We woke up this morning to find ourselves in Aruba, the typical climate of Aruba is sunny, dry and warm. This was not to be on our day here, cloudy, rainy and extreme humidity was the order of the day.
We decided to do a jeep tour of the island, which would take place in the afternoon. After breakfast we headed off the boat for a look around and promptly found a Starbucks. The coffee on the boat wasn't the best stuff you ever tasted. As we enjoyed our coffee in the patio, the first rain started, for about 10 mins, the rain was a heavy downpour. But it helped break the humidity a little bit.
After the rain we started back on our walk around the area of Oranjestad. If you in the market for jewelry and high end watches then you will find both here in Aruba. The island is also known for its white sand beaches and clear water making a good place for divers, snorkelers and sun bathers.
Here is our photo to prove that we were in Aruba and on this trip.
After our wanderings we headed back to the ship for a quick lunch and to get ready for our jeep tour.
We met our tour back on land, and were taken to De Palm Tours - http://www.depalmtours.com/home.do. Where we met our guide and our drivers for the tour. They did a great job, I wouldn't hesitate to use them if you find yourself in Aruba.
Our tour took us around the island to some of the highlights.
Our first stop was a view point, where we could see about 180 degrees around the island, Aruba is not very large only 69 sq miles.
Back on the jeeps, we were headed for our next stop. The Natural Bridge, which unfortunately collapsed in 2005, but the Baby Natural Bridge is still in one piece.
The ocean on the other side of Aruba was much rougher.
Our next stop was going to be the Alto Vista Chapel, which was built by Spanish missionaries in 1750, services are still conducted in this little yellow chapel that is considered to be the first church established in the Caribbean.
On our way we stopped at the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins. On the northern coast, midway down the island, sits the abandoned gold mill that once processed ore from mines in the nearby hills during Aruba's gold rush of the nineteenth century. In 1824, gold was finally discovered in Aruba, and eventually, the industry produced more than 3 million pounds of gold. We weren't allowed out of the jeeps, since it wasn't an official stop on our tour.
Next up the California Lighthouse, so named after the steamship California, which sunk of the coast of Aruba. The lighthouse was built in 1910.
Our final stop on the tour was a beach, unfortunately the rains decided to follow us and our beach time was very short.
Our tour returned to our departure point and we were taken back to the ship in time for us to board and head off towards Cartagena Columbia.
To be very honest I was really looking forward to seeing Aruba after all I had read and heard about the island. Unfortunately Miguel and I were left disappointed with Aruba, it really didn't seem to live up the hype about the island. But I guess everyone enjoys different vacations, but I don't feel the need to return to Aruba in the future.
December 11th was another at sea day.