Puerto Rico is continuing to impress us an interesting place to visit between the friendly people, the history, culture and scenery. Regrettably we do have to move on and the forecast is shaping up for a Monday departure for our 500+mile passage to the Bahamas, or where ever we decide to end up.
While we still had a rental car we went on a mini-road trip to El Yunque national park to visit the rainforest in Puerto Rico. The scenery and vegetation through the forest was stunning and we were pleasantly surprised that it was relatively cool in the foliage for the hike as compared to hiking in the short scrub foliage that we’ve previously hiked through in other parts of the caribbean. Even if you aren’t in the mood for a hike, the long slow drive up the winding road is worth the visit.
A pleasant 40 minute hike on the Big Tree trail took us to the beautiful La Mina waterfall with a nice pool for cooling off. It was extremely nice to wade into fresh water for a change even if the temperature did compare more with Georgian Bay than we’ve become accustomed to.
Later that day we visited one of the look-outs in the park and I climbed the tower to take a few photos and look at the vistas.
On our drive out we had to stop for Coca falls to watch the water tumbling peacefully down and of course for Magnus and I to climb to an appropriate location for a photo.
On foot, we have also revisited Old San Juan in the evening to see the city after the cruise ships have departed and wandered the hotel district of Condado to the east that follows the water’s edge, both within reach of the marina we are staying at.
Our new fridge arrived this past week and is now keeping our food cold. I’m not convinced my initial diagnosis was correct on the old one (beware of online forums, there can be a lot of subject matter experts that know less than you do), and I spent more than a few more hours ruling out possibilities after filtering out the actual experts advice from the know-it-alls. In the end, after recharing the old system, I was left to believe that either both my controllers had an issue or the compressor itself was at fault. Given its age and the cost of buying parts for an obsolete system, I opened the box with the new one and I’m already marvelling at the low amperage draw. After installing it, I took the bus across town to pick up the more sophisticated controller which promises to save even more power and should give a bit more cooling power when we restock the fridge – things we take for granted back home, but are quite relevant on a boat.
All in all, we have found the Puerto Rican people to be among the friendliest and most helpful we have encountered through our caribbean travels and the spanish inspired food has been a pleasant change from other places we’ve been. I am disappointed with the travel articles I’ve stumbled upon that suggest that this isn’t a great place to visit and that the crime is too high. No doubt if you go looking for trouble you can find it – like most places, but their traditional foods, culture, live music and dancing make it worth the trip. I would certainly like to return some day, hopefully with a few more spanish words in my vocabulary, although in San Juan most speak english very fluently.