I was first introduced to Aruba in 2008 when, after just two days here, I realized this is a place I want to be – I felt this sense of ‘being in a very good place’ that profoundly affected me. This is when we started looking for our home on the island. Through a lot of sacrifice and planning, in 2012 this dream became a reality.
Today, I continue to discover the many things that were the cause of my infatuation. In particular, I find an incredible draw to the east coast during the dawn hour a ‘Heavenly’ experience. It was here, December 07, 2017, that I took on a personal quest to hike and photograph the east coast of Aruba from Westpunt Beach in the north to Seroe Colorado in the south.
Ending my adventures on March 23, 2018, I not only have a library of photographs but an experience that, to this day, seeks further understanding: From the more Spiritual side of this adventure I seek answers to such questions as What did I truly witness? To how come this trek continues to affect me passionately to this day? To the vast geological inquires like, how did this rock formation end up here? To what role does erosion play on the island’s coastal region?
Having hiked in the dark every morning, to reach destinations I believed to be great locations for capturing the dawn light, I experienced yet another element in my photography. I discovered that the light before the sunrise further showcases the character and charm of this spirited east coast of Aruba.
Combining the light and dynamic colours of the emerging day with the drama of the ocean waves striking the impressive landscape it isn’t hard to imagine how one can be easily drawn to such splendor.
For me, the cloud formations continue to have a major part to play in this narrative. Beside mirroring the water’s fierce action against the coast so too do they reflect in the gentle waters of the sandy inlets spotting this coastline.
It is during my exploration of these beautiful, truly tranquil, settings that I am at a place of ‘otherworldliness’ – A place beyond description. A place that needs to be experienced to be truly appreciated.
From the collapsed Natural Bridge of coral and limestone to the lava rock of the Natural Pool, known as Conchi, I hiked both the rugged coastline and the interior, under the stars, only to come upon such brilliant seascapes. Not only did it take my breath away but I found peace and harmony that, to this day, is a feeling beyond words. With this. I often wonder if I found the true essence of the meaning ‘Spirituality’?
However, it doesn’t stop here!
My curiosity, as usual, did manage to get the better of me: What am I witnessing physically, before my eyes? Here, I had to reach out to the experts to educate me. Who better to ask for guidance and support than a Park Ranger from the Arikok National Park? In Part 2 of this series, I will detail information obtained surrounding the landscapes and seascape coming solely from them – and I am deeply thankful. It is with this knowledge I can complete the puzzle of my journey along Aruba’s spirited East Coast.
Photography by Randy Bullerwell