When I started this blog, I already confessed that I am a sucker for scenic views. I love being on an elevated point with a breathtaking view below my feet. What I did not tell you yet: there is nothing like the scenic view from a small airplane flying at an altitude of 1000 feet/ 300 meters!
Bonaire is an island of unexpected possibilities. So it happened that I was in the Little Havana bar with my friend Gijs, and after quite a few beers he convinced me that I wanted to learn how to fly. On Bonaire. There was an FAA flight instructor on the island, but he did not have a plane. No worries mate! With a couple of guys we bought a Cessna 172, founded the BonAeroClub and started to learn how to fly. Flying is easy, nothing to it, but the theory is a bitch! But I managed and now I am a certified pilot.
I love flying over Bonaire. The trade winds make you take off to the east, and right from the start you have a great view over the mangroves. The water of shallow Lac Bay shines in different shades of blue and turquoise. The southern part of Bonaire is flat. In these flat lands, Cargill operates the biggest solar salt works in the hemisphere. The colors of salt lakes are unreal from the sky: blue, turquoise, all shades of pink. On the south western shore you see the grid of the ancient salt ponds. Only to be seen from the air. They dwarf in the much greater ponds of the industrial setting we have nowadays. The slave huts are next to them. A bit further you see the kite surfers flying, and you are grateful they do it at a much lower level.
From this angle the fringing reef is very clear. The dark blue of the deep and the light blue of the shallow terrace that surrounds the entire island. You can see why Bonaire is popular with divers and snorkelers.
My house is on the hill that separates the southern lowlands from the elevated northern part of Bonaire. When I fly alone, I always check my garden from above. Pictures taken at different times in the last couple of years show how fast everything grows on Bonaire if you give it enough water.
The best time to fly is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The low sun casts a fairylike light on the red roof tiles and the colored walls of the houses of Kralendijk, the main town of Bonaire.
When I am up in the air, enjoying the beauty of Bonaire, a feeling of happiness comes over me. Some times, drinking a bit too much in a bar ends up in something very good.