Aruba’s Natural Bridge and Ayo Rock Tour

Pounding waves, sea spray and wind dominate the north shore of Aruba.  The crashing surf erodes some rock and centuries later natural bridge was formed.

Natural Bridge of Aruba area

Natural Bridge of Aruba area

The relentless pounding continued and natural bridge collapsed in September 2005, fortunately during the night.  The pounding and force continue and Baby Bridge is forming, beautiful in its own right.

We ducks and our humans love the water and are in awe of the power and beautiful sea spray.  Baby Bridge is beautiful,

Baby Bridge

Baby Bridge

but we spent much of our time watching crashing waves.

Crashing waves at Natural Bridge

Crashing waves at Natural Bridge and more tourists

Crashing waves

Crashing waves

There is a refreshment area and a nice gift shop.  Also, a clean restroom is available for $1.00.  They must pay for water to be brought here.  There is no admittance fee to Natural Bridge.  We liked natural bridge area.

Approaching Natural Bridge from Alto Vista Chapel, our guide showed us an inlet where local residents had fed sharks.

Former shark area

Former shark area

They are not allowed to do that now, so we did not see sharks here.

Continuing our tour, Ayo Rock Formations were next.

Ayo Rock Formation

Ayo Rock Formation

The Arawak, Aruba’s early residents, considered this a sacred place.

Cave drawings at Ayo Rock

Cave drawings at Ayo Rock

We saw these drawings in a cave.  These boulders are huge and their placement a mystery.

Bars in front of cave to protect drawings

Bars in front of cave to protect drawings

Ayo Rocks are home to several whip-tailed lizards.

whip tail lizard at Ayo Rock

Whip tail lizard at Ayo Rock

The males are cobalt blue and the females blue gray with light blue dots.  Very colorful and very fast.

Continuing to Savaneta on the calmer coast, lunch was provided at La Granja Peruvian Restaurant.

Lunch here.  Chicken, ribs and rice.

Lunch here. Chicken, ribs and rice.

Chicken, ribs, rice and a drink.  Very tasty and the service was fast and friendly.  We would definitely go back.  Soapy’s mom got a little crazy and put us here.

How small we feel

How small we feel

We really feel small.

Another stop was swimming at Baby Beach.  Very nice, calm beach

Calm Baby Beach

Calm Baby Beach

but we did not swim here.  We walked to another area to watch the pounding surf again.

Rugged shore near baby beach

Rugged shore near baby beach

We will swim at MooMba Beach tomorrow.

This was a great tour and our tour guide Victor was very knowledgeable and nice.  Visit him in Aruba at Tour Pelican adventures or www.pelican-aruba.com   Let him guide you around this diverse island.

Aruba’s Alto Vista Chapel and Bushiribana

Touring Aruba, Zeb and Soapy Duck left the paved roads and headed toward Alto Vista Chapel.  Approaching the chapel we spotted white crosses beside the road.

White crosses for Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

White crosses for Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

These did not look like crosses honoring people who died in accidents along the roadway, and they are not.  These crosses represent the Stations of the Cross.  During Holy Week, the week before Easter, residents and tourists come here to live their religion and respect its meaning. The Alto Vista Chapel was rebuilt on the site of the first chapel. The original was built in 1750, abandoned in the 1800s and rebuilt about 200 years later.  The original chapel was built before Aruba had a priest.

Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

This yellow chapel is very peaceful, situated amid cacti and near the pounding Caribbean coast. The northern shore of Aruba has rocks, granite and lava and is shaped by the fierceness of the water. The Spanish cross of the Alto Vista Chapel is one of the oldest European works of art in Aruba.  The small chapel, with its beautiful altar, has a loyal following of worshippers.  We ducks thought the location was very serene.

Inside Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba

Inside Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba

The humans were subdued and reverent here.  We felt good at this chapel. Continuing on the dirt road we viewed something else.  This was the Bushiribana Ruins.

Bushiribana Ruins

Bushiribana Ruins

A 12-year-old boy found the first gold on the island in 1824.  This started a gold frenzy in Aruba.  For about 30 years local people found gold and sold it at a fixed price.  A nice second source of income for them.  In 1854 the gold mining concession went to Aruba Island Goldmining Company.  A smelter was built and operated for 10 years.

From Bushiribana Ruins to the Caribbean

From Bushiribana Ruins to the Caribbean

The gold ran out, the smelter ceased operation and is now in ruins. Our guide said that now we, ducks and tourists, are the gold of Aruba. We like our tour of Aruba.  Next we are heading to the rugged north shore of Aruba.  Pounding waves, here come the ducks.