Touring around Curacao

Surprise, I’m not in Curacao anymore! Let’s continue where I left off last time though, I had done nothing but lying by the pool and promised to have more interesting things to tell once I’d done some sightseeing tours!

I started with a beach tour and went to 3 of the most beautiful beaches of the island, Kenepa beach, Cas Abou beach and Porto Marie beach. It was such a cloudy/rainy day, but it didn’t matter cause the beaches were so pretty and so much fun! This is Kenepa beach (I may have taken this picture later that week when I visited Kenepa beach for the second time and the weather was better BUT IT JUST LOOKS PRETTIER WITH A BLUE SKY OKAY)

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The next day I went to Westpunt with a Belgian girl I’d met at the hostel (shoutout to Marthe, woohoo!) and while she went snorkeling, I stayed on the beach to work on my tan. Cause obviously I hadn’t done that enough yet. We also went to the Albert Heijn supermarket which is a Dutch supermarket and I was probably way too excited to be there. As soon as we stepped in there it felt like I was back in Amsterdam, it looks exactly like the Albert Heijn’s at home and it was funny to see all the stuff I usually buy at home. Ofcourse I couldn’t leave there without buying poffertjes.

Then it was finally time for the boattrip to Klein Curacao which is a small uninhabited island near Curacao (it translates to Little Curacao). I had been looking forward to this so much! We boarded the catamaran early that day and the trip lasted about an hour and a half. I met some girls on the boat who were in our hostel as well and we went on to do some snorkeling and to explore the island! There was a shipwreck on one side of the island and a really cool deserted lighthouse which we went into and we could go all the way to the top!

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When we sailed back there was an open bar (I love those two little words) and there were a whole bunch of dolphins swimming along with the catamaran, it was amazing! I’d never seen anything like that, there must’ve been like 20 of them. Along with the dolphins we also saw a lot of flying fishes which was really cool! That night we went out to Zanzibar with a few people we met on the catamaran that day, it was a great ending to a perfect day!

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Another tour I did on Curacao was the island tour which took us to Landhuis Chobolobo, the salt lakes with the pink flamingos and nature park Shete Boka. Landhuis Chobolobo is were they make the islands famous liqueur Blue Curacao, it was nice to walk around there for a bit! Shete Boka is also definitely a must if you’re ever on Curacao, I took pictures but it’s really something you have to see for yourself cause the pictures don’t express how amazing it actually is. Here’s a picture of Landhuis Chobolobo though!

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After Curacao I went on to Miami, but I have to take a rain check on that story since I once again procrastinated blogging for a few weeks and now have a ridiculous amount of things to write about. I promise to get to it as soon as possible!

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I’m a bartender!

Aaaaaand it’s been almost a month since I wrote a blog. Good job, me.

The last time I wrote a blog I just passed my free pour exam and was about to start a week full of training and it seems like ages ago. I can’t believe how fast the bartender course went by! I was actually really looking forward to exam week cause I just wanted to do really well and make sure I went home with that diploma. So instead of studying the weekend before exam week I ended up spending every minute on sightseeing. Again, good job, me. I can always count on myself to make sensible decisions.

We went to Pinel Island which is a little private island located on the north east side of Saint Martin. It’s a magical place. It’s filled with iguanas. I LOVE IGUANAS. Anyway, we took a taxi up there cause it’s kind of hard to reach by bus and then we took the ferry which is only $12 for a roundtrip. You can’t go to Saint Martin without visiting Pinel Island, it might be one of my favorite places ever. Did I mention they have iguanas there? Here’s me trying to befriend one of the iguanas by offering him some of my cocktail.

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The next day we rented a car and headed up to Pic Paradis first. Pic Paradis is the highest point of the island and you can’t really get up there without a car. Since we had our flair exam the next day Brook and I attempted to do some double flairing which actually went pretty well!

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After this we headed to Loterie Farm for lunch and then to Orient Bay beach for some drinks and beach time! We met really cool people there and had a great time. The guys even taught our new friends how to do some flairing while my friend Nadja and I went to the bathroom and found ourselves ending up in a Caribbean dance party at one of the beach bars. Good times. Unfortunately we had to return the car around dinner time and couldn’t stick around for too much longer, so we headed back home and actually ended up studying after all, woohoo!

The next day we had our flairing exam. Let’s cut straight to the point, I failed. I broke a bottle. Luckily the flair exam doesn’t count for your final grade, but it would’ve been a nice bonus. I did nail my recipe test (got 74 out of 75 cocktails right!) and my theory test. I was really nervous for my bar exam and I felt like I didn’t do too well so for the next hours I was on the verge of a mental breakdown cause I was so unsure about whether I had passed the course or not. When we got back to the school after everyone had done their bar exam we got called down by the instructors one by one to let us know if we had passed or not….. AND I PASSED!!!! I was so happy I actually cried of happiness. It was such a relieve after 4 intense weeks of training. I managed to get a score of 85,7%!

