Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Now We Are Hostages

Here's a map of La Isleta where we are hauled out. It's a tiny little island with the condos taking up most of the real estate. They occupy the upper right part of the island and the marina and haul out facility occupy the lower left part of the island. The yellow line represents the fence that divides the two parts and we can only go on the condo side to do laundry. Our boat is the little blue dot just to the left of the yellow fence line. The ferry route to Puerto Rico is shown as a blue dotted line.
Tiny little La Isleta isn't a bad place to haul out as long as you bring everything you need with you. With no roads, no stores, no restaurants, no cars, and no action, it's a quiet place to work on your boat with no distractions. And even if you need something, there is a free ferry every 30 minutes to the big island of Puerto Rico, where you can find everything you need.
However, if you are done with your boat projects and the travel lift is broken, you start to feel like a hostage. That was us today, so we decided to rent a car and be tourists. We caught the 9:00am ferry and called Thrifty for a rental car. They picked us up and took us to their office at Puerto Del Rey, the fancy marina about three miles south of Fajardo.
 We decided to visit the El Yunque National Forest. It's the only rain forest in the US National Forest system. (I'm pretty sure Hawaii has some rain forests, but I guess they are not technically in the US National Forest system.)
 We have visited many rain forests since we arrived in Central America about a year ago and, to tell you the truth, they all look about the same to me. I guess I'm just not a rain forest kind of girl. Sure, the views are spectacular, the vegetation is dense and varied, and the coolness is refreshing, but it's just acres and acres of ferns, palms, and noisy tourists. We saw absolutely no animals and heard only birds. Do they have monkeys here? I really enjoyed the monkeys in Central America, and was hoping to at least hear some here.
This is Yokahu Tower, a lighthouse-like structure built to give views out over the jungle. We dutifully wound our way up the many stairs and saw, surprise!, more rain forest. Acres of rain forest. Miles and miles of rain forest.
After paying $20 for burgers and sodas, we drove up to the trailhead for Mina Falls. Being a Tuesday, we thought it wouldn't be too crowded, and the walk down to the falls was nice. However, when we arrived at the falls it was like Grand Central Station. I tried to get a nice photo.....

  but this was the reality of the place. I wonder what this place looks like on a weekend?
We did a little grocery shopping on the way home, and soon the ferry arrived and we chugged back to La Isleta. We had a nice day out, but whatever will we do tomorrow to occupy ourselves?

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