Tuesday we had to set out alarms for the first time to get a cab over to the Conrad. Of course the night before we had massive drama. Dad couldn’t get the pilot lit and we had to call in an emergency furnace tech.
We got on a bus tour to go visit El Yunque National Forest. It was really a four seat van and it was jam packed. We drove to the park and stopped in four locations. The first was the visitor’s center, which Mr. b and I skipped and did the short walking trail instead. We saw giant snails on the path. Then we stopped at the Yokahú lookout tower. It’s a recreation of the old Spanish tower. Mr. b loved the breeze at the top. You could see the coast and Calebra island. Next we went to a big picnic area that used to also be a swimming hole. They closed the baño grande in the 70s because of accidents. There was a cool series of small falls as one of the many creeks flowed through the area. Finally we stopped for a photo op at the waterfall pictures on all the travel ads: La Coca. It was a sheer drop and it was lovely.
We got back to the Condado about 1pm and decided to stay on that side. We walked down to the driver-recommended place for lunch, Casa Lola. It was far fancier than we were in the mood for but we stayed and it turned out to be exactly perfect.
Then we walked back to La Concha to change into our swimsuits and scam use of their beach and pool. The surf was really high so I didn’t even bother going into the water. Mr. b body surfed and got beaten by the waves for a while. Once we had enough we tried out the infinity pool. I had never been in one before. It was cool. Mr. b went to get us some drinks but they were too expensive, even for tourist hotel standards, so we packed up and moved down the beach. We ended up at the Atlantic Beach Club, which looked totally sketchy but ended up being exactly where we needed to be. We had some drinks and stared at the ocean.
When we got back to the apartment we did some packing and worked on finishing our bottle of Don Q. We went back to Patio de Sam and got dinner. Plantain and sweet potato chips and the best mofongo ever. Plus delicious mojitos. We hung out in the Plaza de Ponce for a while before heading back home.
After some TV Mr. b wanted to go back out and try the upstairs bar that was projecting a light show onto the plaza. I love the place. It felt like a St. Paul dive, with pool tables and everything. We got to chatting with the bartender, Eduardo, and his lady friend, Marie. He was supposed to make her dinner but had to work so she was hanging out. Eduardo is originally from Cuba and is an archaeologist, working in Ponce on the south of the island. We all got along great and then a couple of Argentine navy men came in. The quiet one had to get up and be on duty in the morning but Ignacio was ready to have fun. I left at 1:30 to go to bed, right as Mr. b was buying him a shot for his birthday the day before. I woke up about 3 and went back down there in my jammies to fetch him. Ignacio came home with us to exchange names to keep in touch on facebook. I want to try to locate Eduardo, too.
We got up early this morning and picked at our leftovers for breakfast. Security at the San Juan airport was ridiculous. They were clearly on island time and didn’t care. We spent over an hour on the taxiway at JFK but are in the air now. The drink cart is two rows away.