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FEB 27 WORKING THE SALT FLATS

A Freak Snow Storm on Bonaire

semi-overcast 28 °C

USING OUR LEFTOVER SCRAPS
Kathy loves watching birds, and has been putting put fruit scraps out for the birds and the iguana and whoever else shows up. Today a pair of Troupial birds picked on papaya scraps and fed their young. It was good breakfast entertainment.

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THE SALT FLATS
One more day with our rental car, so we head south, stopping for an hour to do a drift snorkle along the way. It is great. Kathy drops us off and drives the car a couple of kilometres down the road, takes out her book and reads while we drift down to where she is waiting to pick us up. Then we hit the salt flats. Bonaire is famous for its salt flats and it is still a big export market. Wars were fought between the French, English, Spanish, and Dutch over control of the Island and its lucrative salt trade between the 1600's till the Dutch took firm control in the 1816. Salt was used to preserve food, and African slaves were brought over to work the salt flats. When slavery was abolished by the Dutch in 1863, the salt flats fell into disuse, but now Cargill operates the flats resulting in Bonaires only export market. Hopefully it's not genetically modified. There were a number of large condensing basins where they pipe the ocean into the basins, and then let the sun evaporate the water leaving salt, which they then scoop up, and place in large piles ready to ship off shore.

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SALT BEING STORED FOR SHIPPING

SNOWSTORM ON BONAIRE - WHO WOULD OF THOUGHT
Suddenly we were hit by a freak snow storm. It's been a long time since it has snowed in Bonaire. Fortunately it did not last long and the sun quickly melted the snow. Good thing we had our jeep.

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SNOW IN THE DITCHES AND COVERING THE FIELDS

Later on we realized it was just the foam from the basins blowing across our path. As a reminder of the harsh treatment the early settlers inflicted on the African slaves, a number of the Slave huts have been preserved. They consist of a 6 ft. X 6 ft. concrete shell. Nice view though.

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SLAVE HUTS

WILD MEN AND DONKEYS
We round the southern Cape and are buffeted by big wind and waves. It is why no one lives of this side of the Island. It is however a prime spot to do para sailing and we stop and watch these young guys catch the wind and lift off the water in flight.

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PARA SAILING WITH THE WIND

We do some exploring of the mangrove swamps, and run into wild donkeys, Bonaires only wild animal and the result of domesticated donkeys escaping into the desert centuries ago.

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WILD DONKEYS AND MANGROVE PETS

We hit downtown for a gelato. Downtown is just a couple of blocks long and a lot of the buildings have a distinctly Dutch flavour.

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SOME DUTCH ARCHITECTURE

There is also some whimsy in our neighbourhood. Here is the lost and found tree and the bureau of motor vehicle licenses.

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Don and I do another drift snorkel in the late afternoon and we arrive home for a relaxing evening on the deck.

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EVENING TWILIGHT FROM THE KITCHEN

Posted by RDILL 18:24 Archived in Caribbean Netherlands Tagged the salt flats

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HI Robert
Just catching up on your trip. Sounds like quite the adventure. Looking forward to hearing more tales when you get back.
Gail

by Colenso

Do you think you could bring the toilet seat home with you? It would look nice in our bathroom!

I tried to negotiate to bring the toilet seat home but to export it out of Ciracao, I have to live in Amsterdam for 3 months first. See you in May.

by penderjewel

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