It’s…. the 11th of the 11th, time for Carnaval!
Now as an article on Duikeninbeeld.tv, Hollands most popular online diving community. Click here to check out the post on Fotograferen.net, earlier this year.
A three-day visit to an island which is ten hours by plane and a couple hours in jetlag. Crazy? Not really, considering I was there to photograph the famous Caribbean Carnaval on the tiny Dutch Antilles island of Aruba. It’s the second-largest carnaval celebration in the whole caribbean and famous for its laid-back atmosphere and accessibility.
And boy was it worth the trip! Two days of sunny and happy people parading the streets of both major towns on the island: the very easy-goinh parade on Saturday in San-Nicolas and the massive and crowded Sunday main event in Oranjestad. Hours and hours of incredibly colorful people and costumes. I don’t think I’ve seen so many feathers. I guess the images speak for themselves, please enjoy and make sure you’re in the neighborhood next year!
One doesn’t stumble into little islands very often. Certainly not tropical ones, but some time ago I had the pleasure of actually doing so. On route while doing a major feature on Caribbean Island Hopping (which later won me this award) we had a stop in Saba [check in Google Earth], a tiny speck of green in a huge ocean of stunning blue.
It’s a little known island which is great because not too many visitors actually manage to get there. It’s so small, the Tourism Office usually knows exactly how many tourists are on the island at any given time. Very tiny indeed then, which makes it a fantastic place to beat the crowds while still being able to do some decent exploring.
Besides being a very small, the way to get there is quite unusual as too. Saba sports the smallest commercial airstrip in the world and at a length of a mere 400 meters it’s a sight to behold! Landing, while sitting behind an open cockpit of a Twin Otter [Youtube, 250.000 views in one year], is quite something as the only space to build the strip was a stretch of lava at the far end of the island. Yes, Saba is volcanic and that is also one of the main attractions: Mt.Scenery, an old volcanic dome which makes for a fantastic climb.
Going up through the lush green forest of the island one notices that the volcano blocks the moist air from the sea which makes for a lot of clouds and plenty of hillside rain! You need to be lucky to catch a good view because one minute it can be crystal clear, a minute later fog is all you will see. The good thing is that all off the rain makes this stunning island with a green color rarely seen in the Caribbean. Fortunately the inhabitants were smart enough to insist on a rigorous building code: all the houses are tiny cottages built in one style. You won’t find a more pittoresq place in this area easily.
The climb up the volcano isn’t really tough but the heat makes it strenuous during the hour and a half long ascent (1064 steps to be precise). But the higher one gets the more extreme the plantation gets as well: lush trees with huge leaves make you feel like you’re walking in a Jurassic Park setting but then, when you reach the top, the view is just unbelievable. This island is a pure tropical gem in the Caribbean seas, simply stunning and if you’re lucky the skies stay clear long enough to enjoy the view from all sides. Definitely worth the title of a Favorite View of the World!