Thursday, February 20, 2014

Traffic Circles near and far

There are still no traffic lights here on Bonaire, and only a few stop signs.  But we do have traffic jams downtown around noon and 5pm.
Bonaire now has four traffic circles, with more in the planning stages.  They do seem to help smooth out the traffic flow at busy intersections, and my admittedly un-expert perception is that they seem to cut down on accidents too.
For something completely different, check out this amazing suspended traffic circle, just for bicycles and scooters, in the Netherlands.

Monday, February 17, 2014

TWR 60th Anniversary Web Special

TWR international is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.  There is a special anniversary Webinar this coming Thursday, Feb. 20.  This live 30 minute long event will begin at 12 - noon Eastern Time.  (UTC -5)

Register online now to hear TWR president, Lauren Libby and other ministry leaders (like Sandra's dad) review God's faithfulness over the past 60 years.

You can also connect by phone.  If you want details about that, shoot me an email.
I think my Hotmail address is somewhere on this blog.  :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

New TX Site Picture

I was just out at the TWR transmitter site, clearing away a few bushes by our new photo op spot.

Here is the view of the sign, antennas and tx hall.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Cars Part 2

I recently wrote about car hunting with a friend.  We weren't successful in our quest, but it was fun.  In addition to the cars mentioned last time, you can get a new Honda Civic, starting at $26,900 or so.

But now for something completely different.  I've seen some really cute small cars zooming around Bonaire for a month or two now.  They seem to run in packs.  I caught up with them up on top of Seru Largu not too long ago.

Road Runner Bonaire is using the Renault Twizzy for guided tours of the island.  So that is why I only saw the cars operating as a herd, so to speak.

The Twizzy is a plug in electric vehicle, has a range of 60 miles, and can go up to 50 miles an hour.  They also apparently can get up the hill to Seru Largu ok, which is no mean feat.

As you can see, the Twizzy can accommodate two people in a fore and aft arrangement.  I think the Twizzy would make a great second vehicle, instead of a scooter, or motorcycle.

Seems like a perfect fit for sunny, dry, Bonaire, as opposed to London, for example, see this video. (Twizzy video follows the ad)

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Great Bonaire Car Hunt

A friend of mine is looking to get his mother a small used car with an automatic transmission.  They are very difficult to find here on Bonaire.  Even harder to find are small second hand SUV/Crossover vehicles with an automatic transmission.

At one dealer, probably the largest on the island, we learned that about 85% of the vehicles they sell are 4 door pickups and SUVs.  A few years ago, over 85% of these had manual transmissions.  Today, over 85% of them have automatic transmissions.  One only has to "drive" through the gridlock downtown whenever cruise ships are in town to get a handle on what caused this big reversal.

So most second hand vehicles these days have manual transmissions, but that will change in a few years, I think.  My friend needs a vehicle now, so he's begun looking at (gasp) new cars and mini SUVs.

Here is what we found:

A Chevy Spark (also known as a Daewoo Matiz) was the least expensive new car we saw, coming in at $14,700 with an automatic transmission.

A Hyundai Accent came in about $16K+ for the base model, ranging up to $20K+ for fancier versions.  The Elantra might have been in the $24K range.

The least expensive SUV was the (3rd generation) Suzuki Jimny for $22,000 with auto transmission.  That is about twice what we paid for our 1991 Suzuki Samurai, which is still our daily driver, 'tho it is getting kind of ragged.

A Daihatsu Terios, with automatic trans, was in the $24K range and a Hyundai Tucson was in the $29Ks.  The Toyota Rav4 might have been in the $34Ks, but we didn't look too closely at anything over $30K.

We saw two Toyota Prius models, a normal one and the sort of station wagon-y one.  They were both in the $31Ks.  I'm not sure what the trim level is on these cars compared to the USA models: 2,3,4,and 5.
Wikipedia says that the plural of Prius is Prii.  I had been wondering about that.  Really.
By the way, in the States, this car is know as a Pree-us.  On the Top Gear TV show from the UK, they call it a Pry-us.  I didn't think to ask the salesman what they call it here on Bonaire.  He and my friend had switched from Papiamentu to Dutch by that point in the conversation, leaving me in the proverbial dust.

So what did my friend buy?  Nothing yet.  As I left him, he was mumbling something about looking for small second hand SUVs with automatic transmissions, in Curacao!