Archive for July, 2010

Pro Kids Freestyle 2010

July 31, 2010
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Ecuador – Hacienda Primavera

July 27, 2010

Maggie wanted to ride horses. I wanted to hike to waterfalls and fish for trout. We both wanted tranquility. As Maggie prepares to leave the “nest” so to speak we wanted some Mother Daughter time. We saw many lovely Haciendas but Primavera’s remoteness and setting seemed to beckon us. The owner Pepe was most accommodating online. He was sympathetic to my concerns when the volcano in Iceland interrupted flight travel on the KLM (thus impacting air to Quito) and did not ask for a deposit. He understood my diet (no meat) and our other requests and planned the perfect trip. Pepe recommended I speak to an American tourist who frequents Primavera. When she learned I lived in Bonaire she asked if I knew a French man who owned a restaurant there. Of course it could only be Patrice Rannou. I knew Patrice frequented Ecuador and loved an area near Columbia where he rode horses. Amazing that out of ALL the places to come in this huge country I find Patrice’s hideaway. Two weeks back Patrice and I met for drinks and he told me my other friends, Jane and Alan ALSO go to Primavera. It was then I finalized our trip plan.

Primavera is about 4+ hours north of Quito. The drive was filled with up and down hill hair pin turns. Honestly I was nervous as our drive rode quite fast but I put my trust in him (and St. Christopher) and tried to enjoy the scenery. As we drew closer to Primavera the landscape changed dramatically. The vistas were splendid.

The last 12 k was along a terribly bumpy dirt road. Finally after 12 hours of travel we arrived at our home for 3 nights. Young Jose, kind Byron and Pedro greeted us warmly. We were allowed to choose a room as we had the place to ourselves. I chose a riverview room to hear the sounds of the rushing water. It was pure tranquility.

Photos can depict our experience so far, much better than my words.

Bonaire to Ecuador – A Quick Getaway

July 27, 2010

Bonaire is fortunate to be the refueling stop for the MD 11 KLM heading to South America. For 300 USD pp and a quick 2.5 hour flight we can arrive in Ecuador. Maggie was celebrating her 18th birthday and wanted a trip to Italia. Unfortunately the air from the US and Bonaire was well over 1600 USD so I decided to take us to Ecuador. My Dad was stationed there in WWII and I recall his stories of the beautiful people and country. I booked us for 5 nights. Next came the plan to decide where to stay. Being a travel agent and with a social work background I am overly investigative…I knew I wanted mountains, waterfalls, cool temps and away from it all. I found three Haciendas and let Maggie choose. She chose Primavera in the Cloud Forest, close to Columbia. I also wanted to spend 2 nights in Quito to visit the museums and cathedrals. I had researched a trip a few years back and knew I wanted to stay in Old Town Quito at Cafe Cultura.

We woke at 2:30 AM and drove 3 min. to Flamingo Airport in Bonaire. We were one of 3 parties flying from Bonaire to Ecuador. We waited in the departure lounge as the KLM landed 3:04 AM. To refuel all the passengers (embarked in Amsterdam) deplaned. The masses headed to the smoking lounge and the bathrooms. Most of the passengers were South American and some back packers heading to the Andes and beyond. We loaded the plane. What comfort. The MD11 had 3 -3 -3 seats and was very roomy compared to the US 737’s I frequently fly.

We took off heading south. I slept the entire flight to Guayacil where we off loaded some passengers and took on more who were heading back to Amsterdam. 20 min. later we arrived in Quito. The airport was very efficient and in the arrival hall our guide Armando and our driver Christian were there holding a sign with my name. As we left the airport a group of very forlorn ill kept beggars hounded me until we got to the car. It was rather unsettling as the tiny child kept saying the same phrase over and over..what I am not sure…it was a prayer or something. As we drove I noticed the smell of diesel and exhaust was overbearing. I also started to develop a massive headache. I knew to possibly expect Altitude Sickness being 9200 feet above sea level. The traffic was heavy at 8:30 AM and the sights already astounding. We saw many local people dressed in traditional Indian clothing. There were many motorcycles as well. I saw a lot of dogs but none really skinny just dirty. We stopped to get gas and I took the opportunity to go to the bano. As I stepped out of the van I noticed I was very dizzy. I felt like I was on drugs walking on pillows. We bought some water and corn pancakes in the store and headed towards Otavalo. Along the way we stopped in Cayambe City for Bizcochos, cookies the area is quite famous. There were rows of stores selling the cookies but Armando chose the best spot. They were buttery good.

Our next stop was the Equator. Maggie was disappointed as this point was not the huge tourist center near Quito but a smaller version. Still, we stood at 0′ and listened to a small lecture from a local girl. Cayambe is famous for growing roses. We saw greenhouses all along the road as well as many Indian local people. It was wonderful and so different to see the clothing and diversity. 2 hours later we were in Otavalo a market center. Famous for it’s weavers there are stalls and stands with a colorful array of designs and fabrics. Saturday is the busy day but we enjoyed our quiet shopping choosing some lovely scarves (2 for 5.00 ) and a lovely hammock for 12.00.

