Tag Archives: Isla de Vieques

Road Running with Roosters

 

In Utah, it was renegade cows.  On St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands?  Wild donkeys on the patio gave room service a new twist.  There were wild chickens in Bermuda.  And the diminutive island of  Vieques in Puerto Rico often had the feel of a petting zoo with a menagerie of animals wandering at will.

Running the roads of Vieques took sharp eyes and a little bit of nerve.  Thick foliage gave the narrow roads a corridor-like feel at times, and we quickly learned that rustling noises to either side could portend the appearance of a chicken, or more likely, a whole flock of wildly speckled fowl.  It was equally possible that the chicken noises would, instead, reveal wild dogs or horses.  And so our morning run was undertaken with a greater degree of focus, defensive agility and with our leg brakes at the ready.

Horses and chickens were harder to read than the seemingly well fed and sociable stray dogs, but the tethered horses in the schoolyards did look like a better ride than the typical yellow bus.

In the end, our best response (beyond some impressive vertical leaps) was to run to a beach. Come to think of it, not such a bad strategy at all…

*Most of these photos are lower quality images taken with my cell phone and are not “click-able” to a larger image this time.

“Tracking Turtles” (underwater video from Isla de Vieques)

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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.

Family Vacation on raveable
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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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