Monday, March 14, 2011

Alluring Aruba Part II

Come and experience more of Aruba, where you’ll discover a windmill, the island nation’s natural wonders and a sanctuary for some adorable hooved natives.

De Oude Molen is an old windmill first built in 1804 in Holland, then shipped to Aruba in pieces. It was later reconstructed and features a decent restaurant—moderately priced--that specializes in continental dining.

The once popular Natural Bridge, unfortunately, is no more. This unusual phenomenon collapsed in September, 2005 (too many tourists, me thinks), but its remains are still interesting to see. The bridge was a formation of coral limestone cut out by years of pounding surf, and spanned more than 100 feet.

The Cura di Tortuga is a secret (yeah, right), hidden Natural Pool on the windward coast. It is surrounded by rocks and some of Aruba's most rugged terrain – definitely off the beaten path, making it even more worthwhile. Many come here to dive from the rock cliffs into the protected pool of ocean water.

And finally…The Donkey Sanctuary! Is this guy cute or what??? The non-profit sanctuary was founded in 1997 and is run by volunteers. Their mission: Save the Donkeys! Although not originally native to Aruba, they have existed there for 500 years, starting out as a primary form of transportation. The Donkey Sanctuary is located just northwest of the Natural Pool.

Like fish? Here’s another recipe from Aruba:

2 pounds fresh, firm, boneless, white-flesh fish fillet
1 quart water
1 tablespoon salt
1 celery stalk, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons margarine
1/4 teaspoon annatto powder (can usually be found in the Mexican foods section of the grocery store. Also known as Achiote powder. Can substitute turmeric. I think paprika would also suffice.)
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, boil fish in salted water for 20 minutes. Remove fish and flake. Saute celery, bell pepper, onion and basil leaves in margarine for 3 minutes, stirring. Add flaked fish and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in annatto powder and freshly ground pepper.

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