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.