Journal: Feb. 20 – Guanica, PR
I departed from the Surfer’s House this morning and ventures to Ricon’s lighthouse. What was immaculate there were a few surfers that dotted the waves below, each taking their turn to ride the crashing surf. Afterward, I went on a windy car journey towards Rojo Cabo the Southernmost part of the west coast. Just as I was about to leave the nature preserve and enter Rojo Cabo, a police officer made everyone turn around. There is only one road that goes to Rojo Cabo.
Back I went, tracing the same winding path in the hot, desert-like valley. Everything in this corner of Puerto Rico was in desperate need of water. The grass and rocks had Arizona like desert hues. I saw a few cactus plants nestled in barbed wire fencelines. But also on my journey, I saw banana fields and herds of cattle grazing. They relaxed in the green plains further north. Not far from their haven the mountains loomed in the distance. That’s where my journey continues.
Before hiking the mountains, I made a pit stop in La Parguera to snorkel at the nature preserve. It’s rumored that sea turtles frequent these parts.
My mind is more preoccupied with the fact that I might have to wear flippers, and how on earth do you swim with those?
La Parguera is a small tourist town. Lining the highway to the coast are hotels and souvenir shops. In the middle of town, there are quick stop restaurants with the best American and Puerto Rican fried foods. There are dozens of boat tour shops stationed by the bay as well, ready to serve the tourists.
Tonight I’m going to go on a sunset snorkel and see one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico. I plan to see the brightest one during my stay in Vieques. After my sea adventures, I plan to drive to an apartment near the mountains to stay with Rosanna and Walter.
Before bed, utterly exhausted
Rosanna is like a mother hen and a loving grandmother combined into one petite Puerto Rican woman. She was strong and independent — not relying on her husband to show me around. She was also soft and gentle, asking how my travels had gone so far and suggesting where to head next. In their one-story stucco home, the purple walls of their guest room embraced me at night and rocked me to sleep. A quilt, not quite unlike the handiwork of my grandmother — kept me warm and safe throughout the night. The quilt was all the snippets and segments of travelers stories who had stayed before me. Each of us leaving a small imprint on Rosanna and Walter’s guest bedroom.