Curacao: Climbing Christoffel, Hanging with Peacocks and I ❤️ Jaanchie’s!

Today we are heading for Mt. Christoffel National Park. David is going to take on the mountain. Hikers need to register with the park office by 10:30 am or they are not allowed to climb. The heat and humidity become an issue later in the morning. The well travelled trail is pretty much one mile straight up the mountain with some rock scrambling toward the top.

A view of Mt. Christoffel from the National Park parking lot.
Hikers must register with the office by 10:30 am, pay $15 and carry a minimum of 2-liters of water in addition to signing waivers.
I was impressed that the park had an e-car charging station.
In addition to banning guns, the park ban slingshots too.
Cruise ship excursions arrive in safari trucks.

When David was on his hike, I toured the Savonet Museum located inside Christoffel National Park. This former plantation house built in 1662 is an important cultural site with its well-kept structures and artifacts.

Savonet Plantation at one time produced dairy products, wool, dye and was a popular place for cattle breeding. It has historic significance as the site of the slave rebellion of 1795.

Savonet Landhuis is a unique landmark that allows visitors to recount the social evolution of Curacao through the story of the island’s first inhabitants, the plantation’s owners, and the enslaved people. Different exhibits witness the situations of the distinct groups of the slavery period as well as the evolution of the civilization and customs following emancipation.

After touring Savonet Landhuis, I sat at a picnic table in the shade and started blogging. I was startled by loud birds and looked up to find that I was surrounded by about 20 peacocks.

Peacocks have a very loud high-pitched meow-like call. Males also make a rustling sound almost like a drumroll which is called a “train rattle.”

The Peahens are not nearly as pretty as their Peacock partners.

The females, called Peahens, are also loud. As I found out, they will make a high-pitched scream to alert other birds of predators like me. They will honk in response to a peacock’s display of feathers — I heard that too.
A peacock gathering in the park.
The peahen on the top step flew to the building’s roof …
… she nibbled on a roof cactus and then started honking very loud.
This guy is a little scruffy looking. I guess he deserves a honk too.
The park also has a few donkeys.

David returned hours later. We didn’t realize it, but there was a small parking lot by the trail head. This would have shortened his hike by an hour or so.

Mt. Christoffel from outside the park.

David took a few photos from the mountain. He said it was a little rough at the very top but a beautiful view.

A mountain trail? Nope … David said it is a dried-up river bed which is used as the route to get to the trail head.
A beautiful view of the land and sea from Mt. Christoffel.

When David returned from the hike, it was hot, humid and time to eat. We headed to one of Curacao’s long standing establishments — Jaanchie’s restaurant.

I ❤️ Jaanchie’s! This is the oldest restaurant in Curacao. Pass through the white gates and enter a different world. For starters, the place is a bird sanctuary and surrounded with gardens.

The entrance to Jaanchie’s has gates and lush greenery that lead to an old farmhouse.
Interesting decor in the restaurant entrance.
Dozens of Bananaquits chirping in a trough of sugar.

Mr. Jaanchie is the menu. He sits down at your table and tells you what’s cooking. He asks what you would like and says he can mix it up so you can try a few specialties of the island.

He also mentions that Iguana is on the menu and that it tastes like chicken but has a lot of bones. Neither David or I could bring ourselves to trying the Iguana.

Mr. Jaanchie tells us what’s cooking. No printed menus here.
Looking refreshed after climbing a mountain, David sips on lemonade.
Kabritu Stoba is a goat stew accompanied with rice, black beans & plantains and salad.
And just to make sure you remember your visit to Jaanchie’s, they give you a little coin-purse souvenir when leaving.

Back at our accommodations we enjoyed warm breezes while sipping rum drinks and watching one last sunset. Time to pack up the shorts, flip-flops and sunscreen.

Tomorrow we head back to Minnesota … land of 10,000 frozen lakes, a couple feet of snow, crisp cold air and countless snow emergencies declared for clearing snow from the streets.

The contrasting winter weather is a welcome change but stay tuned! Our long-time friend Peggy and I are planning an escape to the Eastern Caribbean islands of Antigua & Barbuda at the end of January. Until then, happy trails!

Published by

Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: