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Thread: Marcio and Cristina's honeymoon in Aruba - May 10th to 19th

  1. #11
    Senior Member MarcioCampos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcioCampos View Post
    I especially recall a small fish with a very dark body (black or dark blue, I don't know) and light blue fluorescent spots. It was really amazing! There was also another nice one, with a red belly and black, white and beige spots on the body.
    Stuart had told me and I forgot the names; thanks to Google I remembered them. The blue one is very likely a young yellowtail damselfish (although I don't remember the yellow tail, but I've seen pics of these with a less colorful tail), and the other one is a stoplight parrotfish (100% sure).

    Cheers

    Marcio

  2. #12
    Senior Member MarcioCampos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    i think that the aruba tourism authority is marketing heavily in brazil!!!
    I think so -- the aruba.com website also has a version in Portuguese, and I often see travel agencies offering trips to Aruba. A few days before we left the island we saw a huge group of Brazilians arriving at the Radisson. We also noticed many people (waiters, shop employees etc.) trying a few words in Portuguese, which is not that difficult because of the similarities with Spanish and Papiamento. It's a nice touch because many Brazilians who have money to travel abroad won't do it because of language barriers (English isn't widespread here -- according to the latest stats I saw, 27% of Brazilians speak English).

    BTW, I think I should describe our arrival on the 10th. The flight departed from Sao Paulo, with a stop in Caracas. Everything went pretty well, in time, and our flight seemed to the the only non-USA one landing in Aruba around 6 PM, since the immigration lines were small. Before landing we got an extra aerial view of Aruba because there seemed to be some heavy air traffic and our plane had to make an additional turn .

    Cristina and I were impressed with the arrival lounge of Reina Beatrix. Everything very clean, beautiful and organized. Everyone who has been in a Brazilian airport may know why we liked it so much. From what I've seen, looks like Reina Beatrix is managed by the same group that manages the Amsterdam airport. We followed Dan's video tutorial on how to arrive in Aruba and had no problem in finding a taxi to our hotel (I'll talk about the Radisson later).

    Departure from Aruba on the 19th was as easy as the arrival. We had a very late flight (departing at 10h44 PM) to Brasilia, where we made a connection and flew to Sao Paulo. Ours was the only flight departing at the time, and we arrived two hours prior to taking off, so we were the only ones at check-in, immigration, luggage scan etc. The bad side is that the duty free stores were closing at the time (we weren't planning to buy anything, but other passengers were).

    Unlike the flight to Aruba, that was as smooth as a flight could be, the return flight was bumpy, with lots of turbulence . I deal pretty well with it, but Cristina doesn't, so none of us slept because she was grabbing my hand every time

    More about our trip later

    Cheers

    Marcio

  3. #13
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Obrigado de alguém cujos antepassados ​​eram de Bermudas e os Açores.

    Meu nome de solteira era Viera, espero que isso deu certo.

  4. #14
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    Hi Marcio, Isn't Aruba great ou can do as much as you like or as little and still have a great time. Dick.
    Next Aruba trip in

  5. #15
    Senior Member MarcioCampos's Avatar
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    Piloting a sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Obrigado de alguém cujos antepassados ​​eram de Bermudas e os Açores.

    Meu nome de solteira era Viera, espero que isso deu certo.
    Hey, Lisa, quite good Portuguese! You know, while in Curaçao I discovered a lot about the Brazilian/Portuguese connection with the ABC islands (more about it later).

    Now that we finished cleaning the apartment, let me tell you about our two experiences with Aruba Active Vacations.

    First was windsurfing, on Sunday 13th. We walked from the Radisson to Fisherman's Huts (with a short stop for lunch at Taste of Belgium -- more about it in the restaurants' section, later), and when we arrived there we discovered that, because of a miscommunication issue (part of one of my e-mail messages was cut by the server), there was no reservation for us. But the guys there found a way to accomodate us in their schedule and we were in for the 2 PM lessons.

    The whole thing takes 2 hours. We spent the first 15, 20 minutes on the sand, with Alan, our instructor, telling us how to keep straight lines and make turns. All I can say is that while we're not on the water everything looks simple After that we went to the water and started surfing. Fisherman's Huts is a very shallow area, even far away from the sand (so we didn't have to wear life vests), but they have flags indicating where the water is still waist-level. Beyond the flags it's still shallow, but they don't recommend beginners to go there.

