I’ve found a new running trail! It (mostly) hugs the beach all through Piñones, and features some pretty sweet views of the ocean and sometimes even the mountains.
I tried to take a video during my last long run during my favorite portion of the trail. I can’t say it turned out great, per se, in that it a bit herky-jerky and I didn’t always control the camera as well as I would’ve liked. In my defense I was also partially concentrating on not tripping and falling on my face.
All the same, this video will give you the gist, and Pat doctored it nicely and added some music (Nellie McKay’s “Caribbean Time,” since you asked). It doesn’t do the trail justice but it’ll have to tide you over until you can come visit.
We snuck one more trip in under the wire before COVID-19 shut everything down. Follow us on a visit to Culebra!
Culebra is an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico; you take a ferry from Ceiba to get there. Pat’s surfing buddy Raymar is a native, and we spent a lovely weekend with him and his family.
A lot of it our trip was surfing-based, of course, with various members of the party engaging in surfing shenanigans whereas various others preferred, say, drinking prosecco on the beach. Also there were some abandoned tanks from the army (parts of Flamenco used to be a bombing range).
We also met Raymar’s extended family’s 4 dogs, which I obviously loved, plus some wild – or possibly escaped – horses, one of which tried to break into our bungalow.
Also also, we went off-roading in Jeeps to Playa Brava, which was so much like an amusement park ride that my dopamine levels soared accordingly, and as usual Pat and friends went surfing.
Add to that an incredible meal at the Dinghy Dock (grilled tuna FTW!) and a late-night dip in a hot tub (cue that dopamine), and it was a very satisfying trip indeed. We’ll definitely be back!
Last weekend Pat and I took an initial trip to El Yunque, just to get an idea of what trails and such are available. Now when all you intrepid explorers extraordinaire visit, we can offer a little guidance.
We’ve found views:
And the tops of trails (we haven’t done the trails yet; we’re waiting for you, so hurry up and get here):
Last weekend we took another trip west. Highlights from the trip include:
We stopped at a scenic overlook!
Lunch at Kai’s at Playa Jobos in Isabela where Pat bought a new board (not at Kai’s but a surfshop down the road)!
We drove up and down (repeatedly) a terrifyingly steep and narrow road to our Airbnb in Rincón! (This photo doesn’t do it justice; to fully comprehend the horror it helps to remember that it is NOT a one way street.)
We frequented Friends Cafe, admired the holiday decorations because Christmas ain’t over ’til it’s over around here, and poked around the Sunday flea market!
We watched big wave surfers tackle Tres Palmas surf break!
Pat took his new board out at the Little Malibu surf break and we drank Don Q and Cokes!
That everything’s fine in Puerto Rico And aside from some power loss we weren’t really affected Forgive us We didn’t anticipate Any concern
With apologies to William Carlos Williams, whose estate is hopefully not litigious
No, but in all seriousness, I’m not even in Puerto Rico right now, and Pat reports that power has returned to our apartment and everything’s a-okay. The epicenter of the earthquake was pretty far from where we live. No cause for concern! We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled hijinks as soon as I return from Walt Disney World (unless I refuse to leave, which is always a possibility). Stay tuned!
Last weekend we checked off one of our PR must-do items – scuba diving. (Thank you to Brian, Grecia, and Elizabeth for their generous wedding contributions to this activity!)
Aqua Adventures operates out of the Hilton Caribe just outside Viejo San Juan. We ended up having a private lesson with Luis, our dive master, who kitted us out with masks, fins, and oxygen tanks before taking us to the hotel pool. There we ran through the scuba basics – things like clearing your mask, adjusting your vest inflation, and relocating your regulator if it gets knocked out of your mouth.
With that out of the way, it was off to the lagoon! The area is sheltered from the ocean but accessible to hotel guests; we saw occasional people swimming at random above us. More to the point, though, was the variety of wildlife we were able to encounter: fish, fish, and, well, more fish. But it was definitely a highlight swimming through a school and having them surround you.
