Thursday, 17 November 2016


Yesterday we docked at Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. It lies about 120km off the coast of Venezuela and is the ‘B’ in the ‘ABC’ islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.  There are about 18,000 inhabitants - the most populous of the small islands we’ve visited.

Skip had looked up attractions on TripAdvisor before we sailed and noted that there was a Donkey Sanctuary only 7km from where we were going to be docking. Once we got off the ship, we grabbed a taxi and headed there.

Donkeys were brought to Bonaire in the 17th Century by Spaniards. They were used for hard labour. Once more modern equipment was used for work and  transportation, the work animals were just set free and left to their own devices. Bonaire is a very dry island and there is not a lot of natural vegetation on which they can feed. Nowadays, they are also in danger from motor traffic. Many are either killed or left severely wounded along the roadside and left for dead. Foals are orphaned when their mothers are killed. In 1993, the donkey sanctuary was established to help donkeys in distress and offers a protected life to all the donkeys on Bonaire. Currently there are about 600 donkeys in care ranging in age from 5 weeks old (a foal born to an injured, pregnant donkey that was brought in) to 45 years old. Males are castrated to help control the population. In spite of the efforts of the sanctuary there are lots of donkeys still roaming wild on the island.
The 5 week-old foal and me

We had a thoroughly delightful time walking amongst them, visiting the Special Care Unit/Nursery and the Senior Paddock where any donkeys older than 30 years old reside.
My new 'best friend'

Cars were permitted to drive through. Donkeys knew to swarm the cars because many occupants would be handing out carrots.
Swarming a vehicle
After the taxi returned to retrieve us, we returned to the downtown area to walk around and have a cold drink at a place where we could get free Wifi. Skip had a Polar beer and I had a delicious and refreshing mango margarita. They even gave me the extra stuff from the blender that didn’t all fit in my margarita glass. Then we headed back to the ship for lunch. (Heaven forbid we miss a meal on board!!!)

A couple of knitters from my class decided that they wanted to meet every day to sit and knit so after a wee nap and freshening up, I met them at 3:15. Dorothy is from the Seattle area and is working on a beautiful shawl with tonal, Malabrigo lace yarn. Judith lives near Amsterdam (Netherlands) and is working on a very long lace scarf. I alternate between my Silverleaf designed by Lisa Hannes and another pair of Business Casual socks.

After I went back to the cabin, Skip and I sat out on our verandah and watched as our mooring lines were released and reeled in and we thrusted away from the dock and set sail for Montego Bay which we’ll reach tomorrow after our full day at sea today.

After dinner, we attended the show in the Galaxy Lounge. Featured performers were Irina, a virtuoso violinist from Russia and Gary Hunter’s ventriloquist act. Gary’s day job is cruise director for the ship. Irina also is the first violinist in the ship’s string quartet.

Today being a sea day, I’ll be teaching at 3:15. I have at least one more class scheduled before we disembark in New Orleans next Tuesday morning.
Skip photographs Geri as she composes her blog post in the Palm Court

No comments:

Post a Comment