Saturday, January 25, 2020

Island Staycation ~ Culebra, PR Part 2

Waking up to coffee on the patio overlooking the Freakin' Caribbean was just as awesome as we expected.  It's been a long time since we've seen a sunrise over the water, and it felt really good to just sit and watch the changing skies.  Gradually the lights of town were replaced by the creeping sun.  Sleepy sailboats across the channel met the morning with us... the first Puerto Ricans to see the sun from our far eastern position.

Lights of the town slowly blinked off as the sun came up.

We have wonderful memories of being in the Dakiti anchorage across the channel.

Taking our leisure, we watched as the neighborhood came alive.  Like most Caribbean islands, Culebra has no shortage of fowl!  The roosters crowing, chickens clucking to peeping chicks, and the added bonus of guineas and even peacocks, punctuated our morning peace.

Guinea fowl picked at seeds below our balcony

Roster daddy watches his women and children, keeping them safe from marauding cats!

Peahens lounged below our balcony.

As lovely as it is to just sit on the porch and watch the world go by, we've got only one full day to enjoy our temporary home island!  We packed up our picnic and snorkel gear, and hit the roads! We have no real agenda, so every time we saw something interesting, we just pulled over to investigate.  First point of interest:  the Culebra Cemetery!

You can see into the cemetery as you come down the hill!

We would have gone in and walked around, but there were workmen getting started cutting the grass, so we went on our way. People always give us funny looks when we're visiting random cemeteries...  

I remember we used to visit this station by water!

We had to make a fuel stop before going very much further.  Typical Island style, they don't send you out with a full tank.  You just need to return it with as much or more than you found it...  I'm sure they make out like thieves this way because people will fill it up before returning it... But anyway, fueling up was fun too.  We used to come to this station in our dinghy as it is situated along a canal that leads into the harbour form outside. Coming into the fuel bay, there is a one way street.  Happily, there were no cars lined up in front of us!  Early birds get the fuel!  Next stop?  Let's find a beach to snorkel!!

Melones Beach

Melones Beach is one of the places we visited by boat.  We came here briefly in 2016 when we had friends chartering.  I definitely get a tugging feeling when I stand on the shore and look out at places we used to roam freely, without the limitations of living on the land...   
But this is fun too!!!  Wheeeee!!!

I walked the beach, picking up pieces of coral "bones" to make a wind chime for our condo.  The little broken pieces make a lovely tinkling sound when they hit one another.  I like to hang them from a pice of driftwood on my patio.  I moved from Melones beach over to Playa Sardinas, looking for shells and other treasures.  That's where we found the lovely swing!!  Enjoy the peace of that Moment of Zen!

Hey baby... wanna go for a ride?
Bruce backtracked to get the cart, and picked me up on the road.  Off we went to the next stop, Playa Tamarindo!

Laguna del Flamenco

Check another Bandera de Hector off my list!!

Perfect spot to spread a picnic blanket...
I can't really even remember when was the last time we snorkeled... Playa Tamarindo is a great place to reset that clock!  Bruce went out for a look while I set up our picnic lunch in the shade. When he returned, it was my turn to go out and look around.  I can't say that it was the best place we've snorkeled, but it was still pretty cool seeing the fish in their natural habitat.  I always love seeing the Flamingo Tongue snail on the purple sea fans... as destructive as they are. And I saw some sort of sea slugs or worms of some kind just hanging around on another soft coral. 

The amazing Flamingo Tongue Snail!

The ever popular Sargent Majors

Hey lady... you gonna eat that cracker?
After that refreshing swim, I joined Bruce where he was lounging on the blanket, and handed out the lunch.  As tempting as it was, I did not share with the very bold rooster that came begging!  Not a behavior I wish to reward!
It's a little creepy, trying to enjoy my lunch with a rooster lurking behind...

Our condo from across the channel
After a lovely afternoon at the beach, we loaded up again and drove around the island in its entirety.  Reminded once again how small this island really is... we ran out of places to go (in the golf cart), and decided to return to our condo to check out that lovely swimming pool!  

We found the Peacocks!

We enjoyed a nice walk around the property, and after playing with the herd of snapping turtles in the pond, we joined another family in the pool.  We heard about the difficulties they were having in securing transportation back to the main island in time to make their flight out of Puerto Rico tomorrow morning.  They were taking the last ferry off of Culebra today, and just heading straight to the airport to wait for their flight out tomorrow morning.  They had several kids, so the intra-island flights were too pricey. I don't imagine that it is going to be easy for them.  Too bad getting to and from this beautiful island is so difficult for tourists!  And then the rain began to fall...

Back to our cozy condo for the evening!

Happy that we had the opportunity to enjoy the island and beaches before the rain came, we retreated to our comfortable patio.  We showered, and then made some frozen pizza on the stove top (look it up), which set off the smoke alarm, and a frenzy of airing out the condo... but then we settled again and enjoyed our evening in peace.  

The next morning, we were happy to say that there seemed to be no lingering smoke smell... and life on the island was back to normal.  The chickens scratched, and the sun came up in pastel splendor.  

We cleaned up our condo and went to the drop the keys into the box in the clubhouse.  Hens were still roosting there when we left!

We still had some time to kill before turning in our golf cart and proceeding to the ferry landing.  The skies were threatening, but if we could just squeeze in a little more touristing, this would be a staycation well spent.  

We stopped to take more flower pictures.  I love the variety of small flowers we have here.  You have to slow down and look closely to see them, but the reward is great!

There's a nice little viewing area

Imagine my delight and surprise, when we zoomed past the little Culebra Museum... Wait, what???  They're open???  Park this baby and lets go inside!  We have been past this place many times, but have never seen these doors open!  What a treat.  A very nice lady showed us around, and even settled us to see a very interesting video about the history of Culebra.  It has a lot of information about life before the US began bombing this area, and after.  Sometimes the US are just SCHMUCKS!  I hope that some day, all of this can be repaired.  That is all.

When we got ready to leave the museum, it began to rain.  Our luck just ran out!  We had to huddle behind the windshield but still managed to get soaked on our way to turn in the cart.  The driver took us to the ferry landing and we were still pretty early.  I managed to talk the workers there into letting us sit inside of the terminal because of Bruce's age.  I felt only a little bad about all of those people standing outside in the rain... while we enjoyed the chilly comfort of these chairs!  Sometimes having an old guy is a good thing!
Mad dash in the rain!

Lucky us!
As I mentioned before, we were both soaked to the skin.  When we boarded the ferry, we began to shiver immediately.  We held our backpacks against our chests the entire way home in an attempt to gain some insulation from the cold.  I swear the guys working on the ferry were completely aware of our plight and did nothing to help us.  Everyone on the ferry was shivering!  
Bye Hector the Protector!

Bye Culebra!  We will be back!

But even with that last little kick in the pants, we still had a wonderful and memorable time here in Culebra.  It was very different from our times here on our own boat, but I think we're going to be ok with that!  

All in all, our staycation went very smoothly.  We arrived home before dark, and we didn't lose anything!  And we didn't have to navigate!

No comments:

Post a Comment