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Submitted by eagle on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:07

Puerto Rico is actually quite a rocky island. It has fairly high mountains throughout.

Looks like there are no ferries from Dominican Republic to Turks & Caicos. I had wanted to go, not sure how practical it will be.

I learned that the early human populations on Republica Dominicana came from South America.

RD has had a contentious history, with different interests wanting independence or integration with various larger countries.

Looks like RD arose from the subduction of the American and Caribbean tectonic plates.

Sus dimensiones máximas son:
    • 390 km de este a oeste (Cabo Engaño a Las Lajas)
    • 265 km de norte a sur (Cabo Isabela a Cabo Beata)

From <https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rep%C3%BAblica_Dominicana>

Por cierto, prefiero leer en espanol!

Around half of Haitians are illiterate.

After taking a wild step to get going on this leg of the adventure, I'm now feeling much more confident about getting around the Caribbean. Still plenty of challenges!

For many days now, the weather service has predicted no rain, yet it's rained almost constantly throughout the day.

I've had numerous close calls throughout my travels. Thankfully, I've come out fine! In fact, as I've remarked before, often the problems seem to lead to new heights!

I've had numerous close calls throughout my travels. Thankfully, I've come out fine! In fact, as I've remarked before, often the problems seem to lead to new heights!

Puerto Rico river

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:35

Walked some more. The rear wheel probably needs replacement, and there are no bike shops or the like around here. Now traveling through the large river area to the north of the capital. Beautiful trees, including tons of fruit trees. Have eaten fresh avocados, starfruits, and more. Would probably eat even more, but I don't know many of the trees here, not sure which ones are edible!

I thought of leaving Puerto Rico on Monday, but that now looks like it won't happen due to logistical issues. I'm happy about that, because I want to take this part slowly. Gorgeous area!

Bike issues

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 07/18/2019 - 12:32

Continuing to ride, er, walk, through the hills of Puerto Rico. After fixing a few things on my bike, got a flat. Found a nearby bike shop. Picked up a spare tube and some patches. Patched the previous tube. After a brief ride, heard some noises. Looks like the rear wheel finally gave out. Now I'm in a sparse place, with only a barely functional bike. Let's see how to get out of this!


Caribbean reading

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:32

From reading, Republica Dominicana seems like a reasonable country now, after its turbulent history.

Reading up about Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic. Haiti also has over ten million inhabitants. The area of Haiti is around half the size.

The money of Haiti is the Gourde. There's not much of it, as the average income is under a thousand dollars per year.

Looking at a map of countries by income (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita), I like the yellow ones. The golden mean.

Prices have changed a lot over recent decades!

Japan ranks lower than I would have guessed. So does Argentina. Uruguay ranks higher than I would have guessed. Most of the countries that I want to visit are quite affordable!

It looks like Venezuela went bonkers.

In 2018, the country's economic policies led to extreme hyperinflation, with estimates expecting an inflation rate of 1,370,000% by the end of the year and 10,000,000% in 2019[30][31]

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela>

Seems like another socialist dictatorship.

In Venezuela, a person is murdered every 21 minutes.[210] Violent crimes have been so prevalent in Venezuela that the government no longer produces the crime data.[211]

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela#Suspension_of_constitutional_rights

I'm now riding through Caguas, a medium city in Puerto Rico. It has numerous industrial areas, with tons of car shops, heavy machinery, etc.

Haiti has been destroyed by mismanagement, disasters, etc.

Maybe I'll stay in Republica Dominica until after November. It seems like that's hurricane season, and I'd rather be in a more developed county. Plus, I already spent a hurricane with a number of Haitians in a shelter in Miami!


Looking around the Caribbean!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 13:16

After a long sleepy weekend, back to business!

Starting to research Republica Dominicana.

Looks about five times larger in area than Puerto Rico.

Three time larger population.

1288 km coastline!

1288 / 40 = 32.2 days riding?

One quarter the earnings per capita.

Around 50 pesos per dollar.

The history of Republica Dominicana looks sad & funny (sunny). Many conflicts, revolutions.

I'm surprised that some of the larger Latin economies are Caribbean islands. That means that South America has numerous small economies, I guess.

I look forward to some merengue and bachata.

Now planning to ride up to Caguas. It's a medium, ordinary city in the center of the island (north-south). I'm going more to see the geography, and to spend another while in a different part of Puerto Rico, rather than to see the place as a destination itself.

