Blue Curacao

14 05 2008

Last week I left the dreary spring of State College for the Caribbean to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday with my family. The transit was relatively brutal: I left State College at 10, drove to NY, arrived at 2 AM, left my folks house at 5AM to drive to JFK to fly out. But the warm sea air when we stepped off the plane in Curacao was well worth the effort.

Its an odd island. Once owned by Spain, then The Netherlands, then autonomous, and now caught somewhere in a love triangle between the autonomous Curacao government, the Dutch who have stepped in to rescue it from political and infrastructural decay, and the Venezuelan government which owns and controls the majority of their oil industry. It was a popular tourist destination 40 years ago and fell into disrepair until being rescued by the Dutch recently. Now the island is abuzz with new construction on the strength of the Euro. Though the effect of this is that it is spectacular from within the confines of the several well established resorts, and an odd mixture of decaying buildings and new construction once you venture outside.

What Curacao does have (aside from plentiful seaside bars) is a World Cup race course. Rather than subject my family to my insanity I left my bikes at home, but on the last day there I rented two Gabe tackles the trailRidley’s and took my brother for a spin around the course. It was hot, the kind of hot that you might encounter in, say, a potters furnace. The trail was bone dry, the underlying surface was hard (and sharp) coral rock filled in with sand and loose stone. The course wound around through some nice rolling single track with some steep power climbs along a powerline cut. Venturing off the race course took us along a 10m cliff above the beach and then wound along through a series of salt harvesting ponds that looked like the setting of a 50’s sci-fi movie. Ultimately, the heat was a bit too much (and the trails a bit too limited) and I rolled back after 2 hours.

By no means a mountain biker’s paradise, its a pretty damn nice place to sit on the beach and drink margaritas!

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27 05 2008
Curacao » Blue Curacao

[…] Blue CuracaoOnce owned by Spain, then The Netherlands, then autonomous, and now caught somewhere in a love triangle between the autonomous Curacao government, the Dutch who have stepped in to rescue it from political and infrastructural decay, … […]

28 05 2008
Curacao » Marriott Curacao Resort - Air + Hotel 4 nights from $1017 pp

[…] Blue CuracaoOnce owned by Spain, then The Netherlands, then autonomous, and now caught somewhere in a love triangle between the autonomous Curacao government, the Dutch who have stepped in to rescue it from political and infrastructural decay, … […]

17 07 2008
Curacao » Blue Curacao

[…] Blue CuracaoLast week I left the dreary spring of State College for the Caribbean to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday with my family. The transit was relatively brutal: I left State College at 10, drove to NY, arrived at 2 AM, left my folks house … […]

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