Puerto Rico

Spring Break 2008, we decided almost on a whim to hit Puerto Rico for 5 days. The trip bega nwith somewhat of an adventure. We left Ithaca at about midnight to catch our 7am flight from JFK. After smooth sailing for a while, we hit dead stop traffic outside of Scranton, PA. We sat there for an hour, eventually seeing a snow plow come down the opposite side of the road (traffic was at a full stop in both directions). We watched the snow plow push something steaming out of the road. After repeatedly wondering what the hell was going on and waiting for an hour, we finally got to move. What had the plow been pushing out of the road? Steaming horse carcasses. We later learned that four horses and a donkey had escaped from a farm, and then three horses had been hit by three different tractor-trailers on both sides of the road. It was definitely an odd start to the trip.

The view from our hotel room in the Holiday Inn San Juan, in the Isla Verde section of San Juan. We stuffed five people into one room to keep the price under control.

The intrepid travelers, Michele, Brett, Edgar, Danny, and Vishal.

El Morro, the fortress of Old San Juan. This picture was taken from across the bay from Isla de Cabras Goat Island).

Brett looks off into the crashing surf.

The pounding surf from inside the fortress (El Morro).

A garita, one of many lookouts int eh fortresses of Old San Juan. Apparently, in addition to watching for enemy ships, they're frequently used as bathrooms for drunk people late at night.

The Triangle Stairway in El Morro.

Waterfalls in El Yunque Rainforest park.

We on an amazing caving adventure offered by a company called Aventuras Tierra Adentro. It started with a zip line across a gorge, followed by this 250ft rappel, and then a 2 mile hike through a cave.

Brett and Michele decked out in caving gear.

The group in the water. A significant portion of the cave hike involved wading/swimming. Did I mention the pitch darkness, jumping off cliffs into the water, 150ft run through knee deep mud, giant cave spiders, and scorpions? Definitely a unique (and highly recommended) adventure.

OK, we did some relaxing on the beach too. This is Playa Azul, in the town of Luquillo.

Going after coconuts at Playa Azul.

We ate at a restaurant called Dragonfly in Old San Juan. The food was amazing, but unfortunately they didn't allow shorts, and 'solved' our wardrobe problem by giving us things to wrap around ourselves like skirts. See how much high class we are?

One other thing we did was kayak in the so-called bio-bay. (Sadly, it's nearly impossible to get pictures.) This is a bay surrounded by mangroves in which these little bioluminescent diatoms live. Every time you disturb the water they're in, they give off a little pulse of this eerie blue-green light. At times they're so concentrated the whole water seems to glow. It's hard to give a description that does it justice, b ut if you're ever there be sure to do it.