Sometimes you read stories about those events with travelers that make you think: this can’t be true…
We all know the stories about tourists that booked a five star hotel, arrived at their destination, just to discover that the hotel did not yet exist, but was under construction.
Or lists of bizarre ‘reviews’ of unhappy guests, of which you almost certainly know that they must be myths or urban legends: “My fiancee and I had requested twin beds when booking, but instead you got us a room with a double bed. We will keep you responsible and want to get a compensation for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not never have happened if you had put us in the requested room.”
But what happened to us this week is also very special I think…
Last January we had contact with a, according to her e-mails, very charming lady from a country on the other side of the world, about an apartment Bonaire for herself and her husband. She told us that they are the owners of a small holiday resort themselves and their type of questions also revealed that they know the tourist industry very well.
After they booked we mailed a few times back and forth about WiFi (so that they could keep up with the bookings for their own accommodation) and car rental. So far nothing going on and business as usual!
Until last week, when we asked them what their flight number would be, so we could pick them up at Flamingo Airport…
Although we have seen a very nice jet from Qatar standing on the platform the past week, we knew for sure that the company that belonged to the flight number given by these people, had never flown on Bonaire!
So with the idea that they would be traveling the last piece of their journey with InselAir, we asked them for their flight number from Curacao or another hub in the area and then…
Because of our questions about the flight numbers they suddenly realized that they booked for the wrong island! And they weren’t just slightly off, no they were convinced that they booked a property (with the same name) somewhere on an island in the South Pacific!
A bizarre mistake and also quite a bit strange, because in all our e-mails, on our website, et cetera we write quite often “Bonaire”.
At this moment we are investigating if we can still do something for these people, although it is obviously difficult or impossible for our client to get the accommodation rented again on such short notice!
Have any of you ever experienced or heard of anything like this?
Sometimes, just sometimes, especially when we have guests that have not learned about Bonaire and its climate yet, we get asked whether there is also something to do if it rains all day…
Naturally, sometimes it rains on our tropical island, but that is really only in the rainy season (let’s say the last quarter of the year) and then mostly at night or early in the morning. But nonetheless, every now and then it can be cloudy and then the divers and snorkellers among our guests wonder what to do. Because, when it comes to their favorite pastime, the colors on the reefs are simply a lot less attractive on overcast days.
And then what?
Well, you can say a lot about Bonaire, but not that it is a vibrant island with aqua parks, golf courses and go-kart tracks. Yet there is plenty to do on such a cloudy day at the B of the ABC Islands!
An activity for which you really do not need the sun, in fact you will not even see daylight during most of the activity, is caving!
Caves on Bonaire?? Yes, the island has about 400 caves, some of which are open to the public.
The caves on Bonaire are due to the fragile ecosystem, under strict supervision of STINAPA, which means that the caves that are open to the public, can only be visited with a guide certified by STINAPA.
Flow Bonaire has such certification and they offer tours of the caves.
According to us, an absolute must-do! Our experience with Leo Hoogenboom of Flow Bonaire was truly unique.
Leo had advised us to wear light clothes – despite the activity takes place underground, the temperatures are still relatively high compared to outdoors and on Bonaire and that says something! – And wear sturdy shoes – the soil in the cave can be slippery. And even to bring mask and snorkel! Why? We found out soon enough …
First we to the Sabadeco area, via a goat trail, we went into a dry cave. You can leave “dry” out because the enormous humidity, water flows along your body. After some very light climbing and the sight of beautiful stalagmites and stalactites, we went more and more into the cave. In some rooms there where hundreds of bats hanging at the ceiling. Leo really has an incredible amount of knowledge about everything that is happening in and around the caves, about the origins and about the flora and fauna. Very interesting to listen to!
After visiting this dry cave, we drove a bit further north to explore a wet cave over there. Here we found out the reason for the request to take mask and snorkel!
The first scrambling was fairly similar to that in the first cave, but down the ladder we saw the big difference: water!
In this cave we followed the corridors swimming, the diving lamps that were made available by Flow, ready. It is striking that if you are so accustomed to thousands of fish to be continuously around during diving and snorkeling, it’s weird if there really is nothing in the water.
We came through different rooms and Leo told us that far down in the deep there were several hallways and rooms as well. Normal mortals will not end up down there, but our guide Leo (also a freedive instructor) went down a few minutes, to show us the various vaults and spaces in the deep, with his lamp. All in all a great experience and if our guests ask us if there is something to do on Bonaire if it rains all day…
Go with the FLOW!