June 6th, 2011 - Day 2
We woke up nice and early today since we booked the tour "Baby Beach Safari" with ABC Tours at 10 am and the pick up time was at 9:20 am. The first thing I did in the morning was went straight to the balcony and checked out the weather. The weather wasn't great today; it was cloudy instead of the blue sky I wished for. Anyways, we still have to enjoy our vacation! We went across the street and have breakfast. Then, we still have sometime so we walked out to the beach again to have a view of the beautiful Palm Beach. Even though it was early around 8:45 am, I saw people already reserved the beach cabanas. The Westin is also the home for few colorful parrots and tropical birds. We enjoyed walking by and tried to make the parrot to speak to us LOL!
His name is Sunny :)
We were picked up on-time at 9:20 am at our hotel by a colorful safari jeep. Here I am in the back of the jeep with the seat beat on :)
The tour guide drove us to the ABC office and we signed an agreement form for the excursion. There were 4 other people who were in our tour. We all took off exactly at 10:00 am and off we go! The first stop was the light house (California Light House) up on the hill.
It was a cloudy day so the pictures didn't come out quite as good. Here's a picture of me and the colorful safari jeep we were on:
Next stop, we went to the Our Lady of Alto Visto Chapel which is in the middle of no where but cute:
Right outside of the chapel, one of the locals was selling fresh coconut so we bought one and tried, refreshing!
Our tour guide then drove us through the rocky side of Aruba. It was a totally different view of Aruba filled with cactus. It was an adventure on the jeep to drove through rocky roads! We arrived at the Bushiribban Gold Mill. We went in the gold mill and "climbed" the ruins, it was a great place to take some special photos!
At the back of the mill, our tour guide told us a myth that if you stack 7 stones together and make a wish, the wish will come true. No wonder on our way here, we saw piles of stones stacked together. Since we were here, we did the same too just for fun:
Aruba has both the paradise side and the natural landscape side to offer and that was one of the reason I chose Aruba.
Afterwards, we stopped by the rocky coastline and "beach" and had a great opportunity for photos. Our tour guide was very nice to be our photographer!
We went further along the coastline and arrived at Natural Bridge. Our tour guide drove us up the rocky hill (only the 4X4 jeep can do that!) and he showed us the coastline. It was amazing to see the natural landscape. The largest natural bridge was collapsed in 2005 so we were not able to get on the bridge and there was a warning danger sign HAHA:
We spent some time in the Natural Bridge area and then went back on to the jeep, our tour guide took us to lunch which is a colorful local restaurant where we had BBQ ribs. The food was pretty good!
After the lunch break, we spent like at least 15 mins on the road to get to the southern tip of Aruba - Baby Beach! Here, we had time to spend in water and snorkel. It was a very nice calm beach and shallow turquoise water just like in postcards.
I guess the only thing I don't like about Baby Beach is that it doesn't have any changing/shower facilities so after we got out of the water, we need to towel dry. After spending quite some time at Baby Beach, we were dropped off at our hotel around 3:30 pm. That concluded our excursion of the day. Overall, the safari trip was great, the tour guide was very friendly and helpful, and we get to see the "other side" of Aruba! I think it's worth our $137.00 for 2 of us (10% off if booked 7 days in advanced through the website).
Once we got back to our hotel, we took shower and rest a bit before we head out to dinner. We walked across the street and had dinner at Soenchi's. I have read review about it and checked out their website, their dessert - Aruba Reef Crystal Tear Drop caught my eyes! I told my husband I had to go and see it! Since we had our dinner early, before 7 pm, many restaurants offered early-bird special menu like $25 for a 3 course meal. Soenchi's has this offer too! From the special early-bird menu, I didn't see the Aruba Reef Crystal Tear Drop but I asked and the waiter said I could add $3 extra for it :)
Appetizers we ordered the coconut chicken satay (love the coconut chunks to go with it) and Agrumi Wayaca (like a seafood veggy salad very refreshing for the hot day). Noticed that their forks were so cute!
Main course we ordered the grilled seaweed tuna and Keshi Yena..a traditional Aruban chicken dish (both were delicious as well):
Lastly, dessert time that I had been waiting for! We ordered the banana creme brulee and the one I wanted to see Aruba Reef Crystal Tear Drop (with grapes, banana, and orange sherbet):
The tear drop was made out of ice, very creative and unique. I was very excited to finally see it in person!
We had a great dinner at Soenchi's, I definitely recommended it!
This was the first full day in Aruba and really get to see the other side of it. Aruba gave me the impression of very relax and friendly no wonder it's "One Happy Island". The food here was great so far, not overly expensive as people told!