Otavalo Indio Market

More later…off to eat breakfast…

Air From Aruba- Tiara Air Update

July 26, 2010

Press Release from TCB Inc. Bonaire
Effective immediately, Tiara Air is operating this expanded flight schedule with non-stop service between Aruba and Bonaire. The flight schedule is as follows:
Aruba to Bonaire:
Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, flight #303 departs Aruba at 9:10 AM arriving in Bonaire at 10:00 AM. Additionally, on these same days, flight #305 departs Aruba at 6:20 PM, arriving in Bonaire at 7:10 PM. (Please note that beginning August 2, Tiara Air flight #305 will depart Aruba at 7:00 PM, arriving in Bonaire at 7:55 PM.)
On Sundays, Tiara Air will operate flight #307 which departs Aruba at 7:10 PM and arrives in Bonaire at 8:05 PM.
Bonaire to Aruba:
Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, flight #304 departs Bonaire at 10:20 AM arriving in Aruba at 11:10 AM arrival. Additionally, on these same days, flight #306 departs Bonaire at 7:30 PM arriving in Aruba at 8:20 PM. (Please note that beginning August 2, Tiara Air flight #306 will depart Bonaire at 8:15 PM, arriving in Aruba at 9:10 PM.)
On Sundays, Tiara Air will operate flight #308 which departs Bonaire at 8:25 PM arriving in Aruba at 9:20 PM.
In addition to this expanded flight schedule, Tiara Air has also announced that effective September 12, 2010, they will add an additional two weekly rotations Aruba-Bonaire-Aruba. These new flights will take place on Saturdays, and will follow the same schedule as flights 303/304 and 305/306 currently utilize.
This new schedule, while providing additional flights, also makes connections in Aruba to the USA much easier. These flights, coupled with the new evening flights, will also allow day trips to Bonaire for those visiting Aruba.

Tiara Air is utilizing Shorts 360 aircraft with a maximum passenger capacity of 36 persons. The aircraft is operated by a crew of two pilots and one flight attendant. For additional information, to check availability or to make a reservation, visit the Tiara web site at http://www.tiara-air.com or contact them at +297 588-4272 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +297 588-4272      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. To book your vacation to Bonaire and Aruba contact ann@bonairecaribbean.com

Wil’s Tropical Grill – Smoked Marlin Dip of the Dia

July 19, 2010

Wil’s home smoked Marlin is in and it’s a big wow factor for the dip of the dia, smoked marlin dip…paired with an icy Barefoot Chardonnay, wow!

Wil’s is a must do for all of my repeat clientele. All newcomers asking for fresh fish are immediately booked into Wil’s. This past week he had fresh Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. From the homemade bread sticks to the decadent cookie desserts, Wil and Sue insure my customers experience dining perfection. Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com to book your table. Reservations recommended.

Yacht Club Restaurant Photos

July 19, 2010

Yacht Club Restaurant and Apartments too!

July 19, 2010

I used to live next door to the cutest little property, Yacht Club Apartments. Run by a lovely Dutch woman, Jolanda the property is small and intimate and well priced. I love the garden setting, the lovely pool and what in my opinion is one of the island’s best restaurants.

My friends and I who reside on island met up with their visiting daughter. Rick handles the kitchen and Kim works the front flawlessly. No matter what’s happening including a squall that went through our recent, Kim remains unruffled smoothly catering to her clients with a smile and calm demeanor. This restaurant is customer oriented in all regards. There is a house treat of olives and spiced popcorn. Also Rick sent out a complimentary Broccoli Cappucino. Pure ambrosia.

The menu is inspiring with a diverse creative element. We started with goat cheese spring rolls and tuna carpaccio. Both were simply amazing. Our entrees were fresh tuna with a pumpkin puree and lovely noodles. Some of us chose oven fries. The wasabi dipping sauce complimented the meal.

Amazing enough we had room for cognacs, Baileys and on the house mini desserts.

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is a booking agent for Yacht Club Apartments. They offer their discerning clientele free island Concierge so to book your apartment and dinner reservation call 800-219-0118 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              800-219-0118      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

Bonaire Nature Photo Essay

July 19, 2010

Bonaire Traffic Jam

Turtles Hatching Running into the Sea..Another Traffic Jam

King of the Hill

A Quick Review- La Barca

July 15, 2010

My gal pal, Susan from The Bonaire Insider and I dined at La Barca. She will be writing a full review soon so I defer to her literary expertise but gotta add this to my top dining experiences this summer. Located on Playa Lechi the restaurant boasts stellar views, lovely breezes, spread out tables, a wonderful owner, Mickey from Milan and very good food. We started with complimentary brochetta which was heavenly. I had a icy cold Pinot Grigio to start my meal. Toasted bread with a nice garlic butter was served while we reviewed our menu. We met the owner who went over his specials. Mickey is from Milan and is enthusiastic. We were tempted by Mickey to try the homemade tri color gnocci with fresh barracuda so both went with his rec. The meal was amazing! La Barca is my new favorite dining experience this summer. I will take my teen next week and provide a detailed review. Check out The Bonaire Insider for great island news and updates at http://www.bonaireinsider.com

Tiara Air from Aruba to Bonaire

July 15, 2010

Press Release from Tiara Air

Tiara Air announces coming Monday July 12th, 2010 more fights and new accommodating times from Bonaire which will benefit Bonaire as a tourism destination.

With this new schedule Tiara Air is offers its clients and travel agencies more flexible hours and frequent departures between our neighbor islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao & Punto Fijo, Venezuela.

Travelers from the U.S. can now benefit from the connection with Tiara Air in Aruba by travelling from the US to Aruba with many International and US Carriers such as Air Tran, Arke Fly, American Airlines, Aserca, Avianca, Continental, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Dutch Antilles Express, Insel Air, JetBlue, KLM, Martinair, Spirit Airlines, Surinam Airways, United Airlines, US Airways and Venezolana.

Also the Venezuelan travelers/tourists will have the opportunity to travel from Punto Fijo Venezuela to Aruba and connect to Bonaire.

Tiara Air is very proud to announce this expansion and welcomes everyone to fly Tiara Air to Bonaire.

For reservation and information please call your travel agency, our ticket offices or you can visit us at:
http://www.tiara-air.com.