Thursday, February 18, 2016

Puerto Rico Pictures January 7-14

I finally got around to editing some of my pictures. As you know, Ryne and I fell in love with Puerto Rico last year, so we decided to go back and explore more of the island, away form the touristy places. We really got a feel for the culture, and language and lifestyle of this beautiful country. If you get the chance GO TO PUERTO RICO

*I misplaced my camera charging cord so all of these photos are taken with my iPhone 6s*
If I had to guess I'd say this was coming into Las Vegas

 We got into San Juan late at night and we had business to take care of in the city so our first night was in San Juan.

It was weird to be in a warm climate and still have Christmas decorations still displayed.

Of course had to check out a local Starbucks. They offered drinks not available in the states.

After we did our business in San Juan, we headed down to Guanica through a mountain highway. 

We went off the beaten path into a tiny community called Guavate. There is a popular restaurant called Lechonera Los Pinos and there special is whole roasted pig!

 The man is carving the pig for eating

We ordered sweet plantains

We also ordered a whole pound of pig meat to share. I do not usually eat pork, but this was the most delicious, tender, flavorful meat I have ever had.

We used a website callled and we rented a house for a week. This was the view from our front porch

Here is the house we we rented:

During one of our day excursions we drove to a town called La Parguera. There were touristy restaurants and shops to explore. And a dog who had just gotten a treat.

For many who know about the trip to PR last year, you probably know that Ryne and I fell in LOVE with a local dish called mofongo. It is mashed plantains served with meat. It tastes a little like mashed potatoes. We got mofongo y pulpo (octopus).

A chicken momma

There was a staircase that lead to an observation level that displayed the harbor of La Parguera. Many of the beaches do not have sand like typical beaches, the land just merges with the water.

Having a blast!

We continued to drive west and as it became dark, we came to another small town called El Combate. We got to the beach just at sunset and we also saw a rainstorm just off the coast.

In the southern part of PR there is another large city called Ponce. I read online that there is a boardwalk where there are shops, local food, music and a lot of locals come to have a good time. The boardwalk was completely dead, we were so disappointed. But it was still lovely to see.

The locals were feeding the fish

The boardwalk, deserted

These fish were huge

The pelicans also waited for food

After being disappointied in Ponce, we drove to the southwestern tip of the island called Cabo Rojo. There was salt processing, and a light house to explore. Of course we went in for some fantastic snorkeling.

Other people playing in the water

Los Morrillos Lighthouse
 Beautiful beach, La Playuela

We traveled a bit from the beach to find a reef to snorkel in

After snorkeling, we drove back to El Combate to a local restaurant called Annies. It had great reviews on yelp. The food was not great, but the drinks were strong and the local karaoke and dancing was a lot of fun to watch.

We got mofongo y pollo, not the best I've had but it was good nonetheless.

Annie's was right on the beach so we got to see another spectacular sunset!

On the beach in El Combate. The sun us setting behind us but is completely washed out.

As the sun was setting, the sky changed into many colors.

Right near Guanica is a dry forest. They get very little rain during the year and there are a lot of trails. A hiking trip was called for!

The power lines reminded me of the power line in the TV show Lost.

From the top we could see how close we were to Guania

 Do you see the red building in the lower left corner? cross the street to the right, walk back one block and out house is the second one on the right, partially covered by a tree. We could see our house from the mountain.

Within the Bosque Estatal De Guanica, there is a fort, Fuerte Capron. This was the stairway leading to the top, it looked like  stairway to heaven

We could see so much from the top, Guanica, and the mountains begind it. It is easy to see that we are on the desert side of the island, and those mountains were filled with lush rain forest.

As we were hiking, we saw hermit crabs scuttling along the path. I never imagined there were hermit crams in the mountains of a desert.

From out front porch in Guanica, you can clearly see the fort we had climbed to just an hour earlier.

That same day, our neighbot made us lunch, chicken, rice, plantains and beans. It was delicious. 

When we were in La Parguera, we booked a snorkeling excursion. We went on a group dive in the afternoon, came back to shore, had homemade empenadas and went beck out at night to a bioluminescent bay. there are algae in the water that glow in the dark and we got to swim with them. It was the most amazing experience I've had!

While we had dinner and drinks on the boat, it poured for about 30 minutes, a big but quick storm

And of course another sunset over the ocean

There was a place not too far form Guanica called Gilligan's Island. It was mostly a mangrove island but it had some of the most beautiful snorkeling ever. There was a lazy river in the middle of it and we went up and down it several times, we even saw a jellyfish! Instead of taking the ferry to the island, we rented a kayak and paddled there ourselves!

 On our last full day in Puerto Rico, I really wanted to explore these caves, the Camuey River Caves, made by an underground river. We drove over 2 hours to the location and went on the 2 hour tour.

 Like any tourist destination, there was a trinket shop and a snack bar. I liked this bracelet, I almost wish I got it

On the drive back we stopped for a few minutes

No raccoons, no opossums. The roadside animals of Puerto Rico are iguanas!

I will be editing video soon! I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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