I spoke with the manager of “The Lazy Hostel” and after sending in a quick questionnaire for the workers, I had a volunteer position secured for Dec 1st through Jan 1st. For 28 hours a week in 3 1/2 days, I had a place to sleep every night and a 40 dollar meal tab everyday at the attached restaurant. Not to shabby. Ashley told me about a room I could rent at her place until December 1st as well. Things are really starting to shape up. I headed up to the house and got a good taste of the atmosphere in Esperanza, Vieques.
A few other views and houses really grabbed my attention along the way. It is about a ten minute walk to the hostel from the house. Dogs are barking at you along the way, some behind gates, while others roam freely. There are a few nice ones too. I asked someone who lived here for 2 years if there would be any court case for suing someone whose dog bit someone. She laughed.
I kept my hands busy for the next few days in cleaning up the house; weeding, painting, scrubbing the floor as hard as possible with some Clorox, and more. It’s nice doing something and seeing a huge difference from doing it.
There was still plenty of time at the hostel and at the beach meeting the most fascinating and cool people. The guys in the back work at the hostel and the girls in the picture come from North Carolina. They exercise by doing indoor skydiving, and may very well be as adventurous as I am. : O . They were doing acro-yoga off the end of the pier and we all back flipped off.
In the following days, my buddy in the picture (Alvaro, from Spain) and I explored some more beaches together with my roommate Sam. Vieques speaks to me in a special way, with it’s hidden beaches, caves, cliff jumping spots, ocean life, plus. An adventurer can really revel in all the stunning and hidden places around them.
A lot of my excitement about nature and the lack of sidewalks with perfectly manicured lawns may very well be from growing up in the Philippines. The next beach that was to be explored was Navio beach. It had been raining a lot, but with the warm weather, you just get wet, instead of cold. People had told us that Navio beach may be tough to get to with all the rain flooding the road. EXCELLENT! We set off and were in for such a treat.
Sam… The man, the myth, the legend. Grabbed a stick and determined that the massive quantities of water needed to be depth checked. And so right he was. It was definitely something that needed to be done. Snakes? Maybe. Thankfully none this time.
We had made it.
There is such an incredible beauty here in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The quiet, relaxing beaches and lack of government built restrooms with water fountains and walkways to the sand make me happy.
I have had a little bit of time here to read a book in my hammock too. Something I haven’t done for enjoyment for a long time.
Morning rolled around and the sun gave promise of another gorgeous day. In a un-frugal habit of seeing a restaurant and wanting to try it I set off down from my house to the Belly Button Restaurant. Horses roam around the island and many people stop to attempt to capture the beauty all around them with their cameras.
Buying a motorcycle to see the rest of Puerto Rico was still something I was working hard on. As most things do, it was taking a lot of time to find the right one. They are very expensive in Puerto Rico. A friend of my friend in Fajardo said he had one I should look at. It was a 1985 Honda CB650. A bike that was created 5 years before I was born. The trip toward San Juan begun and I was excited. A dual sport dirtbike was what I had been set on, but this friend was giving a huge discount and I had never ridden a bike like the CB650… yet….
It was cosmetically in very good shape and had a few problems with the blinkers among a few other small things. The seller let me take it for a test drive and I was in heaven. Riding such a classic would make anyone grin. At a twist of my wrist, the 650cc engine proved itself and instantly had me smitten with the bike. I was already picturing myself winding through the Puerto Rican mountains finding these tucked away coffee plantations, rain forests, old observatories, and more. The mountains beckoned and I was ready to answer.
I remember my dad telling me about almost the same bike he owned when he was growing up. This CB650 wasn’t perfect, but with the price, I drove it home. This was Puerto Rico and learning a thing or two about motorcycles and wiring is only beneficial for a man! I signaled with my hand when I needed to turn and was beaming as I easily cruised at speeds of around 55 mph!
Don’t worry. Once the bike is registered fully in my name, and everything is set. There will be some awesome pictures from the tops of mountains and from what I find. For now though, it was straight back to Fajardo that I headed to get the legal side taken care of.
It is going to take a few days to get the required documents that Puerto Rico needs. (Social security card, and birth certificate! not copies or even a passport or drivers license.) I stripped down the bike to familiarize myself and to verify with a wiring diagram that the lights were plugged in correctly. I dismantled the front and back to access the light and everything looked good. Hmm… Time to do a little research while I wait for the documents in the mail.
I headed back to Vieques to wait, leaving the bike at my friends in Fajardo. Soon… soon.
In the late afternoon I always love to go to the pier to swim around, watch the sunset, or hang with some friends. There are beautiful fish to observe like the pufferfish, lionfish, eagle ray, and more. One of the locals (Jason) was on the pier and somehow got talking about eating snails. He got excited about sharing how you can eat them raw and ran to grab some quickly to share with the tourists.
You should know better if you are wondering by now if I tried one. : ) Of course. A few of them liked it while others did not. Jason, like a teacher, excitedly explained how you crack the shell with a rock, pull off the guts and then can eat the piece that’s left.
It was very chewy, not the most delicious thing i have ever eaten, but a fun experience! With that…….until next time my dear friends.
P.S. If you are enjoying my blog and seeing the world with me I always appreciate any donation you feel inclined to give. I don’t plan to stop blogging yet with Europe and Central America on the horizon, BUT may need to postpone blogging for up to six months while I work to generate some money for my trips. With the more regular lifestyle of volunteering in Vieques, expect the blogs to be more spaced out than before.
Thanks again for joining me on my adventure! : )