“It’s easier than learning your ABC” – The Locomotion.
When I boarded my flight in Madrid to Havana in Cuba in December 2022, Curacao was NOT on my itinerary. The main reason was that I knew I would visit the ABC Islands together in the future on a different trip. It seemed that it was best to visit these three famous ABC Islands in one hit, it just felt logical to me. The ABC are of course Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao and I recognise all three as real countries (in a similar way that I recognise Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Herm and Alderney as separate countries). For a start they have their own currency, FIFA international football team, borders, immigration forms and flags.
However, since COVID began in December 2019, travel has become a LOT more difficult. I have had over 10 flights cancelled since then. On this trip, the airline company Inter Caribbean cancelled my flight from Kingston to Port Au Prince in Haiti. Oh dear, this meant I couldn’t make my connections and my entire Caribbean adventure was likely to be ruined with me not able to visit Turks And Caicos or Haiti as originally planned.
Finally, I found a cheap flight option that would still allow me to land in Haiti on the day I planned (albeit a bit later that day) and as a bonus ball, I got a full evening, night and early morning in Curacao. This was a treat.
As I was there in winter time, the nights get darker earlier which was a pity. I didn’t need a visa to backpack Curacao, but I needed an embarkation card in advance. Once I had shown that, and my passport, the border guard stamped me into Curacao, country 210 on my wacaday journey.
By that time, the sunset had almost ended though I did savour the sinking sun from the front of the airport as I considered options on getting to my hostel, The Bed And Bike Hostel in Willemstad.
I decided to hire a car, as that way I could drive around the island a bit and also save having to pay double taxis to and from the airport. It was too far to walk to the capital city and back to the airport for my morning flight the next day.
However, a huge shock then occurred. I asked at three different car rental companies and the price of hiring a car would be around $90 USD which I thought was reasonable, BUT…they wouldn’t accept payment in cash, on PayPal or by my Mastercard. It had to be a CREDIT card – a game I escaped as soon as I left Hong Kong in 2015. I don’t do credit cards anymore!! Despite begging to pay in cash, it was not accepted so I had to bite the bullet and get a taxi to my hostel. I was told in advance that taxis would be $15 USD from the airport to Willemstad. At the time I landed, there seemed to be very few taxis waiting. Everyone else on my flight had a pick up arranged or a car.
I couldn’t bargain the taxis down any lower than $30 US in the end, which was a shame but I had to bite the bullet and pay it, but alas here I was in Curacao to explore this country for an afternoon, an evening a night and a morning. There was the absolute joy of actually having a Blue Curacao drink in Curacao, even better I had it in the Hemingway Bar on the impressive Mambo Beach!
Here are some videos from my time in Curacao: