Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Curacao 2011

Jenna and I just got back from our long Memorial Day weekend trip to Curacao, and MAN, was that an amazing experience!! We climbed to the highest part of the island, which was 1,200+ ft to Mt. Christoffel's summit, dove 40 ft. deep amongst some of the richest coral on the island, and jumped off of Playa Forti's 40 ft. cliffs into the ocean. It was incredible!

Curacao is the southern most Caribbean island, and is only 30 some miles from the coast of Venezuela. They say that on a clear day you can see Venezuela's coast from the top of Mt. Christoffel. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't the clearest day, so we weren't able to see that far. However, the clouds did help keep us cool on the climb up. And when I say climb, I literally mean climb. The path was made up of boulders, vines, and fallen trees. The last 50 feet from the peak, you literally had about 4 feet of space in some spots between the mountain side and no more birthdays...

Our scuba session was a trip! If you ask Jenna, she might tell you it was more of a treasure hunt, but you'll have to ask her for more details on that... The reef, named Alice in Wonderland, was rich in sea life, and we saw everything from parrot fish to eels, and even an octopus. The cool thing about this reef is that after you got out about 100 yards from the shore you swam over a giant wall with an enormous drop off. it felt like you were flying!

Playa Forti is a beach that wasn't too far from where we were staying. The beach was surrounded by 40 ft cliffs that had a bar/restaurant right along the side of it. Next to the bar there was a square platform that you could jump off of into the ocean. It didn't look that high until you were the one standing on the platform... Check out the film below to see some of the cliff jumping action.

The actual town was cool but definitely not a place where you need more than a day to see, at least in my opinion. It had a uniqueness about it and a lot of cool history, but again, you can see it all in an afternoon. The island is best known for it's reefs and rich sea life, and that's where you want to be. However, there were some cool things about the town. Curacao is a Dutch island and therefore the Dutch influence on it's architecture is huge. Walking through the town was like being in Europe. The town is split in two by a canal that runs through it and a floating bridge connects the two sides. Below is a really short time-lapse for you to check it out if you wish. They also have a slave museum at the Kura Hulanda Hotel and Casino that was very interesting as well. Surprisingly enough, some of the best things to do on the island are really cheap and lots of fun, so we really didn't spend much at all, which is always a plus. Now we still have money to put go-go-juice in our gas tanks back in the U.S.

Anyway, this blog has been way too long and if you want to know more about Curacao, just go, you'll love it!! Hope all is well and enjoy some of the pictures and videos below.
http://www.michakvidt.com

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Sitting on top of Mt. Christoffel





Base of Mt. Christoffel


The path to the top...


Another shot from the top of Mt. Christoffel





Willemstad (the town...)


One of the antique dolls at the Kura Hulanda slave museum



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