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  • Writer's pictureseimaistato


Aruba - September 2023

I had never been to the Caribbean and was looking forward to setting foot there. We had decided to take a few days at the beach before returning home, and in August Aruba is one of the very few options outside the tornado zone.

In the common imagination, the island is the place for luxury hotels and pink flamingos (found only on a tongue of sand - of resorts in fact). In reality, driving around the length and breadth of it, we fell in love with its tropical beaches, its sea, and the small villages where the local people live- street art in San Nicolas is stunning. 

We had swum with sea turtles that day, found at a specific spot off the northwest coast that the homeowner had recommended. Apart from not expecting them to be so fast, it was amazing to see them swimming so close together in all their beauty. We were super excited.

In the evening we were advised to go to Gazparito's for dinner. This was a family-run inn since 1989, and as soon as we entered, the owner Reimundo welcomed us by explaining the rules of the game. Yes, of the game, you got it right. He would make three riddles during dinner, and if the answers were right he would offer dessert.

It was hard to concentrate with the delicious and traditional Caribbean dishes in front of our eyes. Some corn pancakes (Aruba's native corn is black), garlic bread, coconut breaded shrimp, and a dish with fish, rice, eggs, and grits. What goodness!!!

We guessed 2 out of 3 riddles, and laughed a lot. Reimundo at the end of dinner told us his story: he is an Aruban-American Indian, studied in the United States, is a chemical engineer, and was the island's first PADI dive instructor in 2008. He showed us his large family in photos, with special attention to his daughter ("the boss," he told us laughing). And now he is looking forward to retirement, to enjoy the grandchildren. What a crazy character, Reimundo - he knew how to weave traditional flavors with his family roots, and entertained his guests with a bit of mystery and a lot of sympathy. He will remain in our special memories of Aruba.

Baby beach
New friends
Colourful murals
Beers and sunset
Da Gazparito, Aruba
Local fish meal
Da Gazparito, Aruba
Local meat meal
Da Gazparito, Aruba
With Reimundo and his family heirlooms

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