Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Travel Tuesday - Bonaire - by Lady

Our third port was Bonaire, the B in the ABC islands. Like the others, tourism is essential for the economy and it is one of the most popular diving spots in the Caribbean. All around the island are yellow stones, marking diving spots. I was sure we had a picture of one, but I can't find it. Bonaire is special municipality of the Netherlands, and it uses the US dollar as currency. About 20 000 people live on the island.  It is famous for it's flamingos and while we saw a lot, we didn't get a good picture. 

Our tour, driven by a local guide, started on the north of the island where the first European settlers arrived.  For the first few years, slaves were required to walk the 3 hours one way daily, to the salt fields. 

Our first stop was a church that slaves had carved out of a cave.  After nearly 100 years, it is still in use. 

The church

As there is no spot of stained glass, stories from the Bible are presented around the church like this.

View from the top of the church

Our next stop was a museum.

This traditional house, showed off how the wealthier people lived on the island over the past 130 years. It is also where we tried a cactus alcohol. 

It had very low doors.

Around the museum, as in many parts of the island we saw cactus fences. 

I wish I remembered the name of this plant

On the drive we say many donkeys

We also passed a place where they were land sailing. 

Our last stop was the salt fields. Fun fact, they are currently owned by a Canadian company and all the salt is sent to Canada for further processing.

The ponds are pink because of a microorganism that makes them that colour

As mentioned earlier, when they first arrived, the slaves were required to walk 6 hours per day to and from work. After a few years, slave houses were built across from the salt fields. 

I didn't like posing by them, as I felt it made it an 'attraction' and I wanted to capture how small the house was, so I used me as a marker. 


I took some time standing in a stunningly beautiful spot on the planet to sit with slavery and all of the misuse of humans, historical and present. I didn't want to get lost in the misery that can come from such thoughts. I held it, and resolved to remember and do what I can to make the world a better place. 

The horror and the beauty.
Accepting two things can be true at the same time.

This felt like a heavy post, and as a historian at heart, I think it is important for us to all acknowledge our shared histories - the good, the bad and the ugly. Next week's post, a visit to St. Lucia, will be back to looking at nature. 

Reminder to click HERE to join our when will the snow be gone contest!


  1. oh how interesting... is that a special salt or is the salt from this place in all salts you can buy in stores? we love the cactus fence that is a prickly idea.....

  2. those houses are history that we all need to know and remember, so sad and so bad. that is my first ever viewing of a cactus fence. yikes, no one would climb it for sure. a beautiful place to visit. the view from the cave church is magnificent

  3. Hari OM
    I think that's Peacock Flower... and I applaud the moment of appropriate reflection this visit brought up for you and so perfectly illustrated by your post...

    OOohhh,,, I have such fun memories of St Lucia, can't wait to read about that one! YAM xx

  4. K10 how ironic. Until Sunday (when talking to Marlu) I had never heard of Bonaire. Now I'm here today and you have photos. She works for NCSU in the Center for Marine and Science and Technology aka CMAST. The director is a Professor of Marine Science. He and several of his grad students are about to take a trip to Bonaire for diving and research.
    Hugs Cecilia

  5. So many interesting things to see and the water looks so crystal clear and beautiful. I love the thickness of the walls which makes for that nice wide window sill!

  6. An interesting mix of sights to share today. We're curious to know if the salt that's processed in Canada is used on the roads or on tables or maybe both.

  7. The diving by the salt mines is some of the best we've ever done. There is also a cool Donkey Sanctuary on the island. In all the visits we've made to Bonaire...we've never seen the church!

  8. What an interesting tour. Bonaire has a sad history indeed, but we do appreciate you sharing it.


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