Tag Archives: Isla de Vieques

Faulty Ferry in Fajardo

I wasn’t expecting to find adventure in a ferry ride. But all adventures are not created equally. Some take you nowhere and challenge your brain a little more than your body.

Such was our experience with the Puerto Rico Port Authority’s ferry system.

Even when we did everything right -allowing extra time for an iffy ticketing system and acquainting ourselves with the long term parking situation ahead of time… it wasn’t enough to accommodate the unwieldy island transportation system. Under staffing and a less than effective maintenance schedule completely reworked our plans for that August day.

We traveled from Rio Grande to Fajardo in plenty of time to secure ferry tickets for the 1PM crossing to Vieques. From my pre-trip reading I expected a bit of chaos and padded our arrival time accordingly. But lunch breaks at both the ticket windows and the gated long term parking lot left us a couple of steps shy of boarding the boat and running out of time. Fortunately, newly made friends Gigi and Fazia helped us to be three and four places at once to buy tickets, unload luggage and park the rental car.

We all raced to the terminal building, dragging luggage behind, deciphered which line we belonged in and edged closer to begin boarding our boat. The ferries between Culebra, Vieques and Fajardo are the only transportation option for most Puerto Rican families, so the interior space was jammed with the lives and belongings of both regular commuters and travelers. The deafening human hum stilled almost instantly, however, when the public address announcements began. And the crowd’s disgruntled reactions provided an easy interpretation of the garbled Spanish.

No 1PM ferry.

NEXT: Call It an Adventure

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Distracted Iguana

I found myself wondering what caught this green iguana’s attention to the right…

…when this was just behind him.  The ability to observe and appreciate moments of beauty, in both places and people, may be one of the more blessed aspects of being human.

This is the poolside view from the Hacienda Tamarindo on Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Tomorrow:  Photo Swap Thursday

Friday: More Footsteps adventures…

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Adventure has so many irresistible forms.  Risk levels can range from a slightly wild menu choice ( choosing an entree you can’t pronounce or hope to identify) to bolder options such as base jumping or on-line dating. Past experiences and present comfort levels help define where the nudge-able boundaries lie, and usually, we get to choose whether to push the edge and take the risk.

Except when we travel. With travel, we sign the waiver in advance and the fine print is written in invisible ink. We hike, ride, fly or float out of our customary zone, blithely leaving behind all ready resources, the tried and true, the familiar…  And we do it on purpose.

Sure you carry a cell phone… but will you have a signal?  Yes, you know a few helpful phrases of the language (or more)… but there are no communication guarantees.  And no certainty that someone will be able or available to interpret your polite pantomime inquiry regarding the location of restrooms or bug spray.

There are mental adventures: traveling alone or to a completely foreign culture.  There are physical adventures (stupidly free-diving through a coral tunnel comes to mind).  There are also the logistical adventures of canceled flights and defective maps (because it’s always the map’s fault).

Our recent trip to Puerto Rico and Isla de Vieques provided adventures of all three varieties.  Which reminded me of some other memorable moments (a few of which are listed below).  What is your most personally significant travel adventure to date?

Magic in the Marietas

The Cows… Part 2 (Boulder, Utah)

Hoodoo Heaven (Bryce Canyon National Park)

Soaring Above Bodega Bay (California)

Don’t Look Down (Bear Mountain, Sedona AZ)

Blue Lips in Bermuda

The Subway…Part 1 (Zion National Park)

Mohican State Park:  Climbing the Fire Tower

Ziplining in Puerto Rico

Oops…  better stop there!

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