Thursday, August 22, 2019

Revealing Our Secret Places

There are some new signs at the entrance!
I'm really not fond of crowds, and for that reason, I really struggle with my desire to keep our favorite places to ourselves, vs. shouting about them from the mountaintops for all to hear!  I guess posting them here on the blog ensures a small enough crowd!  I'll leave the decision to my readers as to whether or not they share!

We've got a new Cruiser couple in the bay, and they plan to stay for a while.  They have become our newest partners in exploration of all the new places yet to be discovered, but we're also showing them some of our favorite spots.  We don't mind returning again and again to these places because they're always a pleasure... and they're ever-changing!  Today, La Soplaera Falls was about as perfect as it could be!

The bridge across the stream provides a view of the rocky ravine below the falls.
The pathway leads into the shaded, damp forest.  You can hear the falls ahead.

We ditched our shoes in a notch in the rock wall and continued on barefooted.
Despite recent rains, the water wasn't rushing too much across the rocks. It was an easy climb to the charco.
Ahhh there it is.  We didn't swim this time - temperatures were cool, despite it being full on summer!

April and I having some fun!

Tree roots hold the rocks in place!
While we were enjoying the fresh, misty breeze and just being in such a miraculous place, the overcast skies began to release a soft rainfall.  The rocky cliff at our backs seemed to be shielding us from the rain. It was magical and I kept looking around expecting a fairy or a water nymph to drop down from the climbing vines.

The water was quite chilly, and with the clouds and the mountain temperatures being generally pleasant, even in the dead of summer, we were disinclined to swim... I promised that next time we come, I will definitely get in!  We stayed a while, then began retracing our scramble over the rocks large and small.

The ravine is so HUGE!
The damp forest is a breeding ground for lichen and algae.

Just driving around here is awe inspiring!
Boricua Pride is everywhere!
Partway back to the house, we made another stop.  We've passed by the turnoff to the Thermal Mineral Spring baths in Coamo many times in recent days on our way to and from the machine shop in Orocovis.  Of course we had to take our friends to this place... they're taking notes of where to take THEIR company coming soon.

With all of the hard work we've been doing getting the boat projects done so she'll be ready to pass to her new owners with everything fixed for once... (tongue-in-cheek... the boat is always looking to mess with us!) my aching body welcomed the healing mineral warmth, and my mind longed for the calming peace brought on by relaxation.  According to lore, the indians here described the mineral baths to Ponce deLeon, and that they could even be the elusive fountain of youth he sought.  Whether or not that is true, I like to think I look and feel younger after a good soak!

Bruce is Tha Man!
We enjoyed the HOT pool until our time was up... then moved over to the warm pool!

When our time in the warm pool was up, we wobbled to the dressing rooms to change back into our clothes, because this day was not done yet!  We had one more stop!

Tarpon lurking below
Driving back through Salinas, we stopped at El Balcón del Capitán for a nice, relaxed dinner!  We sat on the patio right on the water.  The thrashing of tarpon competing for... something, in the water below, entertained us, along with the dramatic view of an approaching squall.  Soon, the wind blew cool and began to whip things off of the tables around us.  Some guests moved, the squall moved past us offshore so we held our ground!  We weren't giving up the primo table easily!
Will it, or won't it get us?
Moments later, totally different view!  It never did rain on us!
Excellent Sangria!  CHEERS!
The day was once again, confirmation that our decision to move here was the right one.  So we share our secret places with you in hopes that you'll be selective in whom else you tell!  Better yet, let's just keep them between us!

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