Friday, June 5, 2015

Vacation, Day 4

I woke up about 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, which meant I had about nine hours of sleep. Very unusual for me!!!

I drank my last two complimentary coffees filling in the Blog. It was early even after shaving, showereing and then dressing, so I went downstairs to the coffee shop and got another $3.00 coffee. This time I also bought a croissant to munch on.

I met up with the troops and we headed out walking to our family restaurant. We got lost (of course) but this time we had no problems. You see, when we left the first time, Vicky noticed there was a Burger King across the plaza. So, instead of asking people where the restaurant (that few people knew) was, we would just ask where the Burger King was.

Sidebar: It was two blocks higher up the street, BTW. This time Vicky and I got fried eggs, bacon and toast, no potatoes, Myla got the pancakes with ham, and I forgot now (12 hours later) just what Evy ordered.

After we ate, we walked back to the hotel and got our gear for today's adventure: the waterfalls in the El Yunque National Rain Forest.

The GPS let us down again. Not sure why, but it seems confused. It kept saying "Turn Left" when you absolutely could not turn letft, etc. So, we made some guesses (mine the only one turned out to be totally wrong - sigh). But, we eventually made it, as we always do!

The long road in to the Forest is narrow and twisty, with many sharp turns. After a few hair-raising miles, we got to the first waterfall. it was just off the road, so we parked and got out. We walked over to the falls. People were climbing up the boulders to either get their pictures taken, or actually get in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

And, so did Vicky, Yanessa, Myla and Evy. But, Vicky said I couldn't come! She said she didn't want me to get hurt. It sounded odd, so I asked her why she was so suddenly concerned about my health. She said Jake had sent her a text, telling her if she broke me, she bought me! So, I took pictures...

Sidebar: There was a warning sign that said to beware of rabid mongoose. Seemes somebody released them into the park. So, we watched for them!

Next we stopped at an observation tower that looked like a silo on steroids. There were 94 steps to get to the top, but the view over the rain forest was worth it!

Then we came to La Mina Falls. We parked and they changed into thier suits after talking with one of the guys who worked there. I didn't because he said the rocks inside the waterfall pool were very, very slippery. All I need is a broken leg down in a gorge you can only walk in and out of!!!

Then we began our descent! And, I do mean "descent!" You are going down from a 1800+ meter elevation to a 1400 elevation on a two foot wide cement path. And, while you are walking one way, trying not to fall over the sheer drop off, people are walking past you going the other way!  The path has basically no guard rails and it twists and turns, up and down steep angles. Some were too steep for walking on a sidewalk, so they put flights of stone steps in. Evy said it was like walking in the sand dunes near Traverse City. I've never been there, so I wouldn't know.

The trip takes about 30-40 minutes and there are a couple of rest huts along the way. Both Vicky and Evy kept asking me if I was okay, did I think I could make it or did I want to go back. It was both flattering and annoying; Mostly annoying.

But, at one point, I really need to rest a bit and catch my breath. So, I sat down in one rest huts and told them to keep going, I'd catch up. Several other people either coming back up or going down joined me at various times.

When I caught my breath and rested my legs, I continued on, alone...

Sidebar: That sounds dramatic, doesn't it?

Some guy coming back up with his wife told me, "Hang in there, you're almost there!" I said, "That's what another guy told me about ten miles back!" They laughed.

But, I got there and it was as beautiful as Vicky had said. You'll have to wait for the pictures, but trust me on this one!

They all were in and out of the water and had a great time, but they said it was very cold. I did get down on the rocks, but wished I'd wore my suit so I could at least sit in it.

Then we walked, climbed and generally trudged our way back up. It truly is an amazing rain forest.There was a wide variety of plants and trees. I especially like the huge tall stands of bamboo. They looked just like the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

There also were a wide variety of life: little lizards, various birds and the ever-present Coqui frogs. There were also rustling in the underbrush. I'm not sure what that was and didn't care to find out! It may have been a rabid mongoose!

We made it back alive and the ladies put clothes over their suits. Then we headed out to find some restaurant down the road that same friendly worker told them about.

We found it, or rather them. It was a string of food stalls next to the beach. Some were already closed and some served hamburgers or pizza. We, of course, wanted PR food and we found a good spot.

I had a chicken meat pie thingie and yellow rice with pigeon peas. Man (or at least this man) does not live by rice and beans alone! Vicky had what looked like half a chicken and the yellow rice/pigeon peas as well. Evy got a round ball (probably plantains wrapped around some kind of meat with yellow rice and Myla got what would be called a shish kebab if we weren't in Puerto Rico and rice with beans.

Then we drove back to the hotel. Vicky was showing off by driving by memory, rather than the GPS (which sucks here, anyway) and she made it all the way!

We did sing "Happy Birthday," "Twinkle, twinkle little star" and the "alphabet" song over and over (so many times I lost count) at Yanessa's request.

When we got to the hotel, Myla really had to go to the bathroom, so I grabbed my bag and took her up to my room, leaving the others to unload the SUV. When she was finished, we waited for them in the hall. They eventually showed up and we all said goodnight.

I was so beat, I didn't even change clothes. I just sprawled on the bed. That is, until there was a knock at my door. This time it was Myla, inviting me to go swimming with them. So, I changed into my suit, grabbed a towel and the room card and found them already in the pool.

Yanessa is really getting good at floating alone with nobody holding her.She gets frusterated when she can't move, so she kicks her feet until she reaches the ladder or a person. This is the first time I've witnessed somebody learning to swim because they are p*ssed off!

We spent about an hour in either the pool or the hot tub. Then we called it a night. Back in my room, I took a rinse off shower and then started working on the Blog. I finished up  about 11:45 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. Vicky....please take it easy on my baby brother.....He's an old man