Bonaire: A Tail of Many Lizards

Filed under: — Anastasia @ 1:19 pm

So, there were a lot of lizards.

Most of the time, they were inconspicuous. Sometimes we’d hear some rustling in the bushes by Deep Blue View’s parking area, or we’d spot an iguana sunning itself by the water on our way out of the marina. But for the greater part of the day, it wasn’t obvious just how many lizards there were.

But early in the morning, when the sun gets high enough to hit the asphalt, the little lizards come out by the hundreds to toast themselves on the blacktop. This made our few early-morning drives interesting.

Sunday morning, Jeff and I were the first up and out to a dive site around 9am: prime lizard sunning time of day. As we cruised north on the main road, we suddenly spotted a lizard darting across the road. I was excited; it was the first whiptail I’d seen (cute little guys with bright blue heads).

Then we saw another. And another. And after turning a corner, the road was suddenly carpeted in basking lizards.

Jeff tried to dodge them at first. “Lizard!” I would yell, pointing to the right. He’d swerve left. Then, “Another lizard!” off to the left. He’d swerve right. “Pack of lizards!” lying straight ahead. Argh.

Our good intentions only made it through about five minutes of lizard-dodging. After that, the lizards were on their own. We figured that there were clearly billions of lizards, and very few smooshed ones, so they must be pretty good at avoiding the tires of cars (somewhat surprising, given their tendency to run straight towards oncoming traffic).

After one particularly close call, Jeff said we probably had a little lizard tail stuck in the treads of our tires, zipping around and around: “thwap, thwap, thwap.” What a lovely image.

When we asked Menno how long he lived on the island before he just started mowing lizards down, he laughed at us for trying to dodge them in the first place. I think he’s right: swerving off the road over a cliff trying to avoid possibly smooshing one of a trillion lizards is not really a sensible way to die.

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