My time on Saba and St. Maarten has put me in a Netherlands Antilles mood—and this despite the fact that the federation is on the brink of dissolution.
The two southern islands in the group have been up to noteworthy stuff.
Exhibit A. By the close of 2009, Bonaire expects to meet all of its energy needs in a sustainable manner, via a wind farm and a biodiesel power plant. This is an interesting, proactive move on the part of the small island, especially so in light of the geothermal project on Nevis, which is due to be completed in 2010. It will be interesting to see if other territories in the region follow the lead of Bonaire and Nevis. Caribbean legislators have already expressed interest in the Nevis initiative.
Exhibit B. Meanwhile, Curaçao is running an innovative and exciting competition, a Treasure Hunt set for August 2009. Ten finalists will participate in the hunt, and the winner will take home $500,000. Registrees also have the opportunity to win daily prizes by correctly answering posted questions. The contest is open to U.S. travelers. Try your luck at the tourist board's dedicated site.