Aruba 2021

Hooiberg

Day 6 of our land vacation and we decided to head to the beach at Mangel Halto. However...

So on our way there, we were getting ready to pass Hooiberg Mountain. I have always wanted to go down that street and check out the base of it and take pictures. So, I made a quick turn and completely threw the family off as to what I was doing. I got a blank stare from the hubby as the mapsme told me to turn around.

It's situated in a residential area with houses surrounding it. Right across the street is the waterpark. I had inquired about the waterpark prior to leaving home and couldn't get a straight answer as to how much it cost to get in there and I was hoping to see what it actually looked like now that we were here. However, it was closed on Monday's and from the street, you couldn't see anything...not the water slides, not anything. 

I pulled up and parked at Hooiberg and we (and by "we" I mean the hubby and I because the not-so-munchkin doesn't want to do anything to exert herself these days) decided to get out and walk around the area at the bottom. 

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It looked like a long way up there. There were people walking down from the top and even a jogger coming down quickly. Is he insane?

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The green steps in the area was more my style. Very long and wide and a step every so often. Yep, that's my limit. 

 

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However........... the hubby was standing at the base of the stairs, hands on his hips, looking up to the top, and I could see that look on his face. The concentration going on inside that head was not a good look. I just had this feeling...he turns to me and says "I think I can do it!" Oh lordy...here we go. "Are you really going up??" He says "yep, I'm going to do it!" Alrighty then. I handed him my camera and told him to take a bunch of pictures and to make sure they were good and no fingers and I would head back down to the car and get my other camera to take pictures of his speck from down here. 

 

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I headed back to the car to get my camera and told Sakari "Daddy's going up it! He is crazy!" She quickly grabbed the GoPro from me and jumped out of the car. Wait! Are you doing it too????? She said "yep" and off she went.

By the time she made it up there, he was at the first "rest stop" resting. He said he was worn out already. Noticed he still managed to get his finger in the picture he took as Sakari made it up there.

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A few pictures he took from that view while resting and seeing her come up the steps.

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When she made it up to him, he gave her some time to rest...and I'm sure he still needed it too. She actually ran up most of the way. Poor not-so-munchkin!

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Ok, they were heading on up. Thank goodness he wore a pink shirt so that I could tell where he was at during this adventure.

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And a picture zoomed in to where they were at now.

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There are rest stops along the way. Sometimes they would disappear for a minute and if I took my eyes off of them, I'd lose them. But eventually they would reappear. 

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Zoomed in as they headed up the next flight of stairs. I have to admit, I was very anxious. I really wanted to do this. I kept thinking I could then my leg was telling me NO! No you can't! It was a battle with myself. I hate being left out. I've always done everything with them. I felt alone and sad that I wasn't getting to share this experience with them. I really wish we had service here and he could have took me on his journey with him via facetime or something. People don't understand what you've lost until it's lost and every little thing becomes apparent at times like this. Never take for granted the small little things you can do in life...such as walking. My life will probably never be the same but I have to just keep pushing along.

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Almost there and almost out of my site. They were just a tiny little speck but that pink shirt though....

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Eventually they were completely out of my site and the only thing I could see now was it were some empty stairs with a few people still coming down. 

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It was so hot out so I decided to head back to the car in the a/c and wait it out.

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From here, we will see what the hubby and Sakari was able to see.

As they made it up to the top and out of my site, there were two buildings up there. One belongs to a radio station and the other is a cellular station. All tv broadcasts from other countries come through there, all cellular signals and phones are all sent through these buildings. How cool is that? 

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They had finally made it! They said it was so beautiful up there. You could see everywhere. They could see the ocean and to the other side of the island.

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Now they were up there for quite some time. Honestly, too long for my comfort. I didn't see them anywhere in site and it was starting to worry me. Was it possible that once you climb up there they had another side to go down? I really wasn't sure be I definitely didn't think it should be taking this long. 

At one point I turned the car around and was contemplating driving down the street to see if there was a way to the other side. I stopped after turning around and pulled into a different spot facing the mountain. Something told me not to go. 

Meanwhile, they were up there having a good old time...WITH A FAMILY OF GOATS!!! 

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You could even see the cruise ships in port (above and below). The Joy was still sitting there along with another small ship, I think it was the scientology ship.

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But of course Sakari was more interested in the goats... "awww, dey so qquuute" She said one was so friendly.

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They did say there was a helicopter flying around the mountain. I didn't even notice one. I think my eyes were focused directly on the steps and the tunnel vision had kicked in. I was focused, I was determined to see them emerge, my peripheral vision was not about to distract me.

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Just look at that ocean I was desperately trying to get to. 

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They finally decided to head back down

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They were up there so long that some goats decided to take up residency on the steps. They would all scatter as they walked back down.

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After going around this corner, I would finally have them in my site again.

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I was never so relieved...especially after I ask them if there were handrails up there to keep people from falling off the side of the mountain and the hubby replied "Just one and not everywhere". Wait what??? That sounds dangerous! Especially when he told me that it was really hard to breathe up there. So not only was it super hot, but the air (or lack of oxygen) made it hard to breathe, barely any handrails, and super windy...yikes. I'm definitely glad to have my family back. 

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Now of course all of these pictures are zoomed in so that you can see them. They were really pretty far up there still. 

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Last haul of steps...you can do it!!!

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Arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sakari came running back and plopped in the car. She needed air and a drink! She was talking about how amazing it was up there and so beautiful but she was so tired.

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I was parked along this wall and the hubby stops, looks down, and he had that look on his face that he had before he went up the mountain...I think I can do this. Then finally jumped down in what appeared to be slowmotion. 

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Here is the awesome video they managed to get while they were up there. Daddy-daughter day exploring.

Just a little about Hooiberg:

*541 foot high volcanic formation

*Can be seen from almost everywhere on the island

*Hooiberg is Dutch for "haystack" and a lot of the locals call it the haystack

*563 estimated steps to the top but I have also read 587 steps

*Located in the center of the island.

*The steps were originally built in 1951 but they were so eroded that the government renovated them in 1990 and also added a gazebo to rest at halfway up the stairs. 

*It is covered with cacti, divi-divi trees and some Kibrahacha trees that will get yellow flowers after a heavy rainfall.