Our hike to the Natural Pool (‘Conchi’ in the local language) started at Rancho Dairmari, accessible by car. Once arrived, you have an astonishing view over the valley with a beautiful hacienda. The constant northern wind, carrying humid air from the ocean into the valley, has created an oasis where palm trees are able to grow.
As we descent a steep slope, we pass the hacienda and reach the location where you can take a horse to the Natural Pool. We decided to walk and left the valley up north. The landscape quickly became more wild, rough and deserted, typical features of the surrounding area. The path continues uphill while the bushes stay low. Apparently, the perfect spot for lizards as they quickly cross the path in front of us. All types of emerald green animals flash by.
The landscape becomes more open and the bushes disappear, while approaching the ocean. We continue our hike on a rocky surface. Constantly, we see the beautiful ocean in front of us, whether we go uphill or downhill. Even though we started early, the temperature is rising and the sun is getting brighter. The northern wind, blowing over the island except during the 2-month hurricane season, provides the necessary coolness.
We are 45 minutes on our way as we start to see the Natural Pool. It is a photogenic location near the ocean with spectacular waves that break on rocks that surround the pool. We climb on the rocks to make some more pictures of the splashing water; a terrific view!
To reach and swim in the water, it is convenient to bring water shoes. After walking on several rocks, we reach the pool filled with clear water. Wave splash against the rocks on a regular basis. It is a refreshing and fun experience to feel the salt water from the ocean on your skin in the rough part of Aruba.
For our way back, we decide to take the path that is slightly further away from the sea. It turns out to be a route used by the horses that start from the hacienda. Quickly, we are approach by a group of horse riders; an impressive view in the rough landscape.
As we continue the hike, we reach a sandplain that is only reached by the sea during heavy storms. We find pieces of coral, shells and dried aquatic plants that could easily be found in an herbarium. It is tempting to take these natural pieces of art home, but we resisted.
The path approaches the ocean again, and we start to see an island with steep walls in front of the coast. The only way to reach the island is through a rope that hangs along its walls. From above, the island has the same shape as Aruba. It sounds like a mystery.
We walk back to the fertile valley with the hacienda. The first group of horse riders returns from their trip to the Natural Pool. Covered in tent cloth, the horses recover from their journey protected from the sun while drinking from the water sources.
After the hacienda, we continued our climb to our car. A family approaches us to start on the trip to the natural pool. The parents appear to be excited and are looking forward to the hike. The two teenage daughters, on the contrary, seem less excited, unaware of the beautiful journey they are about to embark on.
Piet Kuhlmann & Thera Voshaar, Nijmegen NL