Trip to Puerto Rico, Part 2

In part 1 I shared the first 3 days of my trip getting to San Juan, exploring the bio bay, hiking in the rainforest and flying to Culebra. All amazing. Except for getting sick. As a paranoid person, I got back to the airport on Tuesday an hour before my flight which was about an hour too early. In between flights the crew work by painting walls and doors and also taking naps. A chicken came in and just wandered around looking for crumbs.  No one really cared.


About 10 minutes past our flight time, the guy behind the desk called out my name and I got on the flight back to Ceiba, one of 2 passengers in a tiny plane. This was my view.


Once again we had a fantastic view of the islands below:


Thankfully it was a short flight (approx 15 minutes) and I soon had my rental car and was off to Rincon on the west side of the island. The trip was pretty quiet though there were pockets of traffic and road work. Driving in Puerto Rico is a challenge. Lots of pot holes, terrible signage at times and drivers who don’t really obey laws. It’s common to see someone pull off the road, park on a sidewalk and then do a U-Turn in the middle of the street. I had my cell phone with maps on the steering wheel in a holder and would hit pot holes so deep my phone would go flying.

I got to Rincon in the evening and immediately picked up some dinner on my way to the latest AirBnb stop because I was so exhausted going out again seemed silly.


Rincon is beautiful and I was just up the road from the light house there and some of the many surfing beaches. I, however, went to my villa-style room and slept. Outside little iguanas and lizards ran around:


and inside the room was… oddly decorated:


But the very reason I booked this place was right around the corner:


Wednesday was designated as a day of rest so I picked up some meds at Walgreens, swam in the pool and laid out for awhile, then went and got a massage.

Unfortunately, I also cut my leg on the car door leading to a nasty bruise and the next morning slammed my finger in a gate, bruising up my thumb nail.

I’d intended to explore Rincon a bit on Thursday but with a busted nail and bad headache, I packed up and headed to San Juan with my hand stuck in a cup full of ice the whole 3 hour drive.

Determined to make the most of my last full day, I checked in at the Sheraton in Old San Juan and hopped on the free shuttle that goes around to all the stops. This post was super helpful to knowing where to pick up the shuttle and which one to get on (there are 4) but OMG the number of little old ladies from Florida sitting outside the cruise harbor freaking out about the shuttle was amazing. They didn’t trust my source so every time a car came around the corner they’d rush over thinking it was the shuttle.

Once on the shuttle it was easy enough, I went right up to the El Morro Fort, passing some fantastic architecture along the way:


The Fort was one of my favorite things to see in Puerto Rico:





Well worth the $5 entrance fee. Outside I was back on the shuttle and just down the road to the Castle which was included in the cost of the Fort. Win.



One of the coolest things was the patina on the walls here, changed over decades of decay and the impact of a tropical environment plus the ocean. So beautiful:


another one:


Oh and that floor:


speaking of floor tiles, this one:


I jumped back on the shuttle which went up to the Fort again and waited for 5 minutes for new passengers. Which was brilliant because we were treated to the most amazing sunset:


This is, by far, my favorite photo from Puerto Rico and perhaps of 2016. Even better, it has no editing on it and is “straight out of the camera” in photography lingo.


There’s not much else to tell, Friday morning I had breakfast at the hotel, returned my rental car and flew back home, leaving San Juan around 2pm local time and getting home at 9pm California time (about 11 hours in transit). It felt like 1am to me so I went to bed, unpacked the next morning and took the weekend to settle in before going back to work on Monday.


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