We woke up at 6:30 am and went up to Cabanas buffet for breakfast. Dede, our server, was working the fruit bar. I swear those servers get precious little time off! But he always has a smile on his face!
We have rented a car for the day. So we got off the ship and walked into town a bit and were picked up by the Budget Rent a Car dude. He drove us to the airport kiosk to do our paperwork and pay for the car.
The airport there is crazy! It’s all outside! So you get off your plane and drag your luggage through sand and a parking lot to get to the car rental kiosk strip. Wild!
Once we were settled in our Hyundai Creta SUV (fun to drive!)
I drove to the Donkey Sanctuary. I’ve been looking forward to this for over a year!!! Ok so back in the 1500s donkeys were brought to Bonaire (pronounced BONE AIR) to help mine the salt. Once cars and machines became a part of the equation they didn’t need the donkeys anymore. But the donkeys were getting hit by cars on the roads and whatnot. So Marina founded the Donkey Sanctuary. There are still over 400 wild donkeys on the island. We met Marina at the ticket counter/gift shop. She only charges $9 each to get in. She needs to be charging $20! It’s so fun! So Marina tells you about the donkeys and the facility and you buy your bag of carrots (buy more than 1- there are 743 donkeys who need carrots!) and get in your car then drive through the sanctuary.
As soon as you drive in your car is MOBBED by donkeys! They stick their heads in your windows
and let you pet them and feed them and they run alongside your car
and fuss with each other over who gets to stick their head in your window. We had a BLAST!!! While we were there I FaceTimed my mom and she loved seeing all the donkeys. We were dumb and only bought one bag of carrots so next time we know to LOAD UP!
After the donkeys we drove around the Southern side of the island. I don’t know about you but when I think island I think lush and green with white sandy beaches. Not Bonaire! They do have gorgeous beaches but a lot of the shoreline is super rocky.
And it’s not covered with lush jungle. It’s a desert island with cacti and wild goats! So interesting to see!
We stopped at the slave huts.
TINY little structures the slaves lived in who mined the salt. Then we came upon the salt mounds.
Mountains of pure white salt amidst pinkish purple water! So neat! They have this giant conveyor belt that brings the salt out to the sea for the boats.
We drove back to Kralendijk for lunch. Let me just tell you, driving around this Dutch island was so fun! But confusing. My poor GPS guy in my phone, Nigel, would tell us to turn on these roads with the longest Dutch names and we were just like WHUT???? For instance, the Donkey Sanctuary is on Kaya IR Randolph Statius van Eps. And that’s an easy street name to understand! So we naturally got turned around and lost in some neighborhoods along our journeys today!
Anyway, back to lunch. Before the cruise CSP went on Yelp and Trip Advisor and found Julian’s Cafe in Kralendijk for us to go to for lunch.
It is right on the water and a Princess cruise ship was docked right in front of us.
I had the garlic shrimp and CSP had the mahi mahi. It was so good and fresh! There is a restaurant across the street from Julian’s. But their kitchen is located BEHIND Julian’s up the hill. So while we’re at lunch we were amused watching the food runners come up the stairs, cross the street, climb past us going up the hill to get to the kitchen, then carry the food all the way back to the diners!
Our bill came and CSP opened it and it blew out of the restaurant and down the sidewalk! CSP had to run after it while I had a good laugh!
After lunch we toured the North part of Bonaire. So many wild goats running around! I wanted to snatch a couple up to bring home as pets! And the cacti are HUGE!!! Also, the roads once you get out of the cities are all one lane.
So we were constantly pulling off road to let taxis and tour buses etc pass by. We toured Rincon City and then stopped by a supermarket, natch.
With CSP being a grocery store manager we end up in a supermarket in every new city we visit. The one we chose is Van Den Tweel. SO nice! I sat in the cafe and made some phone calls
while CSP toured the store and picked up some Coca~Cola with real sugar in it and some water. CSP is pretty much ready to pack up the pugs and move to Bonaire after seeing that store!
It was coming close to the end of our day so we had to fill up the car with gas. There are only 2 gas stations on the island (that we could find). So we went to the one closest to the airport. We had to wait in line and then CSP hopped out to fill up the car. I had taken a picture of the dashboard so we’d know how much gas to put in the car at the end of the day.
It was a guessing game for sure because you can’t pay at the pump. And when we pulled up some guy kept asking CSP “how much? how much?” and CSP was like I DON’T KNOW MAN! It was just weird because it didn’t appear that the dude worked for the gas station. Anyway, CSP put the gas in and asked me if it was enough. I cranked up the car and said yes. He paid and got back in and it was then that I remembered the picture! OOPS! I pulled up the pic and sure enough we were one indicator line short of gas. Dang it! So we had to pull around and get back in line, much to the delight of Gas Station Dude who laughed out loud at CSP! Oy.
We returned the car to the airport (only $83 for the day! MUCH less expensive than paying at least that much each for 2 excursions!!!), and they drove us right back up to the pier.
Back in our room we made some phone calls home then got showered and ready for dinner. Tonight was Semi Formal night.
Dinner was in Animator’s Palate again and tonight was the figure drawing night.
Your servers give you a marker and a big sheet of paper with outlines of a person on it. You draw in your figure and they animate it and project them on the screens around the restaurant. SO cool! CSP’s little guy got to dance with Cinderella!
After dinner we ran into Donald Duck in the hallway. CSP was oblivious and I’m yelling “Honey it’s Donald!” like a fool when I should have been snapping pictures! By this time we were exhausted from our fun day so we went back to our room for bed!
Tomorrow is another early morning as we will be in Aruba!!!