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Charles' Stories Stories by Charles Croes, true Aruban :)

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Old Sunday, January 2nd, 2011, 12:20 AM
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Default The water tank at alto vista

The water tank of Alto Vista was the goal starting early in the morning and remained as the target for midnight. Junior and I never wavered on this. After the mid-day havoc of PAGARAS throughout the down town area, we headed home and Jr. hit the cartoons on channel 33 while lying in bed in an air conditioned room and I was busy turning the pink carcass of a “Butter-Ball” turkey into a lovely brown – stuffed meal accompanied by veggies and other food goodies. (For a single guy, I am good in the kitchen). Family came over, we ate and everyone sat in couches burping and moaning about how good it was and the some old – “OHHHH I ate too much”. We dozed off and awoke to the alarm at 10:00pm – then headed to the car that had been previously packed with enough fireworks needed to start a small war and plenty of stuff to drink and headed to our destination.

Alto vista was already packed and the “Perfect Spot” we had figured on was taken a while ago. We parked and just walked over to the people that had the perfect spot and made friends. Since we were not the only ones to do this, there ended up being a small little party (of sorts) there. It was nice and it was fun. It drizzled and the wind blew the small pellets of water sideways. When looking out from the mountain, is seemed as if there was a slanted sheet of film in front of us. I started shivering and looked at Junior to see what his status was. He was not even aware of the drizzle and had been lighting bottle rockets by the dozens – I covered him with a towel and felt less guilty.

It was then that I noticed the sky-line. The farthest lights were all in a row and bubbling up into the nightline. This was caused by the continuous fireworks being set off by the multitudes of persons or entities that made up the sky-line. This communication between sky-line and sky continued and was mesmerizing to me as well as to anyone watching. At about 5 minutes to New Year, the entire crowd on the mountain top started to gather in a series of groups. At one minute to midnight, the bubbling lights became higher and denser and it now undulated with so many colors and sounds. It was totally incredible.
At midnight the night time sky-line fell apart and what remained was a line of lights that was stabbing at the sky with fingers of light, flames and color. It was overwhelming. The splendor of it caught juniors eye and he stood and looked at it, then walked over to me and hugged me and said “Bon Anya Papi”. I held him close and thought about the previous 7 years when I had been able to carry him on my shoulder. No more – no more.

Finally the lights on the horizon reached up so high that it seemed as if there were sporadic colored fingers reaching up into something unknown. A cloud of gunpowder smoke covered Aruba and moved slowly across the island. It continued to drizzle, the fireworks were un-relentless and during this - something very special was happening that was caused by us as islanders, yet we were all awkward in our appreciation of it.

Midnight passed and 10 minutes into the year 2011, the sky declared victory over the earthly rockets and smiled in bright darkness and the bubbling rocket lights became nothing more than the occasional rumbling of a small PAGARA.
It continued to drizzle and the smell of gunpowder smoke brought varied memories.

The water tank of Alto Vista had been our goal starting early in the morning and junior and I never wavered on this. The turkey was pretty good and that poor bird was eaten by us in 2010 and will be eaten by us again in 2011. On the way home, Junior fell asleep leaning against me and he never realized that he had walked from the car to his room - put on his PJ’s and fell into bed to remain in a fixed position until morning.

It was a good day and a better night.

be well
charles

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Last edited by charlescroes; Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old Sunday, January 2nd, 2011, 01:00 AM
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I Love Aruba Re: The water tank at alto vista

Thanks for sharing... sounds like the perfect "out with the old, in with the new."

Fotunate enough to have food on the table to share with family and friends.. strangers no longer strangers, and loved ones loving to be with you. It doesn't get any better than that.
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Old Sunday, January 2nd, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Charles, thank you for the beautiful story of your New Year celebration with family and friends. Your writing inspires me. I always enjoy reading your stories. The Alto Vista water tank is always a destination for me in February. I never tire of the view.
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Old Sunday, January 2nd, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Wish we all could have been there with you Charles. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe we were....
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Old Sunday, January 2nd, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Beautiful story as usual. We also consider ourselves blessed as we enjoyed the company of friends in our senior community.

We have enjoyed the September view from Alto Vista tank many times, but not the last couple years. Maybe it has gotten better, but the road at the top around the tank was in very poor condition and sadly, there was an overload of trash and broken glass.
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Old Friday, January 7th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJT View Post
..... Maybe it has gotten better, but the road at the top around the tank was in very poor condition and sadly, there was an overload of trash and broken glass.
John,
The road up there was truly becoming a mess - I totally agree. They have re-founded and paved it once again. When we were there to inspect it in the mid-December time, it really looked good. There were 2 trash bins up there that were each half filled -(another good sign) Our local artists still find the tank sides irresistible. I dislike it but then it surely must be a boost the the spray-paint industry. In the grafitti, there were no porno or similar slurs.

be well
charles
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Old Sunday, January 9th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

In all the years we have been to Aruba, we have never seen this. Could you please tell me where it is and how I can get there from Eagle Beach. We love exploring the island and getting "lost". Every year we discover something new. Thank you Charles for all your wonderful stories. Laraine
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Old Sunday, January 9th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Hi Laraine,
I got up to the water tank to take pictures every year I am in Aruba. Have you been to the Chapel at Alto Vista? It's in the same area. You can't miss it. I'm sure Charles will give you specific directions. It's a must see!!!
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Old Sunday, January 9th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

Thanks, we were actually at the Chapel the other day. I guess I just didn't pay attention to the water tank. We took some pictures that as soon as Sherry helps me figure out what to do with them, I'll be posting them. Laraine
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Old Sunday, January 9th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: The water tank at alto vista

It is actually real simple.

Go on your way to the Chapel

When you are almost at the roadside prayers, you will see a turn to the left

Take it and drive it to the water tank

Thank you very much for reading me.

be well
charles
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