Summer and Brandom’s stay was pretty short, so we tried to pack in all the stops we could. It’s hard when people come to visit because they are in vacation mode and we are not used to partying every night. Every other, maybe… (haha). But we had a lot of fun even if we are now completely exhausted!
Summer and Brandon at Gozalandia
We often go to Gozalandia with guests because it is just simply spectacular and close. This was probably our favorite trip because it was hot out and though there were more people, it was a Wednesday so it wasn’t too crowded. We each swung from the rope swing a few times and even jumped from the skull face. It was a great time.
Summer swinging from the rope
So much fun climbing, jumping and swimming!
Me swinging off the rope
Summer wanted to go to Villa Cofresí in Rincón again to share with Brandon the famed pirata drink out of a coconut and watch the sunset before heading over to the Art Walk.
Something so fun about drinking out of a fruit!
Sunset from Villa Cofresí
During the day I caught them a little iguana to hold. The darn thing kept snapping at me and trying to eat my diamond! But at least I haven’t lost my iguana catching skills!
On their final night here we went out with our friend Patrik in his nice Mercedes. Hanging out with Patrik is like being in real-life Grand Theft Auto. He is Swedish and very loud and intense, but a great guy. It was a lot of fun.
Brandon, BK and Patrik
Brandon, Summer and BK
And it’s always a silly good time with the Kersches
They even got to see the Rincón Lighthouse, but of course! Overall, I think Brandon got a good dose of the Rincón/west coast vibe.
I sometimes look at my own photos and can’t believe I live in this magical place!
Life is spinning by as fast as ever. We are entering the summer season and tourism is slowing down and the plants and rains are taking off. Here are a few pictures that don’t warrant a post in themselves but are fun reminders of this time in our life.
Our makeshift bird feeder at the cabin: old bananas. Zorzal and Troupial
As creatures we evolve to mimic our surroundings -haha
We’re still having fun playing music and performing with our band!
Rincón is so beautiful and colorful! Downtown plaza
Check out this weird mummified/dried out coqui I found in our closet!
I competed in a mechanical bull contest at a local bar and won 1st place of women and got some schwag (and a lot of bruises). Not too bad for my first time ever on one!! haha
You know this is a rural countryside kind of place when there are horses even in the projects
I don’t know if I will ever grow accustomed to the amazing creatures that just roam freely here
When we’re not having fun we are still progressing on the cabin -currently in the kitchen we are going for a tiki-bar tropical cabin in the jungle feel
These guys live at the balnerio in Rincón and even have a TV! One of them, Glen, makes incredible tie-dye creations as seen in one of the earlier photos
I love these gorgeous tropical irises that are blooming all over our gardens
This weekend we met up with a friend and decided to take an excursion up to Arecibo. We’ve been to the Observatory and Camuy Caves, though they probably merit another trip since it’s been more than 10 years. This trip, however, the main goal was to see the Cueva del Indio (Taino Indian Cave). From what I’ve read this cave was a sacred place for the Taino Indians and unlike many other caves in Puerto Rico, it is located right on the seashore. We met up in San Sebastian and headed up through the island with a few stops along the way.
One stop was a photo opportunity at Salto Collazo which was flowing with much more water
Along the way we got stuck in a couple of political caravanas, but it wasn’t too bad. For the next three weeks or so I have a feeling it’s going to get more and more intense around here. People line the roads and hang out their cars waving flags and playing music in support of their party or politician of choice.
Parades of noisy cars with their team -er- political colors and symbols
When we arrived in Arecibo we stopped at the Lighthouse aka Faro Los Morrillos.
We came around to where there is a Lighthouse Park. It looked like a kids’ amusement park without any real rides or anything. Parking was $3 and the entrance fee is $12! Pretty high. For $39 there are many other things I would rather do. Many people, including us, went up to the gate and then turned around. I mainly just wanted to see the lighthouse.
Beach side of the Lighthouse Park
We drove around to the other side of the Faro (which the clerk didn’t tell us we could do) and saw a better view of the lighthouse and also an awesome beach that had waves crashing and slamming into plumes of salt foam. This beach is called Pozo del Obispo.
