Aruba Ostrich Farm
Leaving the daughter bridge and the site of Aruba's former Natural Bridge, the ABC Jeep Tour turned inland to the Aruba Ostrich Farm. The large African birds do well in Aruba's rugged landscape. The Aruba Ostrich Farm has about 80 ostriches, plus emus, sheep and chickens. The highlight of the tour is posing for pictures with several ostriches bending around you to reach the food. Only a few people were willing to do this and half of them looked terrified.
We thought it was fun. The necks of the ostriches are so flexible that their movement reminded me of snakes.
The Aruba Ostrich Farm has an African Art Shop with authentic goods from South Africa. There is also the Savanna Lodge Bar & Restaurant with local food, African food and the chance to sample ostrich meat or an enormous ostrich egg omelet.
The next stop on the ABC Jeep Tour was lunch, so none of us ate there, but most people took advantage of the first free toilets on the tour. Admission and a tour of the Aruba Ostrich Farm is normally $12/adult and $6/child, but was included in the Jeep Tour.
Lunch was included in the ABC Jeep Tour and we stopped at Urataka Center, a pizza shop with shaded open air seating and a bar inside. Tap water was included, but most people paid for soda or beers. The meal was BBQ chicken and ribs, rice, beans and French fries. The chicken was fairly good, but the pork ribs were tough and dry.
The jeep tour continued to the southeast end of Aruba to Seroe Colorado, which began as the Lago Colony gated community for Americans and other foreign nationals working on Aruba and the nearby oil refinery.
Baby Beach is a sheltered man-made lagoon. It is named Baby Beach because the water is calm and safe for very small children. The water stays shallow quite far out. We had an hour at the beach and our guide handed out snorkels and masks to those who wanted them.
My previous experience of snorkeling at Key West had not been good. That day was windy and the water had been rough, making the snorkeling difficult. But Linda wanted to snorkel, so I went along - and I am so glad I did.
The calm water in the Baby Beach lagoon made snorkeling easy and the clear water let us see many fish in about 5.5 - 9 feet of water. Although none of the fish were very large, there were at least 10 distinct species with some of them being very colorful. My favorites were some type of puffer fish that seemed to be interested in us. I haven't been able to identify the species, but they were mostly white with some holstein like black spots. Some of the prettier fish were the Fairy Basslet, Blue Chromis, and Bicolor Damselfish.
The four hour jeep tour returned to ABC Jeep Tours office near Eagle Beach and we were taken back to our hotels. I felt like we had done a lot in the short period of time. In part that was because the first half of the tour was over rough, beautiful and almost nonexistent roads that were as interesting as the stops.
LS-11/10 copyright 2010 by Keith Stokes.