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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bonaire’s Donkey Sanctuary Offers Great Photo Opportunities

As digital photography has progressed over the years, it has become very easy for even those who are not trained in photography to get great images from their vacation.  Many visitors to Bonaire now include photography of the island’s flora and fauna as an integral activity on their trips to the island, and a visit to Bonaire’s Donkey Sanctuary provides excellent opportunities to capture the perfect image of these gentle creatures.

The Sanctuary now houses over 400 donkeys, keeping them well fed, watered, and with medical care when needed.  Their new location with the entrance just east of Belnem, on Kaminda Sorobon, offers a gift shop and a “watering hole” for humans, to sit, have a cold drink, and watch the nearby flamingos in the adjoining salina.  But the best part is to take the safari ride through the sanctuary, and if possible, time the visit to follow the feeding truck as it brings food to the donkeys once in the morning and once in the later afternoon.  This reporter was lucky enough to time it perfectly, following in the tracks of the feeding truck, with hundreds of donkeys coming into the area to feed.

There animals are gentle, but curious with humans, and many times they will stick their noses through a car window to see if there are any special treats brought just for them.  It’s certainly fine to stop the car, get out, and walk among the donkeys as they feed, as they will pretty much ignore you when food is prevalent.  This is the best time to get closeups or group shots, as you might have twenty donkeys in the immediate area of your vehicle.

When possible, try to shoot with a slightly upward angle, getting in Bonaire’s famous blue sky as a backdrop.  Take your time, act quietly around the animals, and you will be rewarded with winning images! 

The Donkey Sanctuary is open for visitors daily from 10.00 AM until 5:00 PM.  Visitors must enter no later than 4:00 PM. The safari tour can be done by car, scooter, or bike, or it may be walked. Quads are not allowed.  The entrance fee is $7.00 for adults, children up to 12 pay $3.50.  For additional information on the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire, visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 29, 2012 at 1:02pm AST
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire Launches New Project to Remove Fishing Line from Bonaire’s Reefs

Fishing line and other fishing tackle can easily end up in the sea when lines become entangled and are cut, and these items can cause serious problems for Bonaire’s resident and visiting sea turtles.  Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) along with the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) has just launched a new project to help in removing these dangerous items from Bonaire’s reefs.

Many times the mono-filament fishing lines remain on the reef, even with hooks still attached.  Sadly, each year, STCB reports how turtles get entangled in fishing lines, which could mean certain death if they can’t free themselves quickly in order to surface to breathe.  Just in the last two months, STCB staff members released two turtles from their perilous position near Port Bonaire.  STCB is now seeking experienced volunteers to dive, snorkel and walk along the coast to remove these materials left behind at sea or along the coast. Upon registration, the volunteers will receive instructions on how to remove this fishing tackle safely. Additionally, several dives will be organized throughout the year to focus on those areas with the most fishing tackle in the water, for instance, around the piers of Kralendijk.  Ninety meters of fishing line was removed near Karelís Beach Bar on the most recent cleanup dive organized by Dive Friends Bonaire.

Tangler bins, as shown in the image above, are being placed at favorite diving sites and allow for the easy and proper disposal of fishing line or tackle removed from the reef.  STINAPA rangers will empty these bins on a regular basis. STCB also plans to begin an information campaign to advise local fishermen about the dangers of certain fishing methods for the underwater life, as well as for humans.  The organization would like to introduce more environmentally friendly fishing methods, including providing free fish hooks that are friendlier for turtles. As fishing line as yet cannot be recycled on Bonaire, there are plans to have a local artist create a work of art from the collected materials, and which can be displayed in a prominent location.

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire is a non-governmental organization in the field of research and conservation. Since 1991, the organization focuses on protecting the turtles. As a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network and associate of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and STINAPA, STCB is a recognized leader in the field of protecting turtles in the waters of the Dutch Caribbean.  It is hoped that this project will serve as model for the other Dutch Caribbean islands as well. (Source:  STCB Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 28, 2012 at 3:02pm AST
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Villa Kiki Offers Spring Special

Villa Kiki, a beach-front residence located in Sabadeco’s Crown Ridge community, is a privately owned villa which is rented to island visitors.  It enjoys a high rate of occupancy, so deals do not abound, but the Bonaire Insider has just learned that there is a small window of opportunity to save 10% on rentals of this unit.

For new bookings now between April 15th and May 15th, 2012, an automatic 10% discount can be deducted from the normal rental price.  With three bedrooms and two baths, this discount helps defray the costs for a family or small group.

The house, which is built on a small cliff, has a spectacular view over the ocean and Klein Bonaire and direct access to the beach. The great dive and snorkel spots Andrea I and II are right in front of the house.

For additional information, visit their web site by clicking here, or email info@villakikibonaire.com(Source:  Villa Kiki)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 27, 2012 at 4:04pm AST
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Next Go Green Farmers’ Market is Tomorrow, Saturday, February 25, 2012

Go Green Natural & Organic Shop organizes the monthly Farmers’ Markets on the last Saturday of each month, so tomorrow morning is the time to visit.

The market will be held from 8:00 AM through Noon at the Pakus di Pruga, located at Kaya Lib. Simon Blvd. #17.  It’s a great time to get locally grown herbs, fruits or vegetables, or home-made jams, jellies, breads, and more.  Be sure to arrive early for the best selection.  (Source:  Go Green Natural & Organic Shop)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 24, 2012 at 1:54pm AST
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CIEE Announces Next Presentation

CIEE’s public presentations provide an ongoing opportunity to learn more more about what is happening with the environment and ecology of Bonaire and its surrounding waters. Tuesday February 28, 2012 is the next presentation and will address another issue related to Caribbean reefs. 

