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Puerto Rico

Written on: Saturday February 23rd, 2008

A journal entry from: Puerto Rico, FEB08

An early morning flight out of frigid Minneapolis assured us of arriving into San Juan with plenty of time to explore on our first day.  The flight went without incident and we were able to meet our pre-arranged taxi to transfer to the East side of the island.

Traveling overland is always a wonderful way to get accustomed to a new country.  Looking to the South, beautiful views of the rain forest, El Yunque, did not disappoint.  We arrived in Fajardo with ample time to down a few Heinekins before the ferry arrived from Vieques.

We boarded the ferry at dusk for the short jaunt to the sleepy island of Vieques.  Fortunately there was a collectivo waiting for us, the last of the day to arrive.  We drove to the South end of the island, to the fishing town of Esperanza, where we were graciously met by the hostess of Trade Winds Hotel and Restaurant. 

I was a little leary of just showing up and finding a room at the hour we were supposed to arrive.  This late in the day, many of the smaller guest houses would be closed, resulting in us either paying way more than we wanted to, or crashing on the beach.  As it turned out, we made the correct call to book ahead of time at Trade Winds.  It is a reasonably priced hotel with a very good restaurant and a spectaculr location, complete with unparalleled vistas of the blue bay across the street.

Little did we know that the night was only beginning!  After cleaning up we meandered across the main strip of town, which consists of approximately three city blocks, and five or six dining and drinking establishments on its most avtive night.  This being Saturday night, the town rocking (as much as a tiny tropical town can).  We explored all the joints and settled at the local pub to have a few Medallas and watch the town residents dance the night away.  How impressive it was to see the senoras being whisked around the floor while maintaining seemingly perfect form.

Eventually we met some friends, a couple from Mpls no doubt and a couple living in PR.  We went with the locals to the "club" in town, which turned out to be a decrepit pool hall with many young wannabe gangsters.  They were all talk (and too much drink) and eventualy left us alone to shoot a few games of stick.

The night ended with Jon and I joining our new friends for a nightcap on their balcony.  With all the beer consumed, and the dawn approaching, I woke Jon up to head back to the room to get a few hours sleep before continuing the exploration tomorrow.