Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cruising Puerto Rico

Next morning we headed to the south west cost path, where all the towns were lovely and the beaches gorgeous. Puerto Real, Boqueron, La Parguera; are some of the coastal villages we stopped by. Then we headed to Ponce, the second capital of the Island, first autonomous city. Very interesting place with another Holidays Inn with a casino as well.


Little dock, Boqueron

Boqueron Beach
Malecon of Salinas

Jim and our friends 
We registered in the Hotel and then went to explore the city of Ponce, named after the Capitan General Ponce de Leon. Again a lot of history and interesting building, by this time, unfortunately my phone was full and my camera ran out of batteries. I got a few pics from our friend traveling ensemble.

Cruz del vigía

Palacio de Ponce

Surprisingly Puerto Rico has all the corporation business we got in the States, when we got hungry for dinner we drove into the mall and found a PF Chang's China Bistro. It truly felt like we were in South Point Mall in Durham, NC. And Next morning when we left Ponce, Crispy Kreme hot sign was on and then I tried for the first time a hot donut, just fresh out of the oven, melting over my tongue, so sweet and soft I swore I'd never do that again. Not kidding! On top of that they make a very good café au lait. Oh, Mamacita! Save me from the Crispy Kreme, that I save myself from the rest!


Driving around Puerto Rico

 "It is about the journey, not the destination". 

After I got my picture taken at the Capitol building (a very important Cuban tradition), we left San Juan to start our adventure circumnavigating the island. We took highway number two, witch I don't recommend to any tourist, because is like driving through suburbia in the US, not very attractive. Then we took road 37 south across the mountains and we saw all the little towns in the rural areas.

Monument to apostle San Juan, across from Capitol
Great memories from San Juan, the musicians and performers on the streets...

This percussionist made the 5 gallon buckets rock hard and our hearts too 

Human statue, in Plaza de Armas, his camouflage was so good...
the only way he moves is when we tipped him. 
From there we looked for 155 west, this road splits north and south in a town called Torrecitas. I got Jim to drive through unknown neighborhoods. Our friends were a little nervous, I was chasing a map and a GPS, but there were not signs on the streets. Finally we got in what seemed to be the right direction to the mountains, and right when our stomachs started to roar, we saw a huge building, lots of cars parked on the road, and from the car we could see the rousted pork, whole fried chickens and ribs behind the glass of the counter stands. Perfect timing. We had a delicious Puertorican lunch (pigeon peas rice and chicken).

For the rest of the trip the road was very curvy, but the scene covered in tropical vegetation. We could see the valleys and hills in the distance, like visiting the set of a fantasy movie. The road 45, runs from east to west and is very curvy, but it was so beautiful. We wanted to take 111 to Rincón, but considering it was getting late and we needed a hotel. After we pasted the lake (Lago dos Bocas) We were on PR-146; we looked 10 north, and got on highway 22nd to Rincón and Mayaguez.

For our surprise, the paradise of surfing was as flat as a surfing board, and the hotels were full. Gerry got on the phone with a Holidays Inn Hotel and Casino in Mayaguez, where we had a remarkable customer service, super comfortable king size beds and HOT SHOWER!!! The complimentary breakfast was excellent; we could get our eggs done any way and served on the table, lots of fruits and delicious hash potatoes. Better than that, they made our reservations for a Holidays Inn, in Ponce our next stop.