Carnival in Aruba - not

I hadn't realized that it was Carnival time when we were booking this trip.  The Caribbean is renowned for its Carnival celebrations - especially Trinidad (one of the top 10 in the world!).  SO glad we didn't stay there.  I was relieved that we'd be on Aruba for the actual "Fat Tuesday", but found out, once we're here, that Monday (?why?) is a national holiday.  There were big parades on the island both Sat. and Sun., but we avoided them very easily.

Sadly, Steve has been sick for the last 3 days, so we haven't done much.  At first we thought it was bad sushi he had in Miami airport, but when his symptoms persisted, accompanied by fever and lethargy, we decided he must have caught the flu from someone in the airport or on the flight.  He's getting better now, and I dragged him out today around the island, so I could get some pictures to share with y'all, as well as us getting "the best" BBQ ribs on the island - they were really tasty.

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Aruba is VERY windy and dry.  Usually, wind speeds are 22-25 mph constantly, with 35 mph gusts.  In the picture above, the water is getting blown off the top of the waves, from the winds that come off the island.  The dryness is so different from the rainforest islands where we'd spent the last several weeks.  I really like the lack of bugs (mosquitos especially!), but the wind really does start to get to you after awhile.

California lighthouse at the northern end of the island

California lighthouse at the northern end of the island

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This is the view of the island looking south from the lighthouse.  The signs on the road identify the "high rise" hotels and the "low rise" hotels - 2 totally separate areas along the western coast.

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This is a public beach where we've gone snorkeling a couple of times.  It's neat that there are permanent thatched palapas available for shade.  The water really is that blue.  Snorkeling has been an interesting experience for us, as we are normally down right next to the fish when we dive, but our bubbles scare them a lot.  So, floating above silently allows us to watch interesting fish behavior that we don't necessarily get to see while diving.

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We went to the Aruba Butterfly Farm, and learned some very interesting things about these creatures.  Apparently, when fruit sits out/rots, alcohol is produced from the sugars in it, and the butterflies get "drunk".

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Blue Morpho butterflies are nearly impossible to photograph with their gorgeous wings open.  We had seen them flitting about in the jungles in Peru, but they were everywhere in this butterfly enclosure. 

A semi-decent shot of one approaching another

A semi-decent shot of one approaching another

Various chrysalises (?chrysili?) 

Various chrysalises (?chrysili?) 

We'll be "hanging out" here in Aruba another few days, before moving on to Curacao.

Steve wanted me to send on this video from Tobago of the largest brain coral in the world.