Since our retirement in May 2020, we have been bouncing around different islands which has made it impractical to own a car in any one place. As such, we have been renting cars for more than two and half years. It has not only been expensive, but the quality varied greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Rusty hinges, cramped SUV hatches, windows that wouldn’t work, sagging tailgates…you name it and we’ve likely seen it on one or more abused rental vehicles.
For our part, we took great car to ensure our diving activities did not cause unnecessary wear and tear on the rentals. Our extensive process — honed over time — included a base layer of 3mm plastic covered by absorbent towels to ensure that SCUBA and camera gear did not ding or drip saltwater anywhere inside. Leslie has since purchased a much nicer back seat covers. In any case, learning the idiosyncrasies of different vehicles and wondering if that knocking noise is something we should be worried about are no longer concerns, because…
…we purchased a shiny new red Toyota Hilux on Bonaire. It has a double protected bed (spray on and hard bed liner insert) for the dive gear, back-up camera for maneuvering into some “creative” Bonairian parking spaces and Bluetooth so we can connect our own music. Don’t get me wrong. Mega Classics on Bonaire does play some older recognizable US hits, but the definition of “classics” it extremely liberal and the playlist includes European and Latin American “classics” as well. Listening to my carefully curated collection of 80’s hits on the way to a dive site is going to be epic. It also has cruise control, which is very funny given Bonaire’s roads and overall size of the island.
Leslie is already on the hunt for WeatherTech gear for added protection of the floor and upgrading the front seat covers. Next up, dive tank rack, road shower and bed lights (for night dives). Stay tuned!