The whimsical colors of Curacao’s harborfront drew me in at first glance. In the port city of Willemstad, the tidy row of Dutch colonial buildings in juicy colors of mango, pink and papaya is reminiscent of a storybook scene – an artistic rendering of perfect quaintness.
Yet my most vivid image of Curacao is one of local color, set on the island’s hilly western end where cactus and calabash rise out of dense thicket, and old plantation homes dot the countryside. There, I watched three young boys emerge from thorny brush with huge iguanas dangled around their necks and hanging from their pockets. Regie, our island guide, explained that the creatures (still alive) were headed to market to become fried iguana, an island delicacy. Regie regaled us with tales of hunting technique and began to enlighten us about other local cuisine: goat stew and cactus soup. The latter known to be healthily cleansing to one’s intestinal system, I vowed to try some.
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