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That night we had graduation dinner which was awesome and then the next day people from the course started to go home which wasn’t as awesome. OUR FAMILY WAS STARTING TO FALL APART?! I’m so thankful for this whole experience and all the amazing people I got to meet because of it. Luckily not everyone from the course went home so for the remaining 2 weeks I was on Saint Martin I could still hang out with part of the EBS family. In those weeks I mostly spend my time on the beach, although one day my friend Kyra invited Nadja, Julia and me to join her on her boattrip which was amazing. We went on a sail boat and one of the captains caught a tuna and actually prepared sushi for us. I don’t think I ever had fish THAT fresh.

AND NOW I’M IN CURACAO! Whoop. Didn’t see that coming did you? I’m here for 4 days now and I pretty much did nothing but spend my time lying by the pool. It’s amazing.
I have some tours planned for the next few days so after that I hopefully should be able to write something interesting. For now, here’s a picture I took on the first day when I did some exploring (I took a 10 minute walk around the hostel area). It’s the Curacao sign thingy in Koningin Wilhelminapark!

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Saint Martin shenanigans!

I’ve been in Saint Martin for 2,5 weeks now and so far it’s amazing. I didn’t blog anything yet though, so let’s get right into it!

When I arrived at the hostel there were already 5 other people who also came for the EBS bartender course and we all went out for dinner and cocktails. In the next few days more people arrived and by Sunday we were finally complete! This is our lovely EBS family.

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I have to be honest, I didn’t expect the course to be as intense as it is. It’s a lot of studying and training but it’s so much fun! I especially love the bartraining. And the cocktail tasting. The cocktail tasting is amazing.
Our instructors organized a pub crawl to end the first week, we went to 3 awesome bars and had a great time. Also, this is what our school looks like. Pretty sure it’s the best school ever.

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After school we usually have way too little time to do a bunch of sightseeing so when the weekend was finally there we planned a bunch of things. We took the bus up to Maho Beach which is known for it’s low flying airplanes cause the island’s airport is located right behind it. (By the way, the busses here are amazing. You just hold them up on the side of the road and when you need to get off you tell the busdriver and he stops straight away. It’s only 1 or 2 dollars depending on how far you need to go and they literally drive by every few minutes). Anyway, Maho Beach. We did some plane spotting, got sand sprayed and got lunch at one of my new favorite places on the island, Taco Macho. They have great Mexican food and during happy hour (3pm-7pm) they have $3 margaritas, what more do you need?!

Ofcourse we also had to make a stop in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island. I love this place for multiple reasons, but the main reason is the cruiseships. I’m obsessed with cruiseships. Yes, it’s probably one of the most touristy places of the island, but I LOVE IT. Also, they have pretty amazing piña coladas here. I’m doing a bartender course so I feel like I should try a lot of different cocktails around the island.

Another intense week of bartraining, flair training and free pour training passed. Free pour and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship going on cause one day I would do everything perfectly and the other day I would just mess up every measurement. I would try to pour 60 mls and would get 80 mls. No bueno.

This week we could ofcourse count on our instructors again to organize something fun for us, this time it was an evening of beer pong and karaoke! I had never played beer pong before and I don’t like beer. But to be fair, after downing 5 beers I didn’t really taste it anymore. So yay for beer pong. It was a good evening.

Aaaaaand it was weekend again! (I didn’t blog anything over the last 2,5 weeks so things are going by fast, try to keep up!) Now that we had seen the capital of the Dutch side of the island, it was time to go over to the capital of the French side of the island: Marigot!
Marigot is a cute little town with a touristy marketplace and a must-see if you’re ever on the island: Fort Louis. It’s located on a hill so after we had lunch we decided to walk up there and check it out. Best. Decision. Ever.
From Fort Louis you have an amazing view over Marigot. JUST LOOK AT THIS.

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After Fort Louis we drove up to Grand Case for some beach time, even though you don’t actually go to Grand Case for beach time. Grand Case is known for the ridiculous amount of restaurants and different cuisines, but we already planned to have a barbecue on the beach near our hostel with all of the other students (which was incredible, beach barbecues are a must), so I definitely have to go back and check one of the restaurants out at a later time!

Yesterday we had our first exam on free pouring (so we meet again…) AND I PASSED. Woohoooo. Not gonna lie, I didn’t expect to pass it on the first try.
Soooo back to school tomorrow, this is a week full of training, training and more training, cause next week we’ll have all of our exams. And a snorkel trip. But mostly exams.

My big 2017 adventure!

Next year I’m going to be traveling through the Caribbean and the United States for 3 months!
I’m going to start in Saint Martin on February 3rd and will end in Las Vegas on May 11th.

It all started off with me wanting to do a 4 week bartender course at the European Bartender School on Saint Martin and after that I would stay on Saint Martin for 2 or 3 more weeks to enjoy and explore the island.
However, I don’t have any self control whatsoever and my trip just kept getting longer and longer, lol!

On this blog I’m going to keep you guys up to date about my plans and of course I’ll be sharing lots of stories once I’m finally starting my adventure!

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