Locked up! In... a National Park!
Christoffel Park - Curacao Travel Blog› entry 599 of 1090 › view all entries
In our carefully composed week program we had planned a visit to the Christoffel National Park for today. The Christoffel Park is located in the north-western part of the island, about an hour driving from Willemstad. The park has several aspects, cultural, historical, and natural. The first two are reflected in the visitor's center of the park, in the former Landhuis Savonet. The nature aspect is everywhere in the park. This part of the island is unlike what one would expect from Curacao, packed with lush green hills. Many types of flora and fauna live here.
The heart of the park is the 375 meter (1230 ft) high Mount Sint Christoffel, the highest point on the island.
We left quite early, only with some stops for buying gas for the car, and a Batido (a fresh fruit milkshake) with a pastechi (a small cheese/ham/chicken/tuna pastry) which we, very idyllically, ate at a bus stop along the main road to the park.
Upon purchasing tickets for the park the ranger told us we were late and had to hurry. We had read something about admission after a certain point in time was not possible, so we assumed we were near that deadline.
The hike to the top of the mountain was beautiful and very surprising. The previous two times I climbed the mountain was in the dry season. Last night it had rained very much and the result was that we were hiking in a tropical rainforest like environment. Damp, moist, streams, and even roaring waterfalls everywhere.
The last part to the top was a bit tricky, due to the same rain, the mountain was really slippery, and we had to cross a few steep meters with a respectable abyss.
Our descent went steady and when we arrived at the car it was 15:45 hrs. We thought we were perfectly in time and we enjoyed some more roller coaster like roads, some smashing views, some nice ford like places in the road and then headed to the exit, we arrived at the exit at 16:16 hrs. And to our horror we found it.... CLOSED.... The automatic barrier opened but after that there was a unrelenting fence that was locked down with a very solid padlock... We were a bit puzzled, the park info map the ranger had provided us with did not mention anything about closures. I decided to climb the fence and headed to the visitor's center, whose fence was also closed. Fortunately another entry was still open. I managed to talk to somebody who lived on the site.
Sana and I sat down next to our imprisoned car and while eating chips, and water melon (our Caribbean version of Water and Bread) we waited. And yes, after abut 40 minutes a car showed up and a ranger (with a key!) appeard. He must have been really angry.. Stupid tourists! He did not say a word, but his facial expression told more than any word or phrase could have said...
More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare