September 2nd, 2005 – by: Boston_Babe
One of my favorite shots
In 2005 we went to Aruba with some friends. We spent the beginning of our week lounging on the beach, snorkeling, shopping and such. We decided that on our last full day we would rent a Jeep and make the drive out to see the Natural Bridge. Now you have to understand how the people of Aruba love this bridge. It's their one main island attraction and they are so very proud of it. Well, we depart our hotel at about 9:00am and start off on our trek. It's quite a ride. The paved roads become bumpy dirt roads (which was unfortunate for Sarah whose previous night's drink caught up with her!). The roads are barely marked and there were multiple times that we thought we were lost for sure. At last we begin to see signs for the Natural Bridge.
The "Natural Bridge" that was standing for thousands of years fell 30 MINUTES before we arrived!!
As we are making our way closer, three regular-looking cars zoom past us and leave us in a cloud of dust. Whatever. So we pull into this little parking area and get out. "OK, what are we looking at?" is the question running through our minds. That's when we look over and see this man frantically stringing caution tape across a path leading down to what looks like a natural pool. And that's when we realize that the bridge collapsed and we're looking a pile of rubble :( We were the first tourists on the scene! Come to find out that it only collapsed within the last half hour before we arrived and it was the authorities speeding around us on our way up! After learning that it happened so recently, you better believe we looked up and whispered many-a-thank you towards heaven! We would've been walking across it that day.
Doesn't this photo make you lose your breath?
People picnic at the top, heck, they even get married up there. Thank God no one was hurt! When we arrived back at the hotel our pleasant Concierge asks us how we liked the Natural Bridge. It was then that we had to break the bad news. Her smile quickly fell as she mumbled her disbelief and immediately started making phone calls to find out more details. It was so sad to see how disappointed the people that live on the island were. They really treasured that landmark. Actually, I can relate as a New Englander who lost the Old Man on the Mountain of New Hampshire. It's amazing how important the places we've been become to us. And by revisiting it's almost as if we can go back in time, in a sense, to partially relive a memory. We can't get our age back, or sometimes even the people we were with, but being able to return to a place from our personal history is an honor.