Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Puerto Rico by Coach

by Pa Rock

We docked at San Juan Harbor early this morning. My first stop was at a souvenir shop where I bought a couple of throw-away cameras because my expensive digital died yesterday. It always has issues when I am on nice trips.

I walked on up the hill to the old Spanish Fort, which I had visited when I was in Old San Juan thirteen years ago. Deciding it was too sultry, I strolled back to the port and boarded an air-conditioned tour coach for a trip to El Yunque, the rain forest that is also a National Park. Our driver, Jose, was quite informative as he took us from the port, through New San Juan, and on east to El Yunque.

Jose explained that the island is basically one hundred miles by thirty-five miles, and most of the interior is mountainous. The beaches are plentiful, 365 total - one for every day of the year, and they are free! Free beaches - what a concept! Jose recommended Flamingo Beach in eastern Puerto Rico, saying that it is ranked number seven in the world. (I want a job ranking beaches!)

The architecture of New San Juan is a mixture of Miami and Moscow, colorful and elegant interspersed with drab and dreary cement boxes.

I had been to El Yunque on that earlier trip, and today we went to many of the same places that I visited then. I was amazed that I remembered things so well, because that was the equivalent of several lifetimes ago.

We did come across some wildlife in El Yunque. I saw several lizards, birds, and a nest of the tiniest birds that I have ever seen. We also imported a bird into the forest preserve - a Chicago Shit Bird. The CSB is a featherless moron who crows too loudly, never shuts up, and knows everything while really knowing nothing at all. This particular bird wandered into El Yunque with an expensive camera, and then proceeded to break the only rule that had been imposed on our group. He strayed off - and caused no end of bother. Jose finally had to send us on back to the bus by ourselves while he retraced the trail looking the wandering loon. Turns out the moron had grown fearful for his expensive camera when it started to rain, and he ran back to the bus without having the courtesy to tell anyone.

Did the Chicago Shit Bird apologize to his traveling companions as he should have done? No, of course not. His species does not have the vocal ability to admit an error.

The CSB is also not the smartest bird in the cage. What kind of fool would walk into a rain forest not anticipating that it could possibly rain?

Avoid this creature at all costs!

Finally, back in Old San Juan, our group discovered a very large iguana at the old Spanish Fort. He posed politely until the CSB with the expensive camera got too close - and then he scurried underground. If the hole that he crawled into had been larger, some of the rest of us might have followed just to get away from the predatory bore!

More later...

No comments: