Dushi is a Papamiento word meaning “sweet.” It is often used to describe the island (as in “Dushi Curacao”) We thought we’d check out more of what makes Curacao “sweet” on Wednesday. First, we hopped in our rental car and drove to the north side of the island near the airport to visit the Hato Caves, formed below sea level millions of years ago. The first inhabitants were the Arawak Indians, 1500 years ago. During Curacao’s slave days, escaped slaves would hide in the caves. Portions of the ceilings are still black from the smoke from their torches. The limestone caves have numerous stalactites and stalagmites, and also house a colony of over 300 long-nose fruit bats. Pictures were not allowed in most of the cavern (including where the bats hung over our heads), but we were allowed to take a few photos.
From there we drove another 30 kilometers along the northeast coast of Curacao to the Shete Boka National Park. Shete Boka means “seven inlets.” There are hiking trails to four of the inlets which we visited. Boka Tabla is the first. Here, large waves crash into an underground cavern which is easily accessed. Unfortunately, the waves were not all that impressive on this day, but it was still a cool cavern. We then hiked a small trail to Boka Kalki before hiking another to Boka Pistol. The incoming waves at Boca Pistol were fun to watch as they rush into the small inlet which has a circular cut in the rocks at its head. When a large wave comes into this round cut, it is shot up into the air as if it comes from a pistol. Lastly, we hiked over to Boka Wandomi to see the natural bridge. The park was a very beautiful place to spend an hour or two.
Lastly, we drove the short distance to the lee side of the island for a visit to Playa Kalki, a beach on the western tip of Curaco. We were at first unimpressed and a little disappointed. I had read it was a really nice beach, but the narrow strip of sand was quite rocky and our entrance into the waters was difficult due to the rocks. However, when Cindy decided to head back in for a little work on her tan while lounging on a beach chair, I donned my mask and snorkel and enjoyed a surprisingly nice thirty to forty-five minutes of communing with the fishes. In about eight to ten feet of water, I found an abundance of various fish species in beautiful clear water. There were numerous parrotfish, angelfish, snapper, tangs, and damselfish. We ended up having a great time, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this beach as a swimming beach.
Since the afternoon was passing quickly, we decided to head back down the island to our marina. It took well over an hour to travel the twenty-five to thirty miles. The traffic is pretty horrible on Curacao. I think there are more cars than were intended when they designed the roads. But, our day was rewarding. We have one more day to play before preparing to leave for our next island adventure.