Friday, January 10, 2014

In Curacao for Christmas and New Year's Eve (22.12.2013 - 03.01.2014)

After landing in Curacao and waiting an extra hour for Melanies backpack we got picked up by my dad. Because of our huge delay in Caracas and the time we waited for the missing luggage my sister coming from Switzerland cleared customs soon after us and the family was complete.
We headed to the house which would be our home for the next two weeks. My parents had rented a beautiful bungalow with pool for us! Aside from the occasional crazy gusts of wind we had a nice time to relax.
To get around the island we rented a little VW Fox, as public transport is non-existent. We visited the different beaches and the pretty colonial Willemstad.
While we where doing our Divemaster in Utila at Under Water Vision Mark from Curacao was passing his Staff Instructor Course there. Once on the island we got in touch and he organised everything that the whole family (minus my mother) could go diving. Most of the dive sites in Curacao are shore dives, you just throw your gear in the trunk and go for a dive. We have been shore diving before in Asia, but we never have been entering a dive site passing people in sun chairs staring at us ;) The visibility was awesome and the temperature lovely! Quite the opposite of Taganga. It was like diving in a swimming pool, with heaps of fish ;). Mark was leading the dive so we had our private group, thanks again Mark to spend a whole weekend with us during this time of the year!
As Joël was doing his Advanced Open Water course he choose a night dive as one of is five dives and I couldn't help but had to join him ;) We felt like Navy SEALs, entering the water at dusk and emerging in the dark in the little harbour/bay which was the entrance to the dive site ^^.
While exploring the island we have seen dozens of stalls which sold fireworks. And Mark warned us about New Year's Eve, that everybody was trying to outshoot each other. We went to Willemstad on the 31. around midday and it sounded like a war zone. The constant fire crackers cloaked the alleys in smoke and covered the streets in a red carpet. People where dancing in different street bars to ear numbing tunes and celebrating the end of the year. When dusk came every house, boat and bridge was illuminated. The already colourful colonial center got another layer of paint.
And around midnight all hell broke loose. For more than an hour the sky was cast in all kind of colours. It was a display many times the size of the official firework our home town fires up during summer time. The Chinese community on the island for sure imported the right kind of firework!
In the new year we lounged at the pool and spent it reading or playing boardgames before the hardship of travelling would catch up with us again ;).
Mark was so nice to invite the whole family for a barbecue and toast to 2014. He had felt pity for we didn't had a grill at our place or where even allowed to grill. The next day we still fired up one of these shitty instant grills to grill smoke some sausages we had left.
Melanie and I had a return flight to Caracas, but we decided to book a new flight to Medellin for not having to fancying the troubles of Venezuela during holiday season again. This time there was no delay and our plane left on time!

Playing with fireworks