The next morning, we had breakfast at the Inn and decided that we needed a car. The island isn’t huge, and the city (Kralendijk) isn’t that big, but it would help. So we had the innkeeper call a service for us. The promised rate was something around $25 USD, but as we traveled back to the airport, our driver informed us that those cars were not available, despite our innkeeper’s reservations a few minutes earlier. While we appreciated the ride back to the airport for free, we decided we’d check out the competition and see what they offered, since this company didn’t seem to want our business very badly.
It was then that we came upon Netty’s Car Rental. Apparently run only by Netty herself (she’s the only one we ever saw), she was offering a one-day special for just $35, taxes and such included. This turned out to be even better than the aforementioned price (which we couldn’t get anyway), and we were also able to stick it to the other company, so we jumped at her offer. The car was small, but perfect for our needs, and Netty was quite friendly. It was a very nice solution to the whole problem, especially when it looked like we were going to be stuck by some other company.
Once we had our car, we drove back to town and went on the 2-site turtle snorkel from Pirate Cruises. We were actually the only people on this trip, and in fact we had to make a call to have the boat come pick us up. I’m sure that the “high” season would see many more tourists, and thus a larger boat, but we simply had a small boat for the three of us and it was plenty. We enjoyed some very nice snorkeling, as well as the personal attention of Captain Mike throughout. After the snorkel, which was excellent, and the clearest, least polluted water I have ever seen, we ate lunch at a small place near the dock.
After we finished our lunch, we drove around the island (it really isn’t that big), saw the huge salt mountains and the rough side of the island that gets all the wind, decided there really wasn’t much more to see. We did find, however, that Bonaire has plenty of wild donkeys. And my wife thinks that donkeys hiss when they are mad. I think they hiss to say hello. You can decide for yourself.
By the time we returned, we were hungry again. For dinner, we went to the Swiss Chalet. The food was decent, but like most places on the island, it was the off-season, so we left with the feeling that it might not have been the best they can do.
An early night, a fitful sleep on the poor bed, another breakfast at the Inn, and we were off to the airport in the morning to turn in our car and head to Curacao. This is where we had the next run-in with departure taxes.
Specifically, it was at this juncture that we found out that the departure taxes we had paid leaving Aruba only covered our departure taxes leaving Curacao. Bonaire, as it is apparently a bit behind, technologically speaking, doesn’t have that kind of thing. So we had to pay another few bucks (each) to leave Bonaire. But we finally sorted through those details, boarded the plane and started the quick flight to Curacao.