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trip report 3/5 to 3/16

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Cummington, MA
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trip report 3/5 to 3/16

We rented a jeep from Vieques Car rental, who provided favorable terms and great service, including when our battery went dead ( our fault) and they came in literally ten minutes to jump it. We stayed again this year, as last, at Bravos by the Sea ( not to be confused with Bravo Beach Hotel ) , which we loved again for its location right on the water, its glimmering pool and hot tub overlooking the sea., wonderful comfortable beds and well equipped kitchen and wonderful management by the Bravos Boyz. There are a few easily accessible beaches, some swimmable , some with beach glass along North Shore Road used mainly by locals. We like staying in Isabella because you can get a feel for local life We had a very good dinner ( fresh grouper) at Taverna the first night, though were disappointed later in the week by the highly touted lunch. We made a rule to only eat outside, which was fun! Other food and restaurant reports: Peter's, our favorite last year was only ok this year and very expensive. We had a great meal at El Quenepo, which is not strictly outside but feels like it is!. We ate Pinchos at the tent near entrance to Sun BAy ( only there on Sat) and got a fabulous bar-b-que chicken near the entrance to the East beaches. We had two excellent locally flavored meals at Topacio , known for its fish. El Resuelve was close dfor dinner the Thurs we tried to go, but we have heard great things about it. We cooked at home lots more as the new veg stand was great. It is run by farmers from Puerto Rico who are selling mostly their own goods. Los Provechos provided many interesting items, but I loved the most going to the fish store by the ferry, recently bought by a mother and son who