"Algal driven bioerosion on Caribbean coral reefs: a hypothesis” is the title of the next presentation, to be presented by Benjamin Mueller, a marine biologist with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Biological Oceanography. The lecture will be held from 7:00 to 8:00 PM at CIEE, which is located at Kaya Gob. N. Debrot 26. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. (Source: CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on February 22, 2012 at 9:23am AST
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bonaire Honors its Repeat Visitors in its Ambassador Program

Many of the island’s visitors are repeat guests--they come back year after year after year.  In many cases, they come for multiple weeks or months, or several times in each year.  These visitors are an important component of Bonaire’s tourist product, as they promote the island with their enthusiasm and love for all that is Bonaire.  And the island shows its appreciation, by bestowing upon these visitors the status of honorary ambassador.

Last Friday evening, thirteen visitors were awarded various levels of ambassador status, depending upon the number of consecutive years they have been visiting Bonaire.  These honored visitors were:

Judy Stipp, 22 years
Ann Barnett, 22 years
Scott and Jane Stuart, 21 years
Vivian Michaels, 20 years
Nancy Geidel,20 years
Douglas Cohen, 20 years
Robert and Judy Schmitt, 16 years
Joe Dubose, 15 years
Megan Davis, 13 years
James and Deborah Johnson, 10 years




Thanks to all of you who return faithfully to Bonaire.  The island’s repeat visitors are truly appreciated!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 21, 2012 at 4:31pm AST
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kas Di Arte Announces New Exhibit

Those looking to see some new art while on Bonaire should consider attending a new exhibit by Josephine Ebing which will be opening soon.

The exhibit opens February 18 at 5:00 PM and will run through March 6, 2012. It will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM and from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Kas Di Arte is located at Kaya J.N.E Craane 34, on the seaside boulevard and all are welcome to attend. (Source: Kas Di Arte Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on February 14, 2012 at 8:36am AST
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Monday, February 13, 2012

It’s Karnival Season on Bonaire

Each year, just before the beginning of Lent, many islands celebrate Karnival.  On Bonaire, it’s no different, with many events happening within the coming week.  Yesterday, everyone on Bonaire was treated to quite a show when the Children’s Karnival Parade danced its way through Kralendijk.  View images of the parade on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

The Grand Karnival Parade will be held next weekend:  On Saturday, February 18th in Rincon and on Sunday, February 19th, in Kralendijk.  Although the final route has not yet been released, the parade will only pass through Kaya Grandi one time this year.  Plan to be either in Rincon on Saturday, or Kralendijk on Sunday for this major annual event.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 13, 2012 at 2:30pm AST
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Unbelievable Restaurant to Offer a Special Valentine’s Day Menu

Valentine’s Day is always a popular night for dining out and this year Unbelievable is preparing a special Valentine’s menu for those looking to treat that special person in their life. 

Unbelievable Restaurant is offering three special Valentine dinner options from which to choose. The first gives diners a choice to start with a choice between soup of the day or tangy mixed romaine salad, followed by shrimp Provencal, which is a pan sauteed shrimp in a chunky tomato pernod sauce, and then dessert of either cake flan ice cream or key lime pie.  This option is $29.75 per person.

The second option offers diners an option to start with either a soup of the day or crispy shrimp skewers with guacamole, followed by a New York USDA Angus sirloin steak, and finished with either cake flan ice cream or key lime pie, for $39.75 per person.

The final option gives diners the choice of starting with either soup of the day or tangy mixed romaine salad, followed by an entree of Caribbean lobster tail, and finished with the same dessert option of either cake flan ice cream or key lime pie.  Price for this option is $59.00 per person.

All entrees are served with mixed steamed vegetables and a choice of either rice, pasta or potato. Diners may also order from the regular menu. For reservations, please call 717-3000 or 786-7032. (Source: Unbelievable Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 12, 2012 at 11:48am AST
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Thursday, February 09, 2012

One of Bonaire’s Best Kept Secrets--Just Picked Fruit and Vegetables at Krusada

Krusada, located on Kaminda Lagun, is a substance abuse rehabilitation facility.  One of their projects to pay it forward to the Bonaire community is the care-taking of three large greenhouses, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, which are available for sale to locals or visitors on Bonaire.

The facility, normally closed to the public, opens its doors for a one-hour session twice each week, on Mondays from 11:00 AM to Noon, and again on Thursdays from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  During these times, anyone may visit the facility, and take a walk to the greenhouses.  Krusada staff are waiting there to assist in any way they can, either with just-picked bags of vegetables, or, if one prefers, to walk with you through the greenhouses to pick exactly what you wish.  The taste difference for salads and other produce is sensational--just picked freshness cannot be beat.

Availability and variety do vary from week to week, so it’s best not to go counting on any one item.  Currently, there are cherry tomatoes, okra, eggplant, cucumbers, arugula, and spinach available, but it’s always recommended to arrive early in the hour as many times whatever is ripe and available can disappear quickly!  Larger tomatoes, peppers, a variety of melons also are “in the works” as well as other greens, so these items will become available in the coming weeks and months.

Plans are to continue selling the fresh fruits and vegetables through July, at which time the greenhouses will then be completely renovated and new plants will be started.  To find Krusada, head east on Kaminda Lagun and you will see their sign on the left hand side of the road after you pass by the residential community in that area.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 09, 2012 at 2:54pm AST
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