We travel to Sheta Boca for a walk on the wild side. Sheta Boca means seven inlets, each carved out of limestone and different from the other. The trek is about 10km with views of the coastline for the entire venture. We arrive early at 0900 and are surprised that we have the entire nature reserve to ourselves. A sleepy man takes our money and is not able to make change, so we tip him reluctantly.
The sea beckons and we spy a bench in the distance. We begin our journey. Within minutes the sky opens up, and we quickly look for shelter in a cave. How fortunate to wait out the storm. Nearly as soon as the rain begins it stops and we start again with the added bonus of mud and slick trails for a level of difficulty.
We are mesmarized by the power of the ocean, watching it gain momentum to a peak and then crash into the shore. Its timed and in my mind I hear Leonard Cohen’s, Hallelujah.
There is a hodgepodge of stairs, some rock, some wood, some stone and a curious plank with small sticks to keep it from being a slide. We adjust our gait and are mindful of falling. We are more careful for the potential risk. How different from home where our every step has the expectation of safety and if we do get hurt, then another structure is erected quickly to make certain it never happens again.
We find a sandy beach littered with cairns. It is always curious to see these structures, a proof that someone was there, when really it only matters to them that they were. On closer inspection we discover that this beach is where the turtles lay their eggs, a sign asks us not to put stones on the beach as this would make it more difficult for the sea turtles. Curacao is a surprising place with relatively few rules. There are no posted speed signs, no smoking signs or any of a dozen like signs that exist in Canada and become invisible with their frequency. This sign stands out and yet has been ignored. I’m annoyed. We decide that we will remove rocks and at least do our part for the sea turtles. We attack the homage to Sheila and feel better for our efforts.
We have saved the best for last as we journey to our final destination, Boca Pistol. Here water builds in a cavern, then like a sealed pot, blows, spewing water up to 30 feet in the air. We watch this for a long while getting excited when we know that the water will shoot high. We are not alone and like fireworks the oohs and awes surround us. We take photos and videos and finally are sated, leaving our choice spots for new arrivals.
We walk away from the water opting for a loop that has not been defined. We can see Mount Christoff in the distance. Our shoes fill with mud as we trudge along. I think about the view of water that we gave up in favour of the backcountry. It is beautiful with its many cacti, small lizards and large hills. We find our way back to the beginning surprised that several hours have passed since our start. Like the best excursions, it seems like days have passed for the experience that we now carry, though minutes as we gathered that experience.