Outdoors Adventures in Puerto Rico!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 05/27/2019 - 16:51

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?


Beautiful birdsongs.


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.


Puerto Rico pix!


Walking from San Juan to the rest of Puerto Rico!

Walking Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 05/23/2019 - 12:15

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.


Leaving San Juan

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 05/22/2019 - 14:17

Another day in Puerto Rico. Now heading out of the main part of San Juan.

I think I'm often too picky. While traveling, or even not traveling, it makes daily activities more complicated.

I'm walking away from the core of San Juan. Aiming east...

Puerto Rico Ferries

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 05/21/2019 - 15:16

Puerto Rico seems to have a bunch of ferries. I want to take a ferry after seeing this island, to see Republica Dominicana, then Haiti. Maybe also other islands.

There's a ferry from Fajardo to the Puerto Rican island of Culebra, which people have recommended to me. Also one to Vieques. Looks like they now leave from Ceiba.

Maybe go to Vieques, it apparently has the brightest bioluminescent bay. New moon phase. Maybe end of May, or in June. Or maybe at the end of my counterclockwise tour around the main island? Or maybe go clockwise just for that?

The ferry from Puerto Rico to Republica Dominica looks expensive. Around $200 round trip, $100 one way. It's an overnighter. Cheaper to fly? Looks like around $150 one way to fly.

Looks like there are also ferries to St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. From there it may be possible to get to the British Virgin Islands. Maybe I can then keep traveling on…

Around $100 Puerto Rico to US Virgin Islands?

This service leaves sporadically and unpredictably. You can try calling the phone number above to see if there is anything on the dates you require.


More San Juan, Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 05/21/2019 - 14:48

I'm thinking of touring the island of Puerto Rico soon. Maybe I'll walk. Maybe ride a bike. Maybe bus.

It looks like there are a few Airbnbs in Aguadilla, on the west coast. Rincon also seems to have some surfer spots. Maybe I'll camp out a bunch along the way.

It's a small island. Looks like around 150 km by 50 km, roughly rectangular.

I don't think there's that much to see, it seems like a small country. I'm somewhat curious about the small towns, although I think that most Puerto Ricans reside in the city.

The weather in Puerto Rico seems more moderate than in Cuba. Not sure if that's generally the case. If so, it could explain in part why Puerto Ricans seem so much milder.


Recent days in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 05/21/2019 - 14:08

Woke up. Powered on laptop. Screen froze. Laptop wouldn't reboot.

After looking up laptop repair shops, eating breakfast, drinking beer and coffee and Zombie mixed drink, laptop still didn't turn on. Shook it around a bit. Laptop turns on. Yay!

 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Went to the beach!

Puerto Rican beaches have fine sand. They remind me of Florida.

I think that Puerto Rico or Florida is what you get with American culture on Caribbean land.

Much is private in Puerto Rico, even more than in the continental US. Here I've seen entire streets and neighborhoods behind locked fences.

Puerto Rico pix!

New week in PR!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 05/20/2019 - 10:41

Finally, a chance to take care of some chores.

Most Puerto Ricans reside in the rest of the US.

It's a small country. Most Puerto Ricans reside in cities.

There's a nuclear power plant!

I no longer like the sensation of drunkenness, in general. Occasionally I do. I still like the taste of many alcoholic beverages. I consider it lucky, because I have a tendency to overindulge.

Puerto Rico weekend

Submitted by eagle on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 17:59

Now getting the hang of San Juan.

It's much easier to maintain cleanliness, do work, etc., while in comfortable quiet place than in noisy places or out camping. In PR than in Cuba.


Below, you can find a bunch of blog posts from my first few days in PR, and from my stay in Cuba. I didn't have much wifi in Cuba, to the point that barely had enough to leave the country.

Rock & Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Puerto Rico blog May 18, 2019

Submitted by eagle on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 17:59

So far, Puerto Rico strikes me as the most boring Caribbean island. It feels like a chunk of Florida broke off and floated into the sea.


The Spanish-speaking people seem like gringos. They mostly speak English.


I ate mofongo, a pile of fried plantains. Delicious!

The same chain stores. Highways. Things seem private, fenced off here, even more than in the continental US. I've seen entire streets and neighborhoods behind fences.