After arriving in Vieques, I agree more with having gone. Once underway, brain adapts. Do what's important, even though it sometimes feels wrong/hard/etc.
Vieques is promoted under an ecotourism banner as a sleepy, unspoiled island of rural "old world" charm and pristine deserted beaches, and is rapidly becoming a popular destination.
The mangos in the Caribbean have complex tastes. I feel like mangos here can have five or seven or more different flavors. For instance, some mangos taste like papayas, others like squash or sweet potatoes, etc. Some even taste like mango!
Ceiba seems like a noisy, conservative, small, rainy town.
What are some unusual ways to travel?
Animal. Horse, mule, donkey, camel, elephant, etc.
Alternative fuels. Biodiesel, etc.
Hot air balloon.
Advantages of traveling by human power, such as by foot or by bicycle, include the following:
- Good exercise. Get stronger and healthier while traveling!
- Better for the environment. Less pollution, cleaner air.
- More beautiful. See, hear, feel the scenery.
- More authentic. Move by your own strength.
- More social. Meet the locals.
- More fun. Get that serotonin flowing!
- Less expensive. Save money for things you care about.
- Appetite building. Food tastes so much better after a long journey!
- Life training. Improve your psychology.
- And beyond!
Raining most of the day. Weather calls for more rain for the upcoming week. I want to go to the islands of Culebra and Vieques this week. Probably go even if it's rainy, as Ceiba is a small conservative town.
Mangos. Pros: delicious, thirst-quenching. Cons: make you go to the bathroom, get stuck among your teeth.
Continuing my walk through Puerto Rico. Now in Ceiba!
Ate at a Burger King, of which there are many. The BK's here have some local foods which I tried, like a tripleta (a sandwich on soft sobao bread).
Puerto Rico is growing on me. Like Cuba, I came not knowing too much about the country.
Puerto Ricans seem quite kind.
In Cuba, the sweet foods turned out winners: fruits huge, delicious, having flavors I didn't even know fruits could have.
In Puerto Rico, the grains are proving winners. Breads include pan sobao, a sweet bread with a soft, chewy texture that pulls apart in even chunks. Pan de agua is a European-style bread, which I prefer to many actual European breads. The pastries are quite delicious.
While walking out of San Juan, a mountain loomed on the horizon. I kept on walking, curious, but planning to go around. As I got near, people told me more about it: El Yonque. Now that I'm here, it looks more appealing - tropical rainforests. Also, I'm ahead of when I want to arrive at the islands of Vieques and Culebra. So, today I plan to spend walking El Yonque.
I think there are more chain stores in Puerto Rico than on the continental US. Even walking, I pass by a second of the same franchise before I've even finished thinking about the first!
I like the Swiss cheese here. They also have tons of queso papa (cheddar cheese), and American cheese.
Climbing el Yonque, beautiful rainforest. So far my favorite part of Puerto Rico!
It's rained on and off throughout the day so far. Not too surprising, rain in a rainforest!
Tons of fruit trees, some vines, some organisms I don't think I've ever seen before!
Hiked up el Yonque!
Gorgeous views. Close encounters with beautiful animals, including hummingbird and mongoose. Variety of colorful trees and other plants.
It rained most of the way up. I guess that's what you expect from a rainforest. Favorite part of a rainforest: forest. Least favorite part of a rainforest: rain.
I got somewhat lost near the peak, and it was getting dark, so I camped out. Cool night. The next day, it was sunnier.
If a Portuguese person and a Costa Rican person reproduce, is the offspring Puerto Rican?
Fruits growing here include mangos, bananas, and what I think are passion fruits ("parchas" here) and soursops ("guanabanas").
Puerto Ricans call oranges "chinas".
Taking back roads down the mountain. Heading towards a town, Luqillo. Aiming for the beach!
A quieter period. Went to the beach. In Luquillo, a charming small town. Now in eastern Puerto Rico.
I like the countryside and small towns, in Puerto Rico as elsewhere. The people are more relaxed, the scenery is nicer, and I feel that it retains some of the unique traditions of the place.
Woke up early today.
I'm walking eastward in Puerto Rico. The country looks like a postage stamp.
I plan to get to the northeastern corner of the country in a few days, take the ferries to the islands, then resume my clockwise walk around the main island.
I'll probably skip the center of the country. It has a mountain, I'm not that interested in seeing it.
Many of the plants are familiar to me, from Florida, Cuba, etc. The Puerto Ricans here strike me as similar to the Puerto Ricans in Miami. There are numerous chain stores here, the same ones as in the continental US. So far, outside of a few cultural surprises, and some of old San Juan, I'm finding the country fairly expected.
I've tried a few Puerto Rican foods: mofongo (fried plantain), mondongo (a hearty dish one pours over rice or bread), and pernil (marinated roast pork). They generally taste filling, if ordinary. It's like Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans: decent, yet ordinary.
I feel like I'm just sort of there, boring, normal, etc., which is a relief after the fun yet tiring extraordinary experiences of Miami and Cuba.
PR seems like a practical country to do work.
It reminds me of traveling through the US. It's tiring, yet there are tons of things to see. I like the chance to think while going places.
Walking is so slow. I'd like a bike, but probably won't get one here. It doesn't seem worth it for such a small island, and I may have to ditch it before leaving. Anyways, biking would maybe be too fast for PR, since it'd be like a few days around the country.