Sunday, March 14, 2021

Cruiser Life Revisited

Country Dancer in our Bay
The two things we loved best about being "Cruisers", are the friends we made, and the adventures we had.  While we truly love our life here in Puerto Rico, we do sometimes miss the unique friendships we formed as a part of the Cruising Community, and the impromptu adventures exploring foreign lands together.  The bond we feel as fellows of a small group of people, who have all left our lives behind to face the unknown and difficult life "out there", binds us together quickly, and indefinitely.  That bond was never more evident than it was yesterday, when we met up once again, with a couple we met only briefly, in our early cruising days.

Gary and Jodi, Country Dancer, showed up our last night on Sister's Creek Free Dock.  That was July, 2014. We enjoyed some laughs, and then, as always happens with cruiser-types, we went our separate ways. Maybe to reunite, or maybe not... We've kept in distant touch through Facebook, and now... almost 7 years later, we're together again.  So much water under the bridge, and yet, we just fell right into step, and enjoyed a whirl of Cruiser Adventure!  

And that is where this story takes up.  After our get-together on Saturday night for sundowners, we made plans to take our friends to one of our favorite hiking spots.  Gary and Jodi like to hike, just like we do.  Turns out, we have SO MANY similar likes, it's got me wondering if Jodi and I may have been separated at birth... This had us making even more plans for a second adventure... but I'm getting ahead of myself.  

First, a short stop at Playa Los Bohios

Today, we went for a companionable hike at the Wetlands Reserve at Punta Tuna. As we girls took the lead, and the men followed behind, each of us lost in bubbling conversation, we quickly caught up on our separate lives, and reminisced about our shared past. What a joy it is to talk with like-minded people. While we were familiar with this place, being with these people gave us the feel once again, of how it used to be when two boats would meet up and plan an excursion together.  

The wetlands were SUPER wet!

Until they weren't!  This road was not here last time we visited!

Now normally, my blogs are FULL of photos!  But to be honest, we girls were talking so much, I almost forgot to take pictures!!! Almost...

Jodi isn't much for selfies, but I just had to!!

The guys bringing up the rear while we waited in the shade of a leaning palm.

The time magically flew by, and soon we were nearing the end of the loop.  We paused beneath a leaning palm for some shade, and to take advantage of this swing someone had left behind.  One of my cardinal rules is that I NEVER pass up a chance to swing!

Back at the car, we quickly added to our plan!  We would drive on so that I could show off more of our island, and why we fell in love with the place... And we could stop for some lunch before getting back to the more mundane things like a provisioning run to the grocery store. 

We wound our way up into the narrow, bumpy mountain roads, and stopped for some chicken wings at one of our favorites... Las Alitas. The timing was perfect.  Although it was a Sunday, and these places fill UP on Sundays... it was early. So we were the only ones there when we arrived.  Covid restrictions have all of the restaurants limited to 50% capacity.  But before we left, it was filling up fast!

The patio extends over this ravine with a barnyard down below.  My kind of place!

This is the view from our table.

Photo credit Jodi!  We were too busy stuffing our mouths to take photos!

Fowl of many types ran wild through the street, and of course, the Bandera makes an appearance!

Some sort of memorial tribute along the road.
Together, we finished off 30 delicious wings, and then we wound our way through the gathering crowd to load up for one more surprise stop before the grocery store.

No island tour is complete without a visit to Ceiba Atabey!

After a quick visit to the Pueblo grocery store, we showed Gary and Jodi our condo, then dropped them off at their boat.  We had just enough time for a short rest, and to prepare our food offerings for the Pot Luck tonight!

We arrived just in time to greet our Cruiser friends!

Photo credit: Jodi
The evening was a mix of the old and familiar, and the NEW and familiar.  We had our Cruiser Peeps, and our Puerto Rico Peeps!  We even convinced our neighbor, Kim to join us, and now she's an honorary member of our cruising club!

After a delicious meal, we sat on the dock, watching the changing colors of another gorgeous Caribbean Sunset.  It would be a sad goodbye, but wait!  We have another day!

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