Saturday December 26, Willemstad
We park, or moor, or whatever it’s called in Curacao on the Southern edge of the Caribbean and barely 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. I’m quite early off the ship, again hoping for an internet cafe but the one I find is locked and barred and, bizarrely, also labelled the Colombian Embassy.
Instead I take a sightseeing tour being touted for $15 (and therefore about a quarter what the ship charges for something similar) and several of our gang are also signed up so it’s a nice ride round the colourful Dutch houses of Willemstad, and on to the highlands and a view of the ‘other’ side of the island known as Spanish Water. Our guide is informative and we get lots of facts and figures about the Curacao taxation, education, judicial, government and political system none of which I retained long enough to repeat here except that tax is a flat 5%, so heaven knows how they run a country on it – must be subsidies from the Dutch government keep it afloat.
There’s a little sales break at a Curacao liqueur distillery (although with just one stainless steel vat it’s about as much a working distillery as my back bedroom) and a couple of photo opportunities before I’m happy to return to the ship and an afternoon in the sun. We weigh anchor (see, I’m picking up the jargon) about 2pm and it’s just so pleasant to sit by the rail and hear the sea splosh past and feel the breeze from the movement of the ship.
To be honest, I don’t need ports.