Short getaway to Aruba before starting our overland tour of South America was lazy, but altogether relaxing. We rented a car and spent one day beach hopping on the west coast and the next day exploring the east.
The emerald blue water was a sweet escape from the heat and humidity. We hadn't experienced such weather since leaving Los Angeles. The salt content was high enough to float an anchor. Buoyed, we could have drifted away forever.
Especially interesting was the abundance of cacti, which, apparently, outnumber palms. Not only did they line the beaches, but as we drove more inland and more southerly, they dominated fields upon fields. I deemed them cactus graveyards, although they thrived. We learned that 'succos' is the Latin word for absorb and that these succulents have well adapted to the dry, arid climate of the desert island. The heavy rainfalls carry with them a lot of salt and these plants retain as much water as possible for times of drought. Who knew? The monsoons and damp air had us fooled.
For those seeking refuge from the cold, Aruba seems an obvious choice, but us, we're looking forward to our next destination: Venezuela.