Sunday, July 19, 2009

Unexpected Vieques

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I should have suspected something when my daughter Rosita said, "Mom did you already buy your tickets?" My pause and no should have given me a hint that that was the wrong answer. She was right. We got to Fajardo around 8:20 for the Ferry that was scheduled to leave at 9:30. Too late. Too bad. Tough luck. There were about 200 people still in line when they announced that the 9:30 ferry was full and that the next one was scheduled for 3:00 in the afternoon. That ruled out Culebra, unless we only wanted a boat ride, and we really wanted to go to the beach. We considered Plan B and Plan C. Plan B was to switch to Vieques and Plan C go to Luquillo. Fortunately we went for Plan B and were able to get on the Ferry to Vieques.

The ticket costs four dollars each way since I am not yet a "Senior citizen" here. So I paid the full fare, which when all things considered is an incredible deal. Once on the island you have to take a "publico." Publicos are a type of public transportation owned by private operators and are usually large size minivans that can seat up to 10 to 12 people. Since my sister and her husband had been to Vieques before, her husband sought out Manuel's bus and we arranged for him to come pick us up at Sun Ray beach at 2:00. This is a very important thing to do so you do not get stranded at the beach and end up without a ride back to town in time to catch the ferry home.

When we got to the beach at 11:45, there was hardly anyone there and we were able to pick a very nice coconut palm tree to sit under. We hadn't been there more than five minutes when a beach maintenance man came by and warned us about falling coconuts, so we moved to a safer place. We set up our gear, got in the water and then had sandwiches, ice water, and dessert.

Anyway. The water was amazing. Not only for it beautiful color but the temperature. The only annoying thing that happened on this otherwise perfect day was that as soon as I stepped in the water a very territorial fish came and bit me. I didn't say anything at first, since I had only stepped into the water, and my sister and her husband weren't close by but a few minutes later, I heard others complaining about the same thing. I think the fish got the message that we weren't leaving and eventually quit nipping us. To prevent another nip on the leg, I just stayed in constant movement and it didn't bother me again.

Sun Ray beach is wonderful and hypnotic. I put sunscreen on but I got sunburnt anyway. I stayed in too long and now I am paying for it. In a minute I will be spraying myself with Solarcaine so I can sleep. So enjoy the beach but don't make my mistake. Here I was saying yesterday that I didn't want to become a tomato, and here I am, red as a tomato after all!

True to his word, by two, Manuel was there waiting for us. Actually he arrived at twenty of two, so that was terrific. He was relaxing with the men from the beach, the maintenance crew and such, and we didn't feel hurried what so ever. While we got ready to leave we chatted with some ladies from Mexico, enjoying ten days here. Then we headed into town, but not without Manuel pausing to wait for me to get some nice pictures of the beach. He dropped us off at Isabel 2da, and then we roamed the plaza, and got on our ferry to head home. The trip home takes at least an hour, but it is a lovely ride. We did encounter some choppy waters as we neared La Isla Grande, (the big island,i.e. Puerto Rico) and some people did not feel so well. Fortunately the choppiness didn't last long. We were back on the Isla del Encanto before we knew it!

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