Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Girls On The Loose And Bruce ~ Rainforest Edition Casa Parcha

Usually when we do staycations, or any other 'cations for that matter... I try to pack in as much from the "to do" list as I possibly can.  But here at Casa Parcha, much of what there is to do is to just chill!  Today, I gave it my best shot! 

First we began with a leisurely TWO cups of coffee (OK, they were small cups...) on our own cute little patio. The sun doesn't reach Casa Parcha very early, so we had an extended coffee hour. Slowing down gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the forest creature flora and fauna that live here!  Were beginning to recognize the lizards!

Banded Caracol land snail eating this palm.

Crepe Ginger is one of the "spiral" varieties. 
We didn't want to wake Susan if she was still enjoying her comfey mattress, so we took a little walk around the grounds. 

This is the common area where tent campers can relax and dine.

Tent campers have this cute little kitchenette to use!

Our little patio

The Pagoda Plant fascinates me!  The little flowers grow in a spiral...

But if you look from the top, you find THIS!

Shell Ginger growing alongside the pathway
Before too long, Susan found us, and we got dressed for a walk upriver to take a look at the public access portion of Charco el Hippie.  It is nice to have this part to ourselves, but it would also be nice to come here sometime on a day trip, just to enjoy the river.  It is close enough to our home to easily visit for the day.  

Of course I have to take pictures of EVERY flower along the way...  But you know what?  That's how I learn! And what I learned today, was that this is NOT a Bird of Paradise.  Nope!  It's a FALSE Bird of Paradise, and actually a type of Heliconia!  We are in Heliconia Heaven here in the rainforest!

False Bird of Paradise, Parrot Beak Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum?)

Another new flower for me... this field of green with little yellow Pinto Peanut flowers popping up!

Pinto Peanut
All along the edge of the driveway coming in, there are vines with the property's namesake, the Passionfruit (PARCHA), growing profusely! I have rarely seen the passion flower, and was a little disappointed that we missed them, but this was my first time seeing the fruit growing. 

Canna Indica, or more commonly the Indian Shot

More Heliconia!

Somebody needs another cup of coffee...

Looks very inviting, doesn't it?  

Leaving the Casa Parcha property, we turned to the right and continued on up the narrow road to the public access portion of the Rio Blanco at Charco el Hippie.  Immediately we noticed the growing amounts of trash left behind by careless visitors. It's very disheartening to see.  People, just take your trash with you when you leave, so that these priceless natural areas can remain beautiful for all to enjoy!

We climbed down the path to the water's edge for a look around.  These huge boulders are simply fascinating to me.   

Sleeping Hybiscus

I would STILL love to find a coqui!
We took a couple of trails that led further upriver, but while it is nice here early in the morning before anyone else arrived, we knew this place would be filling up soon, and we have a perfectly lovely pool right outside our door!  So, back to Casa Parcha we went!
Plantain growing on the Casa Parcha grounds

Plantain flower

Lobster Claw Heliconia

Red Ginger

We sat down by the river, watching the lizards chase one another around, and waiting for it to get warm enough to swim... Eventually we talked ourselves into trying one more time, the Mexican Food restaurant we found closed the previous day.  So, we drove back into Naguabo and this time... we got lucky!  They were open!

Yes! They're open!  Everything is a little bit awkward with the Covid rules, but we got settled and figured out the menu... I will never hear the end of it from Sue, after I complained so bitterly when this place was closed and we didn't get MEXICAN food... then I ordered something that was NOT Mexican food!

Well, no matter!  Señor Ándale will get another chance... Everything we got was delicious!

With full and happy tummies, we returned to our place, and prepared to get wet!  By this time, the sun was high, and it was indeed getting warm.  Even here in the higher elevations, it still gets hot in the middle of the day.  

Sue got in first, and reluctantly, I followed. That water is cold refreshing! Taking my time, I was able to creep across the river, finding shallow enough places to walk so that I didn't have to swim. That would have required getting my whole body cold wet! I climbed up the huge rock on the opposite shore, intent on taking a closer look at the petroglyphs!


I do not know if the petroglyphs here at Charco el Hippie were actually created by the Taino people, but I have my doubts.  At least this one done by ELMO is more recent!
Looking back at the Casa Parcha property.

Me and Sue being Mermaids!

Sue took off swimming upstream...

We had an absolute blast kidding around out there!  The water didn't feel so cold once you got used to it.  The current was strong in spots, making it much easier to go back, than to go upstream...

Eventually we decided it wasn't right to have all the fun, so we returned to shore and kicked Bruce into  taking his swim.  He checked out the petroglyphs, and climbed a little higher to see what was on the other side... It's fenced, so back to the river he came.

We enjoyed the river until happy hour became official, then we retired to the patio to watch the changing light as the sun slipped behind the mountain at our backs.  It gets dark early, and quickly here in the rainforest!  A full day, preceded by a horsebackriding day, has left our bodies beginning to complain!  So an early bedtime did not seem objectionable....

Another wonderful day here in Paradise has come to a close!


  1. Love this! Looks like a lot of fun, really interesting. How was that "mexican food" Tammy? Jajaja 😂😉

    1. Jajaja I love that we've already got inside jokes! Can't wait to add you to our invitation list!

  2. Looks like a great staycation. Charco el Hippie is on my to explore map of Puerto Rico. We hope to get back soon...maybe next winter. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful sights with us.

    1. It WAS!! I highly recommend Casa Parcha as a place to stay in that area. There is public access to the river, but it's a little bit trashy and crowded. We very much enjoyed our private paradise!