    Alan stayed with us in the water for 45 more minutes, correcting our moves, encouraging us and warning us when we were about to run over the beginner kitesurfers . After that, his instructor hour was over and we were left with one more hour on our own (but he did take some pics of us after he returned to the beach). All I can say is that we spent more time in the water than on the water, but that was expected for first-time windsurfers. It's a bit like ice skating -- all about keeping your balance. Anyway, Cristina and I did manage to make a few turns . It was very, very funny and we left Fisherman's Huts with just a few bruises caused by knocking our legs in the surfboard when climbing it, something we did countless times, haha.

    We had landsailing scheduled for Tuesday (15th), but it almost didn't happen. The area needs to be completely dry and it had rained in the weekend; on the other hand, it the place is dry but it's too windy, landsailing becomes a little dangerous. But in the end the conditions were good (if they were not, we would have likely gone to Fisherman's Huts for more windsurfing) and Marcel picked us up at the hotel and drove us and our instructor, Andrew, to an area close to the California Lighthouse. They assembled the cart with the sail and Andrew showed us how to drive the thing.

    For those not familiar with landsailing, we drive a three-wheeled cart with a sail. Using a rope, you apply more or less tension to the sail to increase or decrease the speed. The gravity center is very low, but sometimes you may end in two wheels only ! Cristina and I had two hours in a somewhat "oval" circuit (the circuit is usually bigger but some places weren't dry enough to allow landsailing when we were there). My wife enjoyed it but said she would feel more confident if the cart had some kind of brake -- it doesn't; if you want to stop, you need to turn the cart against the wind, when it loses speed. I loved it but could have had more fun in the bigger circuit. Both agree that windsurfing was funnier, but trying landsailing was also a nice experience!

    All the best from Brazil

    Marcio

  6. #16
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    hi M and C

    Landsailing sounds scary!
    If the opportunity presents itself, would you do it again?


    Thanks for finding the time to continue with your "aruba story"

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcioCampos View Post
    Hey, Lisa, quite good Portuguese! You know, while in Curaçao I discovered a lot about the Brazilian/Portuguese connection with the ABC islands (more about it later).

    Now that we finished cleaning the apartment, let me tell you about our two experiences with Aruba Active Vacations.

    First was windsurfing, on Sunday 13th. We walked from the Radisson to Fisherman's Huts (with a short stop for lunch at Taste of Belgium -- more about it in the restaurants' section, later), and when we arrived there we discovered that, because of a miscommunication issue (part of one of my e-mail messages was cut by the server), there was no reservation for us. But the guys there found a way to accomodate us in their schedule and we were in for the 2 PM lessons.

    The whole thing takes 2 hours. We spent the first 15, 20 minutes on the sand, with Alan, our instructor, telling us how to keep straight lines and make turns. All I can say is that while we're not on the water everything looks simple After that we went to the water and started surfing. Fisherman's Huts is a very shallow area, even far away from the sand (so we didn't have to wear life vests), but they have flags indicating where the water is still waist-level. Beyond the flags it's still shallow, but they don't recommend beginners to go there.

    Alan stayed with us in the water for 45 more minutes, correcting our moves, encouraging us and warning us when we were about to run over the beginner kitesurfers . After that, his instructor hour was over and we were left with one more hour on our own (but he did take some pics of us after he returned to the beach). All I can say is that we spent more time in the water than on the water, but that was expected for first-time windsurfers. It's a bit like ice skating -- all about keeping your balance. Anyway, Cristina and I did manage to make a few turns . It was very, very funny and we left Fisherman's Huts with just a few bruises caused by knocking our legs in the surfboard when climbing it, something we did countless times, haha.

    We had landsailing scheduled for Tuesday (15th), but it almost didn't happen. The area needs to be completely dry and it had rained in the weekend; on the other hand, it the place is dry but it's too windy, landsailing becomes a little dangerous. But in the end the conditions were good (if they were not, we would have likely gone to Fisherman's Huts for more windsurfing) and Marcel picked us up at the hotel and drove us and our instructor, Andrew, to an area close to the California Lighthouse. They assembled the cart with the sail and Andrew showed us how to drive the thing.

