Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Once we arrived in Bonaire, it would have seemed that the hard work was done. Not the case. We found a taxi from the airport easily enough, but as I mentioned previously, the operator of our chosen lodging had already left for the night! Luckily he left his cell phone number posted on the door, and the cab driver was kind enough to both call him for us and then wait until he arrived to let us in. Finally, approaching 10pm, we were able to check into The Friar’s Inn (now called Hotel-Bonaire Inn).

There wasn’t much to the “inn”. The bed was uncomfortable, for starters, and the bathroom had one of those time-sensitive lights on it. Unfortunately, the timer was very short – on the order of 30 seconds – and the switch could not be reached from either the toilet or the shower if you should happen to take longer than the given time. Luckily, the shower wasn’t much more than a pipe in the wall – with a single knob, no less – so you probably didn’t want to take long.

Anyway, we arrived and it was pretty late. We hadn’t really eaten for much of the day, and found several places in the immediate vicinity of the Inn were closed. This was an ongoing theme on Bonaire. Apparently much of their tourist traffic consists of divers, who seem to like to get up early. By 6pm, many of the places were closed up tight.

We eventually stumbled across what was essentially a vacant lot, with a trailer for cooking, and it was open. We each had an excellent sandwich, with some form of cooked meat inside. Since the operators of the place were among the few we met who did not speak English, we can’t tell you what sort of meat, and that may be for the best. In any case, it was very tasty, and not much money! The only problem we had – and this was really the only time during the trip that we had the problem – was that of the person running the trailer not speaking English. So it was a bit of an adventure, to say the least.

As an added bonus, we found here and throughout our trip that most places on all three islands readily accepted US dollars, which was useful since we didn’t have the opportunity to change our money once on Bonaire (being that everything was already closed). Most everywhere took credit cards, though as was the case in the US not too long ago, many charged an extra fee for the credit card (or a discount for cash, depending on how you look at it). In the end, as long as you could communicate, everything worked out well.