Aruba 2021

Mangel Halto

 

Ok, are we ready for a fun day at the beach and snorkeling???? If looks could kill, I wouldn't have made it to Mangel Halto. The family was extremely tired and overheated from climbing Hooiberg Mountain right before coming here and I'm sure they just wanted to take a nap. But, my day hasn't even began yet so notta happa-ning!

 

We arrived at Mangel Halto, carried our things down and picked a spot in the shade along the mangroves. We always end up in the same exact spot. I guess this is "our spot"! 

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I knew the family wasn't about to move once they sat down but that didn't mean I wasn't about to have fun and I headed out with my snorkeling gear. 

Along the way there were pelican's in the trees. They were flying down and getting fish then back up to the tree to clean themselves. 

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Mangel Halto is a very shallow area for the most part. A lot of families are always here when we come. I think that's why everyone likes it here.

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This reminded me of broken bones left behind for some reason. 

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I started to get a little far out and deeper. Of course the further out you go and deeper, that's where all the actualy coral and amazing area is. The first time I ever came here in 2017, I knew that everyone talked about how amazing the snorkeling was here. When I came I snorkeled the entire area (which is big) in the shallow part. I thought "this is not amazing snorkeling at all." Yes there were things to see but not amazing. 

So the next time we came in 2018 we took the seabobs with Aruba Bob and THEN I discovered where this amazing snorkeling was. The reef is just so beautiful but you have to go out a little. Well, I'm not one that will adventure off on my own if other people aren't around. I just feel better if others are in the area snorkeling. Hopefully if something was to happen, they would help or go get help. I don't know...I just don't like being out there alone. So, this time I wouldn't go and it was ok. You will later learn why (about 3 days from now).

 

 

 

If you want to see some of the things I seen last time I actually went out there,

you can find them HERE ---> 

Ok, that was enough snorkeling for now (did I really just say that?) and I headed back to see if the family had moved even an inch. 

Nope, they were still perched on their chairs and relaxing. They both said they were a little sore. Well, what's better than getting in a relaxing shallow water to cool off? I talked them into coming out into the water right by where we were sitting. Watching them both get up reminded me of how slow I get up at times. Poor thangs!

The hubby didn't make it far into the water before he sat down. Someone give me some sunglasses with that white belly. You blinding me!

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The pelican's were still at it catching fish then going back up in the trees in the mangrove.

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Well whaddaya know...here comes Sakari. She made it into the water finally with each step she took looking like she could calapse at any given moment. 

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This pelican was like a cat cleaning itself...only feathers. It went on forever! I decided since it was so busy with that, maybe it wouldn't pay attention to me and I was going to sneak up on it for some close ups. 

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At one point, it did notice me and we had a stare down. Neither one of us were backing down. Well, not entirely...I decided to slowly back away, not turning my head on it, and getting low to the water just in case it decided to fly after me. Ok, it won. I'll admit it. 

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We all hung out in the water for quite some time, just enjoying each other and our view. Then when we decided to get out and they wanted to go back to sitting, I decided to explore down the beach and take some pictures. 

Now this area is a "beach" area with sand and a few palapa's. However, it's really not a swimming area. It's mostly rocks but there is a path you can walk out into the water and stand/sit. 

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Mr crabby walking along the rocks

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After getting back I decided to head out snorkeling one last time...just in case there was anything new. I wasn't even going to attempt going deep and just stay in the shallow end that you could actually stand up in.

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Now then, there were several of the next picture seen during our stay here. They were hard to spot and I don't think I ever managed to get a good picture...of course because I didn't have the good camera with me.   But,. I believe this is a nudibranch. I have never seen one before in person so I honestly can't say but they are pretty and small and ooze along the ocean floor. 

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As I was headed back, something caught my eye. Then I seen it slither under the rock. It was a rather small eel. It would poke it's head out from under the rock and when I would get on that side, it would pop up on the other side of the rock. I would go over there and it would go to the other side. It was a game and I never did see it come out. Man, all I wanted was a picture for heavens sake. I finally gave up.

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I finally gave up and continued on my way back. Right as I got to the sandy area, which is like a walkway back to the beach area I spotted something red in the rocks. Now red really stands out. 

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Yep, it was an octopus. Now I don't think I have ever seen a red octopus. They usually change colors to blend in with their surroundings. This one did not. But it kept sticking its eye out and watching me. I watched it for quite some time and was trying to get pictures...but the worse thing ever happened...my camera dies. UGH! This is always my worse nightmare. I decided to go ahead and get out but first I wanted to note my surroundings so that I would get another battery and came back and hopefully it would still be there. 

Ok, there's this weird shaped rock right here right by the "walkway". Now this rock is in line with this tree straight ahead. The rock it's under is about 5' from there heading to the right side. Ok, got it. I can do this. 

I headed back to grab my battery and tell the hubby about the eel that pissed me off by playing games and hiding so I couldn't get a picture and the red octopus and my camera dying. Then I headed back out to see if I could find it and get some good pictures. Believe it or not, my directions on how to find it again actually worked!!!

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It was time to go and that meant that the fam had to pack up and carry items UPHILL back to our car. Oh the mumbles and groans they had all the way back. They were sore and worn out. 

Here is a short video of our day there.

I enjoyed myself even thought I was pretty much on my own snorkeling. At least I got to see an octopus!