    For those not familiar with landsailing, we drive a three-wheeled cart with a sail. Using a rope, you apply more or less tension to the sail to increase or decrease the speed. The gravity center is very low, but sometimes you may end in two wheels only ! Cristina and I had two hours in a somewhat "oval" circuit (the circuit is usually bigger but some places weren't dry enough to allow landsailing when we were there). My wife enjoyed it but said she would feel more confident if the cart had some kind of brake -- it doesn't; if you want to stop, you need to turn the cart against the wind, when it loses speed. I loved it but could have had more fun in the bigger circuit. Both agree that windsurfing was funnier, but trying landsailing was also a nice experience!

    All the best from Brazil

    Marcio

  7. #17
    Senior Member MarcioCampos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    Landsailing sounds scary!
    If the opportunity presents itself, would you do it again?
    Hi, Andrea!

    It's hard to say especially because there's so much we didn't do in Aruba this time, so in a next visit, with a limited schedule, we would probably go for some different experiences and landsailing wouldn't be one of the things we would repeat (unlike snorkeling or windsurfing, which we would certainly do again).

    But without schedule constraints, yes, I would give it another try but my guess is that Cristina wouldn't.

    It's not a scary as my description may have made it look like especially because you can always let the rope loose, so the sail gets less wind and you go slower. The downside is that most times the cart will stop when going against the wind and you'll need the instructor to push you around

    Cheers

    Marcio

  8. #18
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcioCampos View Post
    Hey, Lisa, quite good Portuguese! You know, while in Curaçao I discovered a lot about the Brazilian/Portuguese connection with the ABC islands (more about it later).

    All the best from Brazil

    Marcio
    ...and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papiame...f_vocabularies
    Amazing how closely related Papiamento is to Portuguese.


  9. #19
    Senior Member MarcioCampos's Avatar
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    Mass in Papiamento

    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Amazing how closely related Papiamento is to Portuguese.
    Now Lisa gives me the opportunity to talk about going to Mass in Aruba

    Cristina and I are Catholics, so we planned a trip to Oranjestad to go to Mass in St. Franciscus church on Sunday 13th. We chose the 8 AM mass because we would have more free time later (we would take the windsurfing lessons that afternoon and didn't want to risk being late in case we went to the 10 AM Mass).

    St. Franciscus seems to be the main Catholic church in Aruba, although it's far from being a tourist spot (Alto Vista fills that role IIRC). But it's a quite beautiful church! We were there 20 minutes before the Mass started and could see the people arriving. Most were locals, very well dressed, the kids with their best clothes, girls with ellaborate dresses (despite the warm weather), the kind of stuff kids here use only when going to first communion.

    The Mass was said and sung in Papiamento, and we were amazed at how much of it we could understand! The priest wasn't speaking too fast, which also helped our understanding. A lady was guiding the congregation through the hymns, which were more difficult to understand without having the written lyrics, but from my experience it happens with every foreign language you hear.

    The Mass was very reverent and solemn, something we really appreciated -- trust me, some "liturgy experts" here may think that Masses in the Caribbean must have all kind of Caribbean rhythms, priests dressing in colorful vestments and people dancing on the aisles... When communion started someone put on a CD (the lady was helping the priest in giving communion) and the first track was a version of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus in a language I couldn't identify (it wasn't Latin for sure) -- to Cristina and I it was touching because Mozart's Ave Verum was the offertory hymn of our wedding Mass.

    When the Mass was almost over, the altar boys and girls read messages to their mothers, since it was Mother's Day. Very lovely!

    I know that it's not the usual tourist/visitor experience, but it was a nice touch to our honeymoon. More about Aruba later!

    Cheers

    Marcio

  10. #20
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Marcio thank you for sharing that wonderful experience. I have heard many times from people frustrated because this that or another thing were closed on a Sunday or religious holiday.

    Unfortunately they do not realize how religious Aruba really is. Again, it is reflected in their beautiful people and as you saw, glorious church(es).

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