Puerto Rico Mostly around San Juan, but I did take a road trip along the entire coast, 2008may14-26

A food picture. It's some very, very tasty chicken and rice and beans. Very good. Last time I was in Puerto Rico, we went to this place and it had a big "pollo" sign out front, but I don't think that it even had a sign indicating that it was a restaurant this time. It still managed to get a line out the door around lunch time, though. There was also another place, probably equally as good, located in a large office building that we went to a lot also.

I finally got done with work and I had some time so I decided to do an around the island tour. From San Juan/Condado, I made El Yunque my first destination, as I enjoyed it immensely my first time and wanted to spend more time there. I started by driving through the park on 191 and parked near the trailhead for the peak of Mount Britton, close to where the closed section of 191 began. I made the same climb to the observation tower on Mount Britton, but then continued on to the peak of El Yunque afterwards, where the trail changed from the concrete mixed with large rocks near-veritcal pathway to a natural trail with views even more exciting. The landscape was filled with all shades of green.

After leaving El Yunque, the beach was calling my name, so I stopped in Luquillo at a huge, packed, parking lot for the beach. Walked around, swam, normal beach stuff. I got an excellent Cuban, a fried tortilla stuffed with chicken, and a couple Medallas for a late lunch. I really do prefer east coast Florida beaches to Puerto Rican beaches (at least the beaches of Carolina and Luquillo) though. Florida beaches have no rocks, no vegetation, and big waves, and their sand is better. Rincon's may be better than the other Puerto Rican beaches though.

After the beach, I got back on 53 until it ended around Camino Nuevo, where I took the two-laned 3. This road followed the coast line very closely, which made for great scenery. There were a lot of motorcyclist out in the area, being the day before the the Memerial Day holiday. Scooters, covered with chrome and with dropped suspension, even with Puerto Rico's usually non-stellar roads, and Hayabusas, were the most popular two wheeled vehicle from what I could tell. I stopped for the night in Ponce, and went to La Guancha during the night (you can see a bunch of big fish hanging out under the lights of the dock, either tarpon or snook, but I did see a good size snook hanging out there the next morning). I was forced to travel at night in order to make Ponce, which I hate doing.

After waking up in Ponce, I headed back to La Guancha to get a better view of everything before hitting the road again. When I go back to Puerto Rico again, I'll probably try to spend more time in Ponce: I think that there was a lot there that I missed out on due to time. After leaving Ponce on my way back to San Juan, I made two stops, in La Parguera and Rincon. La Parguera is known to be an excellent dive site and Rincon is known for its waves.

After Rincon, I got back on the Autopista headed to San Juan. Once there, I parked in one of the garages and walked to Castillo de San Cristóbal and explored. I next went to the more famous El Morro. The forts were very impressive and I wish that time wasn't against me so that I could have looked around each fort more thoroughly. Because the sun was bright and the day was hot, I got real thirsty, so I spent the next hour or so at El Batey before heading to the airport.

Views from the hotel room.

I would still like to spend more time in Puerto Rico.