So it looks like in addition to the 30-day visitor permit, you can apply for 120 day extension!

Proof of onward (or return) transit. Bicycle?


Looks like no Jamaica, Haiti ferries. No ferries for Cayman Islands, Barbados, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao.

Looks like the southern islands may be better connected by ferry.

Looks like ferry for Trinidad & Tobago with Venezuela.

Rounding out Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 17:03

More riding, rapidly approaching the capital, San Juan.

Rear bike wheel, which was somewhat out of true when I bought the bike, continues to skew, still rides.

Tons more to cover!

What a large, complex planet we inhabit. So many things happening, and ever-changing. Can't see it all, but at least we can aim to see the parts we most desire!


Beach day!

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 20:18

I wish that wifi worked at a somewhat longer range. I think that 802.11 AC does, but that most wifi hotspots only support older types. Often, the only places that reach the wifi are loud, in the sun or rain, in parking lots, etc. Slightly bigger range would make a huge difference!

I'm now aiming to go up to Caguas. I'll want the extra week or so in Puerto Rico anyways. I have tons of stuff to do. Also, it's a beautiful country and I'm sure I'll find things to appreciate there, and in the surroundings, even if it does mean being away from the beach for a short period! Anyways, the ride doesn't look too steep, and it seems like an attractive part of the island.

Quiet day today, took care of some chores at the beach!

Puerto Rico thoughts

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 21:48

Mixing up a fresh batch of work, activity, life!

I like work, from time to time.

Work keeps you honest, contributes to society, improves your function/competencies, etc.

Also, obviously, it pays the bills -- enables you to eat, have shelter, fix bikes, etc.

Summer in the Caribbean. The heat and humidity are unbelievable. It's like 33 C and cloudy, I feel so heavy and sleepy. It feels like I'm wearing a 400-pound blanket. I can hardly stand up, and I feel short on breath. When I lie down, I start to drift off to sleep. It's beautiful, comfortable, but hard to do anything!

Some people ask me if I regret not having a regular job in a regular place. Not much. Traveling globally by bicycle is a lot more interesting and exciting than most jobs.

I feel like I am in an uncommonly lucky position, having the skills and opportunity and other requirements to travel widely. Not that I ascribe much to skill. I think I've had tons of luck. Many people can do the same basic activities, like riding a bike. It's more a matter of chance, desire, commitment, work, luck, etc.

Also, my joints are severely stiff, which also comes from the cycling. My hips in particular are feeling sore.

And my face is super congested.

Annoyingly (for me, anyways), the most interesting things are often very different from the most paying things.

I think you can tell a lot about a place from the vehicles people drive, and a lot about a person from the vehicle. Puerto Rico seems to be a land of Jeeps, Mitsubishis, Toyotas, and Suzukis. This says to me that it's a place for outdoors activities, not an extremely wealthy but not extremely poor.

Long days/daze!

I like spending a long while on one type of activity, whether lying on the beach, or working, or riding, or socializing, then have another day for a different activity, perhaps much more than having days mixed up with some of this, some of that. Maybe it's more efficient. Anyways, I get into a mood, a frame of mind, an attitude, and it feels easier just to continue with that instead of shifting gears. Let's say I'm in beach mode, then I feel stressed at even the thought of socializing or working or cycling or doing anything other than decomposing on the beach. Likewise, if I'm working, then I don't want to stop, even for basic biological needs.

The weather contributes substantially to my moods. On a gray, cloudy, rainy day, I hardly feel like socializing or going to the beach anyways (usually). I'm thankful that my moods correspond somewhat to what's convenient for the weather, which I suppose my moods probably evolved for.

The longer I'm in Puerto Rico, the more I like it. This seems to happen with most places I go. I think there's also such thing as overexposure, too long in one place. Right now, I'm somewhat sad that I'm almost around the island. Also, quite happy to look forward to more countries!

Overall, I feel much better while having a long-term mix of activities: travel, work, socializing, thinking, relaxing, etc. I think that it's important for humans to have this balance. Each activity provides different benefits. We need some exercise, some quiet rest, some cameradarie, and much more.

The tropics are hard on my body. The climate favors certain activities, the ones more typical of the tropics like lying around eating fruit, socializing, etc. However, as Puerto Rico plainly shows, you can also get on with it and do your job anyways!