Alright, so I write this having been up for 34-ish hours. I just got back from the airport, and unpacked very quickly. I wanted to get all that I could remember from the trip while it is still fresh in my head.
A little present for Hubski:
It isn't apparent from the title, but I've been away for a little over a week in Puerto Rico. Most of my family comes from Puerto Rico, so these trips are always a bit of a reunion/vacation.
The Bad, and the Worse
I began my trip in San Juan where I really learned from my cousins how hard it has been for the majority of 2015, and honestly the last few years. The poverty has hit the metropolitan area very hard (The entire territory is paying 11.5% sales tax and the tax is expected to go to 16%). We stayed in a hotel, but I found my parents often reminiscing about times past.
This photo is of a hotel that my mom used to stay in when she was young and adventurous.
Along with the increased poverty, Puerto Rico has suffered massive droughts which has caused rationing of water. My great aunt and most of my cousins go one day with water/one day without water. If the drought doesn't let up the gap without water is expected to get larger.
The Good, the Great, and the Greatest
Now, I've gotten most of the doom and gloom of the trip out of the way we can talk about why I really love going to Puerto Rico. After staying in San Juan for a few days we moved to a hotel (My mom works for a large hotel chain which has its benefits) along the coast in Rio Grande.
It was honestly a gorgeous place, and the views were amazing.
When we finally got settled in we ended up renting a car for the entire trip; both my parents knew the island well enough to get around with ease. On Monday we took a trip to Salinas to visit the house where my dad spent most of his summers as a child. The house they lived in is still there, but much has changed. It was honestly a very humbling experience to see the places where my parents played sports, lived, hanged out, and just grew up. Suffice it to say many tears were shed during this walk down memory lane.
The next day we met up with a few of my cousins, and took a trip into the mountains (Orocovis) to do some zip-lining through the mountains. The only picture I have is of the landscape because the zip-line tour was another type of adventure. It rains almost everyday in the mountains, so we went from zip-lining in the hot sun to zip-lining in torrential rain (Not a very conducive environment for picture taking).
When we finished with the smaller zip-line tour we ended up getting on one of the largest zip-lines in the world, La Bestia. Now, I don't have any pictures or video of it, but I'll post a video below to show you pretty much what I experienced. I've always wondered what it was like to soar like a bird, and honestly I imagine it was something like that. The experience was breath-taking.
On Wednesday, we had planned to go to the Caverns of the Camuy River, and the Arecibo Observatory, but only got to see the Caverns. Now this isn't to say that the caverns weren't magnificent because if you look below they really were, but I would have love to see the observatory (The reason we didn't get to see the observatory was because we got trapped near the caves because of the torrential rain. By the time it stopped we didn't have time to make it to the observatory). The caves were unbelievable really, I mean we saw a pretty large group of bats trying to decide on a place to sleep. The coolest (nastiest) part of the tour was one segment of the tour took us close to the walls of the cavern, and the guide told us not to touch the walls because there were literally hundreds of spiders all along them. My mother practically sprinted through that segment, but I was mesmerized by how big the spiders actually got. One spider I saw was as large as my hand. I tried to get some nice pictures of the spiders, but the giant ones always hid...
My favorite day was easily our mini trip to the small island of Icacos off the coast of Puerto Rico. Originally our plan was to go to the island of Culebra, but the ferry system had hit a snag, and travel to and from the island had reached a near standstill. My cousins (who accompanied us on every little adventure) decided that we should try to go to Icacos for the day instead. We took a stop at a local store to buy some food and drinks, rented a water taxi, and turned the depressing day into the best yet. The white sand, crystal-clear water, and perfect temperature only amplified how amazing this day was (I did manage to burn my shoulders slightly, but eh). It rained periodically while we were on the island but never enough to make us go back early. This day really finished the brunt of the trip with a bang.
Friday we spent the whole day with family, and eating. Puerto Rican food is my all-time favorite food. Arroz con habichuelas, Arroz con gandules, churrasco, alcapurrias, Yuca, Longaniza, Bacalao, and literally so much more. I couldn't get enough of it. Our diet literally consisted of these foods for lunch and dinner, but we had more traditional breakfast dishes. The entire trip as a whole was amazing, and it reminded why I love being Puerto Rican. If anyone is ever going to Puerto Rico and wants some suggestions where to eat, or what to do feel free to PM me anytime.
The last picture was just kind of my good-bye photo, but honestly it's never good-bye it's only see you later PR.
Sorry, for the picture size. I didn't even realize they were that large I'll try to change them before I nap.