By Guy Britton and Alexander Britell
An island with some of the most spectacular shorelines on the planet is not the first place you’d ever imagine spending even a single day away from the water.
Even more so here on the northern edge of Bonaire, the earth is rugged and raw, the sort of landscape where the most copious commodity is cactus, a place low on beaches but high on wind.
And it’s the latter that has drawn in a rather special endeavor.
It’s here on a dusty closed-circuit racetrack where you can enjoy one of the most marvelous experiences there is in the Caribbean.
This is the home of Bonaire Landsailing Adventures, the Caribbean’s premier “landsailing” circuit, and a place where you can, yes, sail on land, thanks to the intrepid thinking of husband-and-wife owners and landsailing experts Andrew Sands and Donna Hudgeon.
Landsailing, or as the company calls it, “blokarting,” is a professional sport much like kitesurfing or windsurfing, and the team here also operates a similar operation in Panama.
And it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Here, you move across the track with a wheeled “pod” that gets its propulsion from the same kind of sail you find on a sailboat, using the same principles, steering with your hands and breaking with, well, sheer force.
The introduction is quick and easy, suitable for everyone from “eight to 108 years old,” as the Bonaire Landsailing team likes to say.
Indeed, in just a few minutes you’re either in a two-person pod getting a sense of how things work or already jetting off on your own around the track.
Tighten the sail to go faster, loosen it to slow down, learning quickly how to manage the corners and the speed.
And once you start, it’s almost impossible to resist, the adrenaline and the thrill building through every successful corner, through every wind-fueled dash.
And yes, the speed is serious, anywhere from 15 to 25 mph, something that feels even faster when you’re reclined in a three-wheeled pod in the middle of the desert.
What they’ve created is not just a must-visit on any trip to Bonaire.
It’s one of the coolest things you can do in the Caribbean. In or out of the water.
For more, visit Bonaire Landsailing Adventures.