Aruba  

     
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Ayo Rock Formations

Just north of Hooiberg (Mt. Haystack), a strange geological formation of large diorite boulders looks as if it had just been dumped here in a pile. Scientists still have not been able to explain how these rocks got here.  Diorite is an igneous rock similar to granite.  It is commonly produced in volcanic arcs, and in cordilleran mountain building (subduction along the edge of a continent, such as with the Andes Mountains), which is why its presence here is so baffling.

There are also some Arawak drawings in caves.  

Rocks Pink flower
Ayo Rock Formations Unknown pink flower
Rocks Rocks
Ayo Rock Formations

Natural Bridge

The eastern coast of the island is the windward side.  It gets pounded pretty heavily by the waves and surf.  One of the main attractions (after several miles of pretty rough off-road terrain) is the Natural Bridge.  This coral formation 25 feet high and 100 feet long had been carved out of the pounding surf over the course of centuries.  Unfortunately, it collapsed into the sea just a couple months before we were there.   Below you can see the shoreline and what remains of the Natural Bridge.

Chris Coastline
With my back turned to the action ... 40 foot spray
Coastline Coastline
Eastern coastline, with ruins of an old gold mill on the shore Porous cliffs
Coastline Wild Donkeys
The remains of the Natural Bridge Wild donkeys roam the island

As you can see, the austere appearance of Aruba's rocky, arid landscape is very much like the American Southwest.

 

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Modified:  07/13/2007