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Netherlands Antilles: Shete Boka National Park

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Shete Boka National Park | Netherlands Antilles | Americas

[Visited: July 2013]

The sun had just peeped above the horizon when I passed the entrance of Christoffelberg, which was still closed. I decided to go to Shete Boka National Park, which is basically around the corner. When I parked the car, I saw a sign warning me against dangerous situations, and a request to call a special number in case I would see "suspicious behaviour". There was no other car, and neither was there another person around, when I walked towards Boca Tabla. I could already hear the strong waves crash on the rocky shore - I had been here before, a long time ago. Within a few minutes, I reached a wooden platform at the coast. Big, white-turquoise waves were rolling in, and the sun was just climbing above the low, rocky cliffs. I stood there for a while, to feel the salty water land on my skin, and to inhale the ocean air. The warning sign had left me a tad cautious, and I looked out very well when I descended the slippery rocky stairs into a cave. The huge waves roll directly into the cave, and the mist of the spray hangs inside like a fog. While taking pictures, I noticed a particularly big wave arriving, and was just in time to jump away.

Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Spray of sea water when a wave crashes onto the shore

When I was out in the sun again, I walked towards another platform. This was probably the best of the viewpoints of the Shete Boka National Park area. Huge waves were constantly pounding the shoreline of Curacao, in an eternal angry display of natural force. Often, a wave that had just crashed ashore, would recede, and collide with the next wave rolling in, causing the water to rise much higher still. At times, the ground was trembling under the constant onslaught of the oceanic waves. There were small pans shaped in the rocky shoreline, but they were only visible in those sparse, quiet moments. I stood there, watching, for quite a while, until I felt the strength of the rays of sunlight on my skin, reminding me that I still had the climb up to Christoffelberg ahead of me. The peak was visible from here.

Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): The rocky coast of Boca Table in the early morning

The trail continued along the coast, towards the natural bridge. A small inlet provides for a patch of quiet waters and a tiny beach. After traversing it, I was close to yet another viewpoint, where the natural bridge was just ahead of me. I could just see the waves roll under a wide opening in the rocky coastline, but walking on the bridge seemed out of reach. I took the inland trail to walk back to the parking through a dry landscape of cactuses and rocks. I was still the only person around, and felt safer than when I had started out. Even from a distance, whenever I looked towards the coast, I saw regular explosions of white sea water being hurled into the air.

Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Trail at Boca Tabla
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Looking north along the coast at Shete Boka
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Natural bridge over the sea
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Wild waves at the coast of Shete Boka
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Waves at the rocky coast of Boca Tabla
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): White spray of waves over the rocky coast of Shete Boka
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Waves at the Boca Tabla inlet
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Waves towering above the landscape of Shete Boka National Park
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Waves rolling in at the Natural bridge of Shete Boka National Park
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): View of the cave at Boca Tabla
Picture of Shete Boka National Park (Netherlands Antilles): Slippery steps on the rocks at Boca Tabla

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