Welcome to the conclusion of our three part series, A Different Aruba, where we have been exploring the island and shedding a new light on the adventures it has to offer.
The California Lighthouse is believed to have been constructed in 1914. Standing more than ninety feet high, it looks to be an imposing and dramatic giant in the barren lunar landscape surrounding it. This lighthouse was deemed necessary after the shipwreck of the English steamship, California, in 1891. Having to keep its boat afloat, the crew threw all the contents of the ship overboard. The entire crew, with the exception of a machinist, was saved. The sand dunes on the north coast and the lighthouse are named after this ship. The California Lighthouse is made of local stones. Originally, the top light was a fire with different lenses circling around it, determining the meaning. It was seen for a distance of about 20 miles. Gas was later used, followed by electricity in 1969.
Bushiribana Gold Mill
Gold was discovered in Rooi Fluit on the north coast by a 12 year-old boy March of 1824. Years later in 1872, a company out of London came to the island and established the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company Ltd. They built a large smelting works at Bushiribana on the north coast. The workers used a heavy hammer and crowbar to release the rocks that were then carried by hand to Bushiribana. The grind mill used was wind powered. The rocks were ground into dust, leaving clumps of gold behind to be melted. But the mining ceased in 1916 because the materials needed to purify ores were unavailable due to World War I.
In the 92 years since its discovery, almost 3000 pounds of gold were exported. Even though Bushiribana’s was in use for only a decade, its construction was so solid that impressive ruins still remain.
Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations
The above-ground rock formations of Aruba have a rather mysterious origin. At the Ayo Rock Formation, located on the way to the Natural Bridge, you can ramble through stacks of giant quartz diorite boulders of interesting shapes and sizes shaped by the forces of nature. In the center of the island is the Casibari Rock Formation. Climbing through piles of oddly-shaped rocks, a narrow path leads up to the top, revealing a panoramic view of the countryside. At ground level is a large desert rock garden to explore.
We hope you have enjoyed this exploration of Aruba. Hopefully you have found some new and interesting activities to experience on your next travels to the beautiful island.