After our diving adventure, we grabbed lunch at the hotel pool bar and then poked around some nearby fort ruins. I was crowned queen of the iguanas and then had myself cloned, so that was fun.
Finally we headed over to the La Ocho surf break so that Pat could get some waves in, next to the big rock in the above picture. Diving was cool and all, but we know Pat’s priorities!
Last weekend Pat and I took a quick trip to Rincón, a town on the west side of the island that boasts numerous surf breaks.
Unfortunately Pat was unable to try out any surf breaks, and here’s why.
So that was less than ideal for surfing purposes. Luckily, though, the weather cleared in the afternoon, and we were able to take advantage of one of our hotel’s amenities: the swim-up bar. Life goal = check!
In the evening we headed across the street to GastroPark@115, a little food truck court offering everything from hot dogs to sushi.
And that was our Rincón resort experience. Next time we plan to stay in the town proper, where all the little shops and restaurants live. Until next time!
Last weekend we had my favorite kind of adventure: a theme park adventure! We took a long weekend to Universal Studios Florida with the dual mission of showing Pat around the Harry Potter areas and going through the Ghostbusters haunted (“haunted”) house.
I tend to be extremely long-winded when it comes to describing Theme Park Adventures, so I’ll spare you the excruciating detail. But I’ll tell you we were entirely successful in our aforementioned missions, and a good time was had by all. Assorted pictures below!
On Sunday we drove into the mountains to visit the farm of one of Pat’s coworkers. The occasion: said coworker Norberto’s retirement. The party: un lechón, which is basically the roasting followed by consumption of an entire pig. This is probably not as graphic as you think. Or maybe it is; I’m not privy to your imagination. Anyway, proceed with that content knowledge in mind.
If it helps, we also met some chickens, special Puerto Rican chickens known as Kikiriki, which are smaller than your average chicken. They were alive and remained so for the duration of the event.
Last weekend Pat and I drove to the center of the island (where the mountains live) to check out Toro Verde Adventure Park. Alas, here “Adventure Park” roughly translates not to “amusement park” but instead “bunch o’ ziplines.” Rides per zipline are surprisingly expensive, so we chose to set our sights on only one: El Monstruo.
El Monstruo is the second-longest zip line in the world and the longest in the U.S. It’s 2.5km long, however the hell long that is. Okay, the internet says approximately 1.5 miles. There you go.
It also advertises speeds of up to 90 mph, but Pat and I conferred post-ride and we’re pretty sure you don’t so much as approach those speeds unless you’re at the top of the weight limit (which is 270 pounds, since you asked).
The “adventure park” (Oh yeah? SHOW ME ONE ROLLER COASTER) assigns you a time slot when you purchase your tickets, but based on our experience you can wander up whenever and they’ll start outfitting you for your ride. In addition to a helmet, they strap you into a harness before sending you up to the launch tower.
El Monstruo requires a Superman-style flight, so they pull a sort of sling under you before chucking you into the mountainous abyss. Not sure what I mean by that position? Allow this rando to demonstrate:
Oh, you want to see one of us do it? Fine:
The ride is a two-parter: you zipline out into the mountains, dismount, and then zipline back toward base. Not all the way back, though; you and your fellow zipliners will need to climb into the back of a truck for the final leg of the return trip. The general consensus was that this bumpy, hilly journey was the most thrilling part of the trip.
Which is to say that, being the jaded roller coaster-riding, non-heights-fearing people that we are, Pat and I found the experience rather underwhelming. I mean, it was fun enough, but it’s basically mountain views at speed. You can just as easily look out at the mountains from the Adventure Park (“adventure park”) bar while sipping a drink, which is a thing we did after for free. Well, the cost of the drink. But the drink wasn’t $70, so.
In conclusion: Toro Verde Adventure Park is okay. It’s certainly no amusement park. My kingdom for even so much as a Six Flags!