Monday, March 7, 2011

Alluring ARUBA

Aruba! Think beaches…and so much more. It’s true, Aruba has some of the most amazing beaches in the world (often featured on travel channel and “best beaches” lists). Wide, clean, and gorgeous, all with easy public access, like Eagle Beach pictured here. But wait til you hear what else there is to do when you want a break from the sand and surf.

Ancient ruins, eerie caves, a very cool church, a lighthouse…and that’s just the start! Here’s Part 1 of Aruba. I’ll cover some of the other attractions in a few days.

The Bushiribana Ruins are the remains of a gold smelter built of natural stone in 1825. The ruins are crumbling, and unfortunately, marred by graffiti, but still fascinating. If you go, don’t expect guides or brochures – you’re pretty much on your own to wander through them and ponder the past.

You might not expect caves on a Carribean island, but Aruba’s Quadiriki Caves are everything caves should be: damp, dark and full of winding passages and bat guano. On the walls you’ll find Arawak petroglyphs of people, fish and other objects. The caves are located high in the wall of a limestone cliff. At the front of the cave is a small concession that rents high-intensity flashlights. Don’t pass up the opportunity – you’ll need one.

Alto Vista Chapel is another great place to visit on this island country. The bright yellow chapel was built in 1952 on the site of the original Catholic church built in 1750 by a Spanish missionary. To reach it you’ll travel down a winding road lined with white crosses marking the stations of the cross.

California Lighthouse was named after a ship called the Californian, famous…or infamous, for being in proximity of, and receiving distress signals from, the Titanic as it was sinking. Unfortunately for the Titanic, The Californian's radio operator was off-duty and asleep. A few years later, the California sank off the Aruba coast. Now the ship is a popular dive site and the lighthouse is a popular attraction. It’s is surrounded acres of stoned-filled flat land. An area called California White Sand Dunes is very popular with kids who go dune surfing – basically sliding down anyway you can.

More on Aruba in a few days. And next week, stop by for an interview with author PATTI LACY and a chance to win a copy of her latest book: The Rhythm of Secrets. (Absolutely fantastic!)

Here’s a recipe from lovely Aruba:

Pudin di Coco
(Coconut pudding)

¼ cup rum
2 Tbs. gelatin
3 egg yolks, beaten until creamy
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream

Soak in one-fourth cup rum:
2 Tbs. gelatin

In a saucepan combine:
3 egg yolks, beaten until creamy
1/2 cup sugar

Stir in:
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup milk

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
Blend in the gelatin until it dissolves.
Chill in the refrigerator until the mixture begins to thicken.
Beat until stiff but not dry:
3 egg whites, pinch of salt. Gradually add the sugar while beating.
In a separate bowl whip until stiff:
1 cup heavy cream

Beat the custard mixture with a wire whisk, then fold it gently into the egg whites.
Fold in the whipped cream.
Mound the pudding in a serving bowl and chill until firm. Serve with lime sauce.

Lime Sauce

1 Tbs.cornstarch
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 cup Key lime juice
1/4 cup, plus 3 Tbs. water

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the 3 tablespoons of water. In a small non-aluminum saucepan stir together the sugar, the lime juice and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and boil, stirring, for about 30 seconds or until the lime sauce thickens.

1 comment:

  1. We've been to Aruba a couple of times as a port stop on a cruise but I've never seen the caves. Will have to keep that on the to-see list if we get back again.