Category Archives: Fajardo

Call It An Adventure

Getting to and from Isla de Vieques from Puerto Rico’s main island was more of a challenge than any of the adventures I’d actually arranged for our August travels. But what’s a trip without a few surprises along the way?  It’s the unplanned events that usually prove to be the real memory makers.

We had planned to be on the 1PM ferry to Isla de Vieques from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. I’d padded our schedule to allow for the iffy ticketing and parking situations I had read about online. By the time we had wheeled our luggage  from the ticketing building to the terminal across the street, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Securing our ferry passage and getting the rental car into long term parking had been quite the test, but we had made it.  And I figured we were at least next to the correct boarding line if not actually in it.

But the boat broke.

Mechanical failures had already reduced the ferry pool from four vessels to only two running daily between Culebra, Vieques and Fajardo on the main island of Puerto Rico.  And while the initial announcements optimistically indicated a “delay”, it was soon clear that “delay” was but a euphemism for a very uncertain situation.  “Delay” didn’t mean the ferry would launch later that day or even on that same day at all.  The gentleman relaying the official announcements was non-committal.  The ferry might run later.  But it might not.  He shrugged.  He smiled. He shrugged again.

Eventually came an announcement that the ferry to Culebra would also be “delayed”.  Because it would be pulled to transport those of us traveling to Vieques.  Our ex-ferry, the  Atlantis, doggy paddled its way to the derelict side dock, and our comandeered boat docked in its place.  It lingered there after we’d boarded, however, to scoop up those arriving for a later Vieques bound ferry that would never arrive.  By now though, we were philosophical.  We’d made new friends.  We’d sustained ourselves with heavenly mango sorbet.  We were on a boat with a functioning engine. When we pulled from the dock and out into the harbor, there arose a stadium-worthy cheer…

Of course, we’d have to find another way to get off the island once we actually got there.  But that would be an adventure for another day…

One choice move toward resolving an unforeseen travel “event” is to take a deep breath and mentally label it an adventure.  This shifts you solidly from being a victim to stepping up as a problem solver. And reframing the situation may allow you to actually enjoy the experience. Attitude truly is everything.

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One Ocean is Enough at Playa Seven Seas

Photo by Hannah Hartzell

Seven Seas? There was but one ocean in the near vicinity. And along Puerto Rico’s northeastern shoreline, it was the North Atlantic. But, we weren’t about to quibble about minor math when the sand was soft, the sky and water were complementary shades of blue and the palm trees were waving a breezy “hello”.

Playa Seven Seas in Fajardo is technically a balneario: a beach park with facilities. While “playa” might better describe the utterly isolated beaches we joyfully found on Isla de Vieques a couple of days later, Seven Seas had been recommended to us by a local as where she liked to go on her day off. There were a few picnicking families, but overall it was the quiet sort of spot we had hoped to find.

Just down the road (where we turned around when I missed yet another turn -not an unusual event for me!) we spotted a little restaurant that featured ocean side tables just across the street.  We weren’t in lunch mode at the time, but the view alone would have made for a nice meal.

Featured Photo: Broken Boat

Featured photo: Broken Boat (Fajardo, Puerto Rico)

No, that wasn’t our canceled ferry. But when our ride to Vieques was delayed, canceled and then finally replaced (by the Culebra-Fajardo ferry -testing the patience of yet another group of passengers!), we had plenty of time to explore the surrounding port area. And this other floundering ferry viewed through rusted barbed wire caught my eye…

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