*(Super quick pre Puerto-Rico mini post)*
Monday night was Halloween in Miami and the famous pedestrian only Lincoln street was hopping! I walked around with some friends I met from Chili. There were some elegant ladies walking around in exquisite dresses. Everyone was queuing up to take pictures with them.
The street had DJ’s set up all over and a handful of beer tents. (I saw one sign for 9 dollars per beer! GOODNESS Miami!) Another almost empty store had these girls performing some type of dance. (No tip jar was set out and there wasn’t any type of sign. Hmm. Maybe it was just something they loved to do?)
On Wednesday, I rented a bicycle drove all around south beach Miami, even finding another hostel that had a piano I could play! After almost 2 months of not playing, I can gladly say that I still got it. 🙂 One of the guests came by and complimented my playing. I walked around the hostel to explore and found a very nice back patio area with a beautiful pool. I looked at the bushes and this tree in the back and I noticed starfruit laying on the ground and other plump fruits hanging within reaching distance ready to be picked. A smile crossed my face. The most delicious food is just growing on trees. I don’t have to pay some person money for it. Incredible. I felt like I was in the Garden of Eden.
*AND now back to our regularly scheduled program*
Thursday morning was an extremely early one at 4:00 A.M. BUT Puerto Rico was waiting for me. I took an Uber to the Airport and had a Cuban sandwich with a coffee for breakfast while sitting next to TSA and other security people on break. I eventually was able to board and as the plane took off, I gazed at the still bustling Miami passing by underneath. There were storm clouds and some rain in the distance!
We kept climbing and I was struck with the most jaw dropping view when as we rose above the clouds.
And the scenery just kept getting better. The captain made announcements letting us know about the Bahama’s being just out the window as we flew past Nassau. The blue water from the air looked spectacular and extra inviting.
The Puerto Rican border approached quickly and as I laid eyes on it, I knew I was in for a treat. Hmm.. not quite like Florida or anywhere else on my trip yet; that’s for sure.
I kept watching the houses pass by and the other terrain that I was hoping to familiarize myself with on an old street legal dirt bike. We touched down and some family friends were very kind to pick me up.
East we drove; past the Spanish street signs and advertisements. : ) We stopped at one restaurant to check out the breathtaking view.
One of the first things I noticed was the bars on most of the houses. The family that picked me up were kind enough to host me for the night and I ended up sleeping on their beautiful boat. I was given the most amazing tour of their whole side of Puerto Rico.
Small streets that led to hills with gorgeous views. The next morning the first big item on the agenda was to look for some transportation for me. I looked at the classificados online hoping to find something like a 1998 Yamaha 225cc. Mr. Bowers (pictured in the photo above was helping me, as a lot of the people selling answered in Spanish.) My Spanish is coming along, but it would be tough asking the hard questions about maintenance etc. The gentleman didn’t answer and some of the other bikes were a lot of money! I am hoping to get something I don’t have to worry about getting stolen or a non-name brand breaking. I decided to check out a hostel on Vieques island. They had great reviews, an amazing work stay program with part time work to see the stunning Puerto Rico. (Note: the Spanish speaking gentleman I had planned to stay with fell through. and I still had some work set up with Mr. Bowers… but am very interested in hostels and wanted to check out work at one.)
It was a short public ferry ride (for 2 dollars) from Fajardo over to Vieques and I was all on my own.
Everyone was speaking Spanish and I was soaking in as much as I possibly could. The hostel was at Esperanza and I needed a ride. A gentleman said public transportation to Esperanza in Spanish and I walked over to him asking him how much. (in Spanish of course! : P ) A few dollars later, I was on my way in a 10 passenger van to the south side of the island.
I was transported to the more quiet side of life. An island that is only 21 miles east to west and about 5 miles north to south. I immediately met some fellow travelers and was excited to get some incredible pictures tomorrow with the sunlight to show you guys what it looks like here.
I was invited to join Bryan, Eva, and Lea on a beach excursion in the morning and climbed into Bryan’s vehicle.
Bryan brought his Machete for coconuts and we found some rocks that needed to be climbed! Was it dangerous? Maybe… maybe. Was it worth it…. Absolutely.
Back on the beach I attempted to climb one of the coconut trees but alas, it has been too long. I guess I will have to stay here for a bit to get the hang of it again. The vehicle worked great for snagging four coconuts though.
The day still had a ton of activities left with a planned hike.
Lovely, just lovely. The hike up and back had hermit crabs scurrying everywhere as we walked the maybe 20 min to get to the lookout point. Lizards were abundant as well. Termite nests were visible in a few trees and the temperature was just right around 80 degrees. Puerto Rico couldn’t get any sweeter.
The route back walked past an old pier that everyone jumped off. No safety rails, and no official ladder to climb up at the end. 🙂 (Just a metal gate positioned to climb up.)
Until next time. Thanks for enjoying the adventure with me!