Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tourists in Tortuga, or something like it

Alright, so I’m sure a ton of stuff happened between Lares and Ponce, but I’m trying to give you the highlights of my trip. Not the play by play. Today, I give you Tourists in Tortuga (or something like it)

We woke up early on Saturday to get ready for Ponce, and we packed the cooler for a long day: Captain Morgan, Coke, Medalla (beer), and water. Not to mention pork rinds and chips. We were ready for just about anything, heart attack or no.

We met Mari (Janet’s cousin) and her family on the road, after stopping for a local drink called guarapo. It’s made out of sugar cane, and it’s overwhelmingly sweet. Also, it’s damn tasty.

It was a long drive to Ponce, despite the short distance between Ponce and Arecibo (the town I’ve been staying in). The winding roads man, they’re killers. It got terrible in the mountains. Twenty full minutes of ten miles an hour, winding around in the car and hoping to god you don’t puke.

Sorry. TMI. I know.

Once we got there we paused on the highway (which people do A LOT around here) to take pictures, eat some chips, and have a drink.

Then we made it to the coast (a place called La Guancha), where there was a beautiful beach walk.

It’s the side of Puerto Rico that faces the Caribbean Sea. I wanted so badly to go to Tortuga, but alas, it wasn’t an option. Maybe next time. To console myself, I bought pirate bling, which I firmly believe is my best purchase so far. See?

Then we saw PELICANS!!! I kid you not, friends. LOOK:

I was firmly enamored by these adorable yet terrifying birds, and we all took too many pictures. They almost started to attack us. Shiver. Have you SEEN their beaks? They can do crazy things with those.

Dad eventually dragged me away from the pelicans and we went up this cool viewing tower thing.

It was cool to see everything from so up high, but the whole time I just wanted to jump into the ocean.

Once we had our fill of the sea (I could have stayed all day, but that wasn’t on the table), we headed back to the car to have… you guessed it: another drink! Cuba libres (rum and coke) have become my numero uno. So good. So tasty. Yum.

Then we were off! Off to a cross type place called La Cruz Del Vigia. Yes. It was basically a building… in the shape of a cross.

The View:

About a block behind it was a castle,

and in front of it was this intricate Japanese garden.

The view from the top of the cross was awesome, and the Japanese garden was beautiful, but I wasn’t too impressed with the castle. It was more like… a large expensive house. A mansion. Definitely mansion material. Not a castle though.

The whole day was a blast, even the long drive back. In an effort to avoid the tiny winding mountain roads (probably pretty dangerous at night), we went through Mayaguez. Coincidentally, that’s the same city where an Olympic-like set of games for all of Central America is being hosted. So we hit a ton of traffic. The drive went from one hour to two, and dad (being his typical self) insisted on a coffee break in the middle.

Go figure.

Last random point: We got Church's chicken for dinner, across the street from a CHURCH! HA! GET IT? Get it?


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