I wanted to go to the Art Museum but the tours in English were at times that didn't fit our agenda, so we'll save that for the next visit. An easy stop to get us started is the Cruceta del Vigia perched high atop a hill overlooking the town of Ponce.
|Riding up in the elevator...|
From there, you can see forever! The view is simply stunning. We looked at the landscape through Bruce's binoculars and tried to pick out familiar landmarks and places we had been.
|Our health conscious friends led us back down the hard way... via the many, many stairs!|
|It was a LONG way down this way!|
|The signal flags|
|There's a little Bonsai garden inside the grounds|
We took a drive through the old city and found a good bit of devastation from Hurricane Maria still in evidence. It's very sad to see these old buildings lying in ruin and typical of many historical "downtown" districts across the Caribbean and the US. The money it takes to renovate and maintain these homes and businesses is just not there. But the ones that have been brought back to life are beautiful to behold. There is obvious pride on display everywhere we went, even in the absence of wealth.
|Old Hospital looks like something out of a scary movie!|
|Beautiful old buildings just crumbling...|
We took the winding climb on narrow roads out of Ponce and up into the clouds. Literally!
This is our fourth trip to the falls and while we always bring our swimsuits, we've only gone swimming one time. Down at sea level, swimming seems like a good idea, but when you get up into the mountains, the altitude and the shade of the forrest make it quite a bit cooler. The same thing happened to us today! We made the short hike up the river to see the falls and the pool below them, then returned to the car to have our picnic lunch before continuing on.
|Even with today's rain, the falls that normally wet this wall on the right are dry.|
|Watch your footing... it's still slippery!|
|Cross this narrow wall then step across the rushing stream... almost there!|
|Ahhh, there it is. Paradise!|
|Getting to the pool is just enough of a challenge to make you think you've been on an adventure!|
|You have to scramble through the rushing stream and over and under huge boulders to get in and out.|
|Bruce awaits on dry land!|
|On the way out, we stopped to appreciate the minutia of the rainforest.|
|Where the Red Fern Grows|
|Parking Lot below the clouds|
|Some kind of seed pod|
We enjoyed the beauty of the mountains and our picnic, then retraced our drive back down to civilization. That's one of the things I love the most about Puerto Rico. Inside of half an hour you can go from normal city life, to the wilds of the interior, just like that! While we decided to forgo the swim in the mountain pool, we were definitely up for a dip in the warm mineral springs just outside of Coamo!
|Modern facility that houses the mineral hot springs.|
|Soaking off ten years of age with our best buddies!|
Ahhh the feeling of sitting in the natural mineral laden waters is lovely. The heat melts away the weariness from our muscles and bones. This touristing is tough! I gave my injured shin bone the extra treatment, holding it beneath the piping hot stream!
This facility is lovely and they have almost fully recovered from the damages ravaged by hurricane Maria in 2017. I'm so glad to see this place is up and running! It's a secret little hideaway that's never too crowded and one of MY top favorite places to go! I just wish it was a little bit closer to our home!
|Complete with Sato dog in front!|
In fact, there are several restaurants along this little sand peninsula that forms the eastern shores of Los Jobos Bay. We drove all the way to the end and picked the one that spoke to us, Donde Pica el Peje. I have no idea what it said, but it did speak to us!
|It's kind of like a beach bar on steroids!|
|The kitchen is housed in that screened corner!|
The food was simple, freshly prepared when we ordered it and delicious! The place is only open Thursday through Sunday evenings and is now a NEW favorite!
The drive home was only about 25 minutes and we got to show our guests another quintessentially Puerto Rican thing... the party bus! Our day is complete! What fun we're having showing our friends all the reasons we chose Puerto Rico as our new home! And we're not done! Other People's Vacation Photos... to be continued!