You’re Not Gonna Believe This!!



You’re Not Gonna Believe This!!

You’re not gonna believe this….but it’s actually what happened.



Before I get deep into this….you’re not gonna believe this!  I couldn’t find one local restaurant open for breakfast!  I wanted the taste of the local breakfast cuisine like I had in Costa Rica.  So this morning we ate at Denny’s.  Great coffee and surprisingly good breakfast.  I ate a lot…..a lot!!!

Destination,…..Fajardo, Puerto Rico with visits to the 2 major islands off the east coast.  Vieques and Culebra are the two most  popular of several islands.

So here we go….starting with Vieques.

Isla de Vieques is part of an island grouping sometimes known as the Spanish Virgin Islands.  About 8 miles east of Puerto Rico, its most populated barrio Isabel Segunda (sometimes written “Isabel II”), the population of Vieques is about 10,000 and is best known as the U.S. Navy’s bombing range.  The U.S. Navy as of 2003 no longer uses the island as it’s personal bombing site but many think so due to U.S. opposition.



The island’s name is a Spanish spelling of an American Indian word (likely Taíno) said to mean “small island”.  Why use an American Indian word is curious to me as it’s a 400 year old Spanish colony!  It also goes by the nickname “Isla Nena”, translated from  Spanish is “Little Girl Island”, referring to Puerto Rico’s little sister. “Crab Island” was the nickname during British colonization.

Like most beach area in the Caribbean….it’s lined with beautiful sandy beaches with palm trees and fringed by the tropical jungles.  It’s rather inviting to string a hammock between trees, sway in the breeze and enjoy your favorite frozen concoction or chilled beer.  That’s what I see and look for.  Relaxation.


You’re Not Gonna Believe This!!




Surrounded by dreamy clear blue waters it’s an invitation to explore it’s sea life and just refresh myself in it’s calm beauty.

Accessed via a ferry or sailboat tours from mainland Fajardo in Puerto Rico it takes roughly hour and 15 minutes for a stifling cost of $2.  Rules, no drinking of alcohol beverages while on board, no smoking, and I must stay clothed.

Once there docking at Isabel II, a little foot time for shopping or finding a cab for a quick drive to a beach for snorkeling.  Take the cab to the beach first to snorkel and then do your shopping before you ferry back.A good day can be had.  Nothing like enjoying a Caribbean day.

Hang On, There’s More!

Culebra!

Isla Culebra is one of many Snake Island around the world and I’ve not heard of anyone being bothered by any snakes.  What I have heard of is that it’s a snorkel and diving paradise unequaled in the area. It’s about17 miles (27 km) east of the Puerto Rican mainland, and 9 miles from St. Thomas Virgin Island.



This is a world apart from Puerto Rico with it’s rocky coastline……Culebra is for sunbathers and those that love the tropical sea charm.  There’s no businesses here so you have to pack your own goodies for the length of time you want to stay on the island.  There are no hotels either.

Isla Culebra is reached much the same as Isla de Vieques, by ferry.  The ferry ride is about an hour and 30 minutes depending on the sea conditions.  It’s only $2.50 to take the ride one way…..not bad.  But you’ll be waiting in line for about an hour and a half to 2 hours.  Just as the ferry to Vieques there’s no drinking of alcohol beverages while on board, no smoking, and I must stay clothed.  Coolers, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, etc. are allowed and are stored in a different area than the passenger seating.

To give you a bigger picture idea of these 2 ferry rides …….(it’s the same boat) it holds 450 people!!!!  A lot of bodies going in the same direction that I am and I don’t like crowds.  Now, realize that this ferry is going back to Fajardo and bringing people back in about another 3 hours!  At which time I can leave if I’ve had my fill.



There’s an alternative I found out…..well there’s actually a couple alternatives.  There’s the catamaran tours that run from about $70 to $130.  And then there’s a plane flight from (it’s a prop plane) Ceiba for $35 and is about 15 minutes.

There is surprisingly no ferrying between the 2 islands!!  Go figure!

You’re Not Gonna Believe This!!




Now…….You’re Not Gonna Believe This!!   We didn’t go!!  You’ll notice that there is no photos of the islands, the ferry, tourists, shops, beaches or the like.  It’s because we didn’t go.

Bummer.

For the 2 full days we were in Fajardo for the specific purpose of visiting these 2 islands it stormed!!!  I’m not taking a ferry ride for over an hour to spend the day in a Caribbean storm and return in the same.



So what did we do during our stay in Fajardo.  Checked out the few (very few) bars to eat and drink and see our first movie in about 8 mouths.  Surprisingly it was in English with Spanish subtitles. “Going In Style”  Morgan Freeman comedy, quite delightful.

The islands will have to wait for another time.

Peace, love, and beaches,

John


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