Monday, 7 April 2014
Back from Bonaire
I've just returned from a part of the world where, as this sign in a cafe in Aruba shows, internet access can be hard to come by. Lured away once again by Thomson Cruises, I've spent a week in the Eastern Caribbean, and it really was a fantastic experience. After my recent trip to the Arctic, I felt in need of some serious sunshiine, and the islands visited by the Thomson Dream did not disappoint. I must admit I'd barely even heard of some of the destinations, but Bonaire, for instance, was a wonderful discovery.
Bonaire bears little resemblance, it must be said, to my home town of Northwich, but what they have in common is a tradition of salt-making and to my amazement the chap in the museum with whom I talked about salt-making had actually heard of Northwich. But even I would admit that Bonaire has the edge in terms of climate and scenery.
I didn't get quite as much reading done as on my Arctic trip, but I did enjoy one debut novel and three Forgotten Books, of which more in due course. For once, I didn't take any stories set in my destination, and I've read only a handful of stories set in the Caribbean. These include some of the classic Professor Poggioli short stories by T.S. Stribling, such as "Cricket", set in the ship's main base, Barbados. For me the highlight of visiting Barbados was definitely Harrison's Caves, perhaps the most dramatic underground tourist attraction I've ever visited.
And only about thirty-six hours before I write this post (having semi-recovered from jetlag thanks to a good sleep post-flight) a pre-departure tour offered a last chance to enjoy the sun, with all the luggage packed. Hugely enjoyable. And having the chance to relax did give me time to think, very actively, about future writing projects.