|Tiger enjoyed the scraps from my pineapple!|
Guillermo arrived just as we were finishing our coffee, and we got busy doing the chores.
|Passion flower bud|
It didn't take us long to figure out what the long bamboo pole was for when Guillo handed it to Bruce. A bag on the end, rigged with a small knife wired to the edge made the perfect tool for snatching fat, delicious avocados straight from the tree!
|The tree was loaded with these babies!|
By this time, the poor little Buttermilk was losing patience. He was a hungry boy and he knew that his milk was ready...
|He put his whole nose in the milk! I'm not sure why he didn't drown!!|
|Wagging his tail, he slurped it to the last drop, then tossed the bucket!|
|As soon as Buttermilk was fed and moved to fresh grass, the chickens and bunnies got fed.|
|They have to stay in the cages because the dogs will eat them... Too bad!|
So, this whole escapade was initiated by a planned hike in Bosque Estatal de Rio Abajo. There's a hiking group on Facebook and this will be our first hike with them. Today's hike ends with a chance to see the elusive Puerto Rican Parrot. I've never seen one in the wild, so we're hopeful. These birds are most likely to be seen in the evening, so we had plenty of time to do a little bit of scouting around Arecibo before we had to head for the meeting place, so we drove north to the coast.
I have so many colored bubbles on my Google map that we have yet to visit. Today, we knocked out a few more! The coast road is really fun, and reminds us of the "beach town" vibe we loved when we lived in Port Aransas, TX. It's weekend, so everything is open and people are out enjoying island life.
Our first stop was to see the monument statue of Christopher Columbus. Birth Of The New World far exceeded my expectations!! This bronze statue rises an astounding 360 feet from base to top, and when it was completed in 2016, it became the tallest statue in North America. Quite impressive, to be sure. It's beautiful, and I was only disappointed that we could not walk all the way up to the base to look up at it.
|Closer detail of the base.|
We stopped at the Cueva del Indio site and took a brief look around. The trail is not long, but it's super hot and we have a long hike ahead of us. This will have to wait, but at least we know where to go and what to do for next time. Time was marching on and we began to think about food. We drove back along the coast road looking for pinchos! We didn't really want to hike on full tummies, and a shot of protein would do us nicely. Along the way, we found another place to visit on our next trip. There is a very nice attraction at the Arecibo Lighthouse. I think we're going to need more days!!
We found a pincho place, bought some and drove to the meeting place for a nice picnic. We parked beneath a tree and changed into our hiking shoes. The other hikers arrived, and we were ready to follow them to the hiking area. Evidently they've learned their lesson, that they should meet up in a place that has internet, instead of meeting in the mountains where there is no service for most carriers. Smart!621, it takes you all the way to the gate where you park your car and walk in.
There were eight of us in all, plus two big doggies. All of these people had hiked together before, and they were very welcoming of us newbies.
|A beautiful field of Coral de Jardin/Firespike|
|Firespike almost looks fake!|
|Ginger obviously, but what type?|
|This reminded us very much of the hashes we did in Grenada.|
|Beautiful fallen Maga flower|
|The trail became more obscure, marked only with orange ribbons.|
|Not staged! This flower fell into this rotted log!|
It was kind of fun backtracking through the seldom used forest trails. You really had to be vigilant because it was easy to leave the trail. But I made it back to the bamboo tunnel and Bruce, just about the time one of the other hikers, Nancy called out my name. She got worried that I would get lost and followed me out. I felt a little bad that she didn't get to see the cave, but she assured me that she was primarily here for the parrots.
|End of the line. Wait here quietly for parrots!|
The rest of the group returned, causing another hush... Well, we have to get back to our B&B and really didn't want to drive in the dark, so we were the first to turn back for the hike to the car. The others agreed, as they were coming from San Juan and had much farther to drive than we did.
|Some other kind of ginger I've never seen before.|
|This ginger was identified by another hiker as Butterfly Ginger, or Dulce Nieve|
|I've never seen it before, but here is a whole BUNCH of it!|
We ended our hike at under four miles. A bit longer than we've been doing lately, but we had plenty of time and distraction. I would definitely do this hike again! We said our goodbyes and drove back to the finca where we found Guillermo waiting for us. We opened a couple of adult beverages and enjoyed the company. Guillo gave us a sample of the Rellenos de Pana he had made out of canned corn beef and breadfruit from the tree out back. So delicious! He even gave us half a dozen of them frozen to take home with us! This guy...
|Our sweet new amigo, Guillermo!|
Eventually our fire died down and we said goodnight. One more peaceful night in the mountains, and we must go. The dogs kept us company while we drank our coffee and waited for Guillo to return again. He loaded us up with more avocados, and even a potted plant that he insisted I take! Hopefully I won't kill it!
|Willie, Negro, and Pinto (left to right) Good dogies!|
There was a man there trying to get under the falls, not a very smart move if you ask me. But he did it and didn't die, so there's that! We will put this on our list of places to visit next trip out this way. The river looks very inviting and there are more falls upriver. Awesome!
|Well in the end, we DID get to see a parrot!!|
This concludes another fabulous staycation here on our beautiful island!