Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Puerto Rico Rainforest Hiking

We woke up on day two of our PR trip and realized we were the only ones at our hotel. When asking for directions to the hotel the previous night someone had told us the hotel was closed. It turns out our hotel was for sale and apparently not really open since the pool was closed, there was no maid service and we never saw the front desk girl again or anyone else for that matter. But it worked fine for us as a place to crash and not having anyone else around was kind of nice actually.

We started the day with a trip to El Yunque Rainforest. It was just a short trip from our hotel and a pretty winding road with some of the biggest plants and leaves I’ve ever seen. I felt like we were driving into a scene from Jurassic Park. It started raining soon after we arrived but that didn’t bother me much…it is a rainforest after all. We hiked to a cloud forest near the top of the mountain. From there we had a beautiful view of the beach when the clouds cleared out, which they were doing every few minutes just to sweep right back in. Next we hiked up a little farther and ended up near some really big cell or radio towers. This part wasn’t very picturesque and I was a little worried about getting too much radiation if we stayed long so we passed through rather quickly. The hike up wasn’t quite long enough for us so we hiked all the way down the mountain to a waterfall. When I planned the trip I was picturing a deserted pretty waterfall with warm water to frolic in. Instead it was cold, raining and crowded so that was kind of a disappointment.

After hiking we decided to head to the beach. I thought it was so cool being able to go from hiking a rainforest to the beach in just a few minutes. We walked along the beach and bought food from almost every vendor since I wanted to try as much local food as I could. The beach walk was right out of a vacation magazine with perfect weather, the sun setting and once we left the Jet Ski zone we had the whole beach to ourselves.

While returning from our long walk on the beach a jet skier fell off his ski. We could hear his jet pump out of the water revving. I didn’t think anything of it until he started blowing his whistle. I’ve had a whistle on my vest for jet skiing for over 20 years now and only blow it as a joke to the tune of happy birthday or other silly songs. This guy was blowing frantically. Not being from Puerto Rico I didn’t know if this was some kind of tradition or cultural thing but I didn’t want to take a chance. So we flagged down a security guard who then called the police. Not 5 minutes later the police show up on the beach with their lights flashing. Not that flashing lights is much of an indication since they always seem to leave them on but all of a sudden I was wondering if the jet skiers would appreciate our ‘help’. Not wanting to find out we decided to quickly leave the beach.

Cat “Rico Suave” Cathy

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