Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to this forum. I'm convinced that our trip could not have been a success without all of you!
We left Houston on Thursday and arrived in SJ around 5pm. We rented a car from National (no complaints) and headed to Casa Candela. Pablo met us out front and helped us park before he showed us to our room. OSJ driving was a little scary at first with all the blind corners, but by the end of the trip, we felt like pros.
Casa Candela is a no frills hostel on San Sebastian street. We had the "suite" with a balcony that overlooked the city. It was perfect for us; there was a bar downstairs and a convenience store across the street. We ate at El Jibarito at Pablo's recommendation and were not disappointed. The food and rum punch were so good! We spent the first evening in El Patio de Sam (Hi Edgar!) and I met my first, or I should say my first three, mojitos. We got along great. : )
Next day, we had mallorcas at Cafeteria Mallorca and headed for El Morro, spent about 2 1/2 hours walking around it and discovered they weren't lying about the need for sunscreen. My shoulders were pretty toasted, but not bad enough to ruin my trip. Most of the rest of the day was spent just walking around OSJ, taking it in.
Saturday, we were up early and on our way to Fajardo to catch the 9am ferry to Vieques. We arrived at the ferry dock at 7am, quite by accident because we missed the ferry signs. We got in a HUGE line and waited until about 9:30 before the announcement was made that the 9 am ferry was full and we would have to wait until 3pm. We worried a little because we had a biobay reservation for 6pm that evening. Luckily, we met up with some locals that let us follow them to the Fajardo airport and even helped us book a flight. (Thanks Jorge, Juan and Lucia!) We landed in Vieques around 12:15pm and had plenty of time to relax before the biobay.
Martineau Car Rental picked us up from the airport and we checked in to Tradewinds Guest House. Time just seemed to slow down at that point. We wandered up and down the malecon, drove to Sun Bay and hung out for awhile, had a late lunch at Bananas (good burgers, but soggy fries) and then went to Blue Caribe Kayaks for our tour.
The guys at Blue Caribe were great...it was the experience of a lifetime. We kayaked out into the bay and swam for about 45 minutes. On the way back, the guide was hitting his paddle on the side of the kayak and it was making the fish jump and swim like crazy. Kinda mean, i guess, but really cool looking. Hubbie got smacked in the arm by one. Can't wait to bring the kids back next summer.
We spent the day Sunday exploring the island and checking out all the beaches before our 3:30 flight back to Fajardo. Red beach was my favorite, but the rocks at Playa Prieta Pata were cool too. Most of the beaches were empty, but a few had 2-3 people on them. (Where were all those people from the full ferry???) After lunch, we rented kayaks from Blue Caribe and went out to Cayo Afuera for some snorkeling. Great spot...we saw 2 HUGE eagle rays that came within 20 feet of us. That was the snorkeling highlight of the trip.
When we arrived back in Fajardo, we set out for Casa Picaflores in El Yunque. The drive was about an hour, and Matt gave perfect directions. We arrived, settled in to Casita Z and had some time to explore the trails and fruit trees on the property before a delicious on-site dinner. With full bellies, we fell asleep to the sound of the coquis.
Tired fingers...more to come soon.