August 2, 2017
Our monthly dockage is up, and we are moving out to anchor at the Surfside Beach/Airport Anchorage on the 3rd. Our boat neighbors, Eva and Mike of Tell Tales Again are departing the same day so we are buddy-boating with them. We are both headed to Columbia and waiting for a weather window after they have guests on board, so most likely the first week in September.
Preceding departure, we needed to button up a few boat projects and hit a few more restaurants. Mark really enjoys the seafood buffet at Aquarius in the Renaissance Marina Hotel, and we also did rib night at the Paddock with Tell Tales. We always have a good time with them and with the stories they are always spinning. We also had to do our final (??) Dutch Pancake (A ham, cheese, and leek crepe) and Profiterrejes (mini pancakes with Grand Marnier).
We had one last car rental day for final food and material sourcing. We drove up to Gianni’s between the Hi Rise and Lo Rise Beaches and had Flaming Whiskey Parmesan Spaghetti. The tableside entertainment was fabulous. They scrape off a bit of cheese on the inside of a huge Parmesan cheese wheel. Pour whiskey into a ladle, light it on fire, stir it in with the cheese, then add garlic, fresh tomatos, fresh basil, and pre-cooked spaghetti noodles, stirring it all around while flaming. It was a neat experience and went well with a bottle of Chianti. When we decided to walk around after dinner, we realized we were not too far from where we would be anchoring when we come back to the Hi Rise area, so we walked out to the beach to show Tell Tales where we would be staying.
We also hiked up Hooiberg Hill, a 650+ step staircase to a radio tower at the top. This has been on our “To Do” list for quite a while. Hooiberg Hill can be seen from just about everywhere we anchor or ride our bikes.
It looks like a volcano rising up from the middle of nowhere. We always seemed to be bicycling around it, and we usually realized we were lost when we ended up on the backside. (Angie said we were lost. Mark knew exactly where we were at from a previous bike trip exploring the island. It always added another 1 hour or more to our trip than necessary.) Angie did not want to get lost on the bicycles trying to find the obscure entrance, taking a 2-3 hour detour, then have to hike it and bicycle back, so we waited for our final car rental day. (It sounds like Angie is putting the damper on the fun, but she is on heavy antibiotics and still dealing with kidney stones, so she felt the bicycle veto was necessary.)
It is interesting that a lot of the tourist sites are not really marked with road signs. Like finding Casibari Rocks and the gold smelter ruins, we drove around and around the mountain, trying to find the entrance, somewhere near the base.
Hiking it kicked our butts in a good way. On our climb up the hill, we met some African ladies coming down, carrying their purses on their heads. Their postures were superb. On our way down, we met an American who is living now in Aruba. He climbs the stairs twice every day, consecutively. First time up and down, he times it at 12 minutes, the second time up and down is 18. Well, except for when we stopped him and started talking. We felt pretty good with our 45 minutes, including the stop and talking time.
We also needed to go to Renaissance’s Private Island to see the Flamingos and do the Nature Trail Hike. We had a delightful breakfast on island. We watched as dive boats dropped people in the water just off the shore. We are hoping to be able to take the dinghy and do our own diving here.
It was amazing to see the flamingos up close and personal. (Angie loves flamingos; Hence, our purple flamingo boat mascots, Stella and Artoise and the redesign of the Lagoon emblem!) The flamingos hang out on the adult side of the island, right on the beach, near the beach chairs! It was hard to not get a photo with a guy’s speedo in the frame.
The nature hike took us out to a point where you could see the anchorage we would be going to next. The hike was an” attack of the mosquitos” and thankfully, Mark brought the DEET. We were killing 4-5 at a time with each swat!
And, of course, more projects….