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.
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