Thursday, April 6, 2007

In our estimation, Aruba is a desert island, not as green as expected. And, lots of cactus! When you see a cactus FENCE and what looks like a Nebraska prairie, you begin to rethink "tropical paradise.

People we’ve talked to said it was the most beautiful island on the cruise….obviously we were not on the right side of the island. Either that or the cruise ship docked at the wrong one!

We were booked on the Aruba Jeep Tour .. guaranteed to shake up your insides. We were shown to an 8-passenger jeep and climbed in. One of the staff came over and asked which one of
us was planning to drive!!!

Whoa, this is not what we signed up for. After being in the land of left side of the road drivers, we wanted no part of that idea. John firmly explained that we were assured that we’d have a “professional driver” and by gosh, that’s what we were determined to have.

The other jeeps were driven by cruise passengers which would have scared me to death once we saw the paths that we were going to be driving on.
Our driver, Wendell, said he had 17 years experience working for the tour company …so we had fun laughing as we bounced and jostled along.. At first we were on city streets and some country roads…..for this we paid good money!!!

Then, we went “off road”….right up a rut-filled, boulder strewn nothing of a road. We were jostled around and tossed back and forth on the seats….which, thank heaven, were thickly padded.

Wendell, our driver, did a great job in managing to hit every boulder, rock, hole and rut that he could….and lead the other 7 jeeps right to them.

About half way through the tour, Wendell stopped at a little museum that had a restroom….a one person, coed restroom where the shower was the biggest thing in the room.
Evidentially they had some sort of a touchy septic system because the sign on the wall said, “please do not put paper into the toilet” ….well, that’s special! They had a garbage can next to the toilet and that’s where the toilet paper was supposed to go. I don’t even WANT to think about what happens if somebody needed to really GO….and needed to wipe. There were no windows in the restroom.
There were several other tours using the same facility, and the restroom line was LONG. (I think a few of the men used the emergency facility…....a handy tree)

We finally made it to the top of the mountain and had a beautiful view of the ocean about a half block down the cliff. Wendell said that the beautiful natural pool was ….down there.
Again, we had to climb down a hand hewn path to the ocean….sooo where’s this pool? We had short walk along the beach and then had to climb and crawl over some really big boulders to the “natural pool”. It was a pool that was separated from the ocean by more big rocks…the surf would crash against the rocks, providing fresh seawater to the fish living in the pool.

Lisa was the only one who didn’t go into the pool….she was the photographer. I’m surprised that someone didn’t get hurt climbing over the rocks to the pool or climbing into the pool itself. The rocks were slippery and had algae on them. Once we got into the pool we could see tropical fish swimming around our feet…Angel fish, clown fish and whatever kind of fish “Nemo” was. We had a great time!

We stayed there for about a half hour and back up the hill we went….another sore muscle day tomorrow. Wendell had nice cold sodas waiting for us….since we hadn’t had any food since breakfast, we would have loved to have a sandwich.

The next stop was a “natural bridge” and a chance to buy a hotdog or sandwich….The natural bridge was interesting but not enough to keep our interest very long.
Oh yes, John ended up paying $.25 to use the restroom in the restaurant.....ha, he thought it was really funny when Jenny had to pay $1.00 the other day…..well, guess he got a bargain after all.
(to be continued)

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