real way to my apartment leasing in CuraГ§ao had been a harbinger of what to come
The Caribbean conjures up pictures of white sand beaches, palm trees, coral reefs, and tropical beverages. This summer, we planned traveling much of the Caribbean (spoiler alert I didnвЂ™t). A part of Holland and famous for its casinos, nightlife, and eponymous blue liqueur at the top of my list of places to visit was CuraГ§ao, located in the Dutch Antilles.
When I flew into CuraГ§ao, we dreamed of all of the Caribbean offered and imagined myself relaxing on long, white-sand beaches with a piГ±a colada at hand. The largest & most rugged of the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, and CuraГ§ao) islands, CuraГ§ao additionally held the vow of g d hiking and non-beach tasks.
But nearly immediately after showing up, I was disappointed.
What they donвЂ™t show in the brochures may be the oil refinery on the edge of town. You realize this stunning, multicolored, waterfront photo that showcases the view CuraГ§ao is fabled for?
Well, appropriate near there’s a oil that is not-so-wonderful blowing black smoke into the atmosphere вЂ” and itвЂ™s really noticeable from city.
That refinery set the tone for the week.
CuraГ§ao had been, as we say, вЂњmeh.вЂќ It wasnвЂ™t a bad spot, nonetheless it didnвЂ™t blow my head. We left the nation indifferent. The islandвЂ™s vibe and I also just didnвЂ™t mesh. I needed to love it, but as I boarded my flight house, nothing in CuraГ§ao filled me with sadness to be leaving or a want to stay.
LetвЂ™s start with the beaches g d, although not that great. Those close to the town that is main all resort beaches, meaning you need to pay to savor them in the event that you arenвЂ™t already remaining in among the resorts. TheyвЂ™re cluttered with people, lounge seats, and synthetic breakers to safeguard contrary to the waves and produce a swimming area that is calm. ( Not that a calm swimming area is bad, however the breakers lessen the flow of water, and since most resorts have actually ships and docks, I did sonвЂ™t feel the water ended up being the cleanest.)
The beaches up north are public, wider, and more normal, but also nevertheless, they arenвЂ™t the long, white-sand beaches we frequently imagine. Furthermore, the shoreline is full of dead coral and stones. Had been they pretty? Yes. Did I stay there and go, вЂњDamn, this really is beautifulвЂќ? Yes. Ended up being I blown away by them? No, certainly not. ThereвЂ™s better.
I was also disappointed by the lack of affordable and accessible transportation that is public. Buses only run every two hours and taxis are extremely expensive ($50 USD for a 15-minute cab trip). If you’d like to see the island, you really have to hire a vehicle during your stay. Not having one really limits what you can see.
To top it well, perhaps the towns arenвЂ™t that pretty. Outside WillemstadвЂ™s waterfront that is famous we ended up beingnвЂ™t t impressed by the scenery, buildings, or domiciles. Perhaps the resorts l ked outdated. ThereвЂ™s nothing like a small grime and wear and tear on a city to offer it some charm, but in CuraГ§ao, the grit only added a sense of woeful neglect.
One thing we loved, though, was the locals. The trip was made by them. These people were friendly, helpful, and conversationalists that are great. We remained within an Airbnb leasing, and Milly, my host, was super friendly and helpful. She also went the mile that is extra drove me some places and so I wouldnвЂ™t need to have a taxi. I would stay at her place again if I returned to CuraГ§ao.
While searching for eateries, I stumbled across an area, family-run restaurant near my apartment and consumed the majority of the meals here. Everytime I walked in, they greeted me like theyвЂ™d known me personally for years ( I was possibly the only non-local for eating there). Jack, from another restaurant, kindly provided me with his phone number to call if I required anything when he saw me, always remembered me and that we really loved his lemonade.
And then there have been the coach drivers who helped guide me personally around town, the locals who I would ike to hitch a trip using them if the bus didnвЂ™t come, as well as the countless other small moments of friendly discussion and assistance that t k place during the span of my week.
It would be for the people, not the place if I chose to go back.
CuraГ§ao wasnвЂ™t awful, but IвЂ™ve experienced better destinations. Maybe I didnвЂ™t I had high expectations вЂ” when you think of nearby Aruba and Bonaire, you think Caribbean paradise, and I just lumped CuraГ§ao in with them like it because. Objectives can often result in frustration once we build locations within our mind.
We moved far from CuraГ§ao with no desire that is burning return. IвЂ™m delighted We went and IвЂ™d encourage others to get, but there was absolutely nothing in CuraГ§ao you canвЂ™t find somewhere else better and cheaper.
You canвЂ™t love every location. ItвЂ™s impossible. I will frequently get the g d in every place (even Vietnam!), but humans have views, emotions, and preferences вЂ” and mine does not prefer CuraГ§ao.
You should go and explore the island yourself. You simply wonвЂ™t find me there.
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