Wicked places in Caribbean
Drive or bike outside of Kralendijk for a few minutes and you're sure to see them (and eventually eat them, as goat stew is a favourite here). Goats and donkeys were brought on all three ABC islands by the Spanish and Dutch settlers a few hundred years ago. Some escaped, proliferated and became wild again. Bonaire is the island where you can see the most, and they constitute a real road hazard, so be careful when you drive. Donkeys are in lower numbers than goats but they're an almost sure sight on the east coast near Rincon. Since they're wild, it's a bit difficult to get close to them, but with patience, they'll let you get near enough to observe without them being too wary.
Ricks Cafe at West End Negril is probably the second most famous bar in Jamaica after Pelican Bar, though they like to advertise them self as number 1. It’s a bit of a tourist trap, but they do have something not seen elsewhere, cliff diving. Anyone is welcome to jump from the various platforms, the highest about 10 m above the blue cove. However, the main stunt is only done by local pros, who first climb a pole and then dive in from the height of about 18 m. Truly insane.
Forget all the fun to be had on this beautiful "get away" island, just arriving by air is an adventure. Saba boasts the world’s shortest commercial runway and has gargantuan cliff drops on either end of it's miniscule 396 metres of tarmac. But don’t let that stop you from visiting, the pilots that fly in on these propeller planes must comply with very regular testing to land on the island plus the experience is both nail biting and exhilarating. As you approach the island and see the steep angles that surround it your initial thoughts linger towards questioning where a plane can land and then.. BAM! From the rubble of fallen rocks from the cliff face a flat black surface emerges and you suddenly come to the realization that the time has come. As every passenger eagerly peers through the windows to gain a view of this feat the secondary concern kicks in. "How long is the runway?" But rest assured, the sheer drop at the other end is off in the distance and the elation of living and being on Saba begins to take over.
The island of St. Martin is split into two sides, the French Saint-Martin and the Dutch Sint Maarten. The two separate sides are run as two different countries with different currencies (EU on the French and Netherlands Antillean guilder on the Dutch) though USD are widely accepted most places, and different language (French and Dutch/English). There are four border crossings, all open with no checkpoints whatsoever. Just some flags and a change in the the road condition (good on the French side, potholed on the Dutch) indicates that you have moved from one side to another.
Right at the end of the runway of Sint Maarten's airport SXM lies narrow Maho Beach. It’s probably the most noisy beach in the world with flights landing and taking off all day long. Mostly, it’s just smaller aircraft, but when KLM’s Boeing 747 arrives, it’s a spectacle not to be missed. However, real dare devils come for the departure of the Boeing 747, when it blasts its jet engines for take off. Remember to hold on to the fence, as you otherwise can be blown into the sea (or die from getting knocked over - at least one tourist has).
As you make your way through the jungle on the narrow back roads in southwestern corner of Trinidad, you will come across small oil pumping stations. Here and there a small slap of land has been cleared of trees for a single oil pump or two. They just stand there, unfenced and unsupervised, and slowly pump oil up from the ground into a tank. We don't know whether the locals own them or some of the big oil companies do, but they give the whole area a feel of a tropical oil Klondike.
Due to the oil and gas reserves that are hidden in the underground, Trinidad has some strange natural sights, like mud volcanoes. But the strangest might be Pitch Lake, a 40-hectare expanse of natural asphalt as deep as 90 m. You're welcome to walk around on it, but be careful as some places the ground is still soft and full of pitch.