Tag Archives: Caribbean

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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Tracking Turtles

Or rays or fish…

I’ve trailed many sea critters through multiple oceans. Chilled to the point of shivering in some waters while virtually sweating in other seas, I’ve always been fascinated by the revelations of a beach-bound universe.  I haven’t carried an underwater camera in a while, and subsurface video was an altogether new experience when we traveled to Puerto Rico and Isla de Vieques in August of 2011. We had a lot of fun playing with our camera.

For those of you who have not yet ventured into the underwater world yet, this is but a small glimpse from an unending gallery…

Tailing a Sea Turtle in Vieques:

Updated from November 12, 2010.

 

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Perils of Paradise

Window decals are marginally effective in preventing birds from attempting a fly-through.  I liked the humor in the “Beware Paradise” sticker adhered to the sliding balcony door in our room at the Gran Melia in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.   I don’t know how many birds it has saved, but hopefully the warning has prevented vacationers from succumbing to the hazards of Paradise.

Hazards?  Well, at a resort like the Gran Melia in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, these hazards might easily include an uneven sunscreen application and brain freeze from slurping your frozen daiquiri too quickly. But, I’d rather consider more natural perils awaiting the unwary traveler:


Like bumping into a palm tree,

 

 

 

 

while stumbling over one of these beached coconuts.

 

 

 

 

Or the paradisaical peril of wasting your time by following a hermit crab wherever it wishes to go

while watching egrets fly to parts unknown…

While losing yourself completely -for a few moments at least, on a wander down a deserted beach…

 

Updated from September 13, 2010.
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