On the playa side of the faro
Splash! At Playa Pozo del Opispo, Arecibo. The rock outcropping provides protection and creates a gentle swimming cove
View looking down at the beach area
And from there we could see one of our next stops! The huge and controversial Christopher Columbus statue that was dismissed from many other potential homes before arriving in Puerto Rico. You can see it a little in the above picture, but zoomed in you can definitely make it out. This statue is controversial because though Columbus is an important historical figure, he was also kind of a crappy human being who inflicted a lot of pain on people. Especially indigenous peoples like the Taino Indians who lived on the island before it was “discovered” by the Europeans.
Christopher Columbus Statue in the distance
Daylight was precious so we headed over to the caves. It gets dark around 6:30pm so we wanted to make sure to see the caves. When we arrived to the “official” entrance the clerk said we had missed it by 15 minutes! They close parking at 5pm!
“Official” looking entrance
We were super bummed to be turned away, especially missing it by only 15 minutes. But onward and upward. We headed down the road about 2 blocks and found the huge Christopher Columbus statue. I found it especially ironic or at least coincidental that this huge statue of the mass murderer of many indigenous people would be literally walking distance down the road from the sacred caves of the Indians.
Up close and personal with Columbus
We paid $2 to sit in the parking lot under the statue and make ourselves a drink. We were lamenting not seeing the caves when a man we had seen at the lighthouse asked us if we had seen them yet. We said no, that we just missed it. He said that all we needed to do was find a different entrance and we could go in and that the coast, where the caves are, is free and public. He said that he and his friend found a little snipped part in the fence and they just snuck right in and nobody said anything. Hey, we’re all for adventure! So we were off to see the caves after all! He said that they were charging $5 per person to enter through the official way, but that if you go yourself it’s free! Even better!
Just down from the official entrance we had seen earlier there were some houses on the road and so we parked just outside of there. We found the little hole in the fence and snuck right through. We climbed the sharp rocky rough ground for about 3 minutes and arrived to a beautiful sea scene with boulder arches and active waters.
Sort of horse-skull looking formation
We wandered about the rocky coast for a while and then saw a few people descending. This must be where the cave of the Indian is, we thought. There were rocky steps that seemed to be perfectly cut just for that reason. It almost felt like a den room.
Descending into the cave
Then we came upon the ladder that would take us deep into the heart of the cave where the cave touches the sea. The sacred room of the Tainos.
It’s just an old wood ladder, but appeared to be strong and sturdy
Cool old ladder has groove marks in the wood where many hands and feet pass
Cool ceiling complete with bats! Looks like a space craft!
It was really cool seeing all the Taino petroglyphs. I have read that this cave has more petroglyphs than any other site in Puerto Rico! I don’t know what they symbolized but it reminded me that this island has so many layers of history to it. Long before Columbus landed, the island was thriving.
Whole rock walls covered in petroglyphs
For being so open to the elements and visitors I thought it was remarkably well-maintained. I always find it so interesting that in Puerto Rico for the most part things are just left to the people to explore. A very populist notion of live and let live that I find really appealing, especially to my sense of adventure and freedom.
Since we were the last ones there we had a few minutes before dark to take a few fun shots. It would be an awesome place to do a proper photoshoot.
Then we were off! We snuck out through the same gate that we entered.
Squeezing through the gate
Later that night we went out to have shrimp pizza in Hatillo under the light of a brilliant full moon.
Another magical day in Borinken
Here’s a little video of our time at the caves and statue. Enjoy.
I’ve been wanting to stop by and see the Cabo Rojo lighthouse (Los Morillos) and Playuela for some time. We haven’t been since our honeymoon over 10 years ago! So we decided spur of the moment to go check it out. Unfortunately we got there just a little too late to go inside (it closes at 5pm), so we’ll have to come out another day. But because we arrived later, it wasn’t nearly as crowded and we got to see a beautiful sunset and the stars glow as dark descended. Southwestern Puerto Rico is a much harsher and drier environment compared with most of the rest of the island. When we were there the wind was pretty intense but the views were just incredible.
In front of Faro Los Morillos in Cabo Rojo. I love the green shutters
Looking down at La Playuela at dusk. During the day it is a hugely popular beach. Just behind are the sea salt flats