Since our friends have seen very little of Puerto Rico, nothing was too mundane for them. They, like us, enjoy ALL of the things, not just the flashy touristy stuff. We started out showing them our own little town of Arroyo. Our Malecon boasts a nice collection of local artist's murals, and this new chair!
|Decidedly a little creepy, but I get it!|
|Another example of Puerto Ricans making art in unlikely places...|
|Amigos! Photo Credit: Jodi|
|Not sure what this is, but we found it along the way.|
|More information here!|
|Recent rains have caused numerous landslides. Just go around!|
|The invasive African Tulip|
|Surprise! Coming around the hillside, we came full stop at seeing THIS!|
|This is what's up there! Photo credit: Jodi|
|A peek inside the old house. Photo Credit: Jodi|
|My view! Say cheese!!|
I waited around down below, while the others explored up above. Evidently, the view from up there was spectacular, but a little disconcerting. My foot is just a little untrustworthy, so I was content to marvel from the car! When they were done, I picked them up at the gate, and off we went!
We made a brief stop at another new spot for us. There is a really nice Ceiba tree in Peñuelas, and we drove through the hilly neighborhoods until we found it. La Ceiba de Peñuelas is another ancient island treasure! It is huge and it's in such good condition. This is most likely due to the fact that it is inaccessible to the general public, being well inside of a fenced area, complete with chickens! We sure wanted to find a way inside, or maybe talk our way in with the property owners, but we stopped short of knocking on their door. We had to be content with just gawking from the fence!
|The branches reached out over the road we were standing on.|
|So amazing! Photos don't do it justice.|
Visiting on a Monday, while we miss a lot of the "local flavor" and activities, we find these places practically deserted, so we've got it all to ourselves. Free to roam, we wandered over the many points of interest in the plaza.
|Beautiful mosaic on the plaza|
|This is a beautiful acoustic shell amphitheatre!|
|Inside the engine!|
At this point, we were beginning to get hungry. I had considered bringing a picnic, but since I wasn't sure how the itinerary would play out, I just brought a couple of energy bars and some drinks. Finding food on a Monday in Puerto Rico is a gamble. There are so many choices for local food vendors beginning maybe Wednesday or Thursday, but not so many in operation on Mondays and Tuesdays. So on our way to the next brief stop, we began to look around in earnest. Luck was on our side today, as we found a Pincho stand the next block over from our destination!
Leaving here, we swung back by that Pincho stand, and picked up some of the BEST pinchos we've ever had! You just never know what you're going to get... and for $2 each, we got more than we expected! From here, the road went from neighborhoods, to outskirts, to mountainous, to downright semi-treacherous! My passengers were getting nervous, but I assured them that we had been this route before.
When I parked the car in the clearing, we all got out and just stared upward in wonder at the shear rise of the mountain that now encompassed us. The birdsong was amazing! The distant sound of the waterfall was alluring... but we've got a picnic to get through before we adventure on!
|This must be the official entrance on the other side of the ravine.|
|More Puerto Rican brilliance! Used water bottles are made into flowers!|
|We traded photo assistance to get a photo of our little tribe!|
Aguas Termales de Coamo. I can think of no better way to relax after such a day. We love coming here in the early evening for a soak before dark. It's too hot to visit during mid-day, but today, at the end of "winter" it was particularly delightful. The prices have increased a bit, but I've often wondered how they could manage to work so cheaply. I'm happy to pay $5 for admission for Bruce and I.
|That old Tropical Sun is beginning to set...|
|My smarting foot gets extra attention from the hot spring.|
|Bonus: Lionfish under the dock! Also a lobster who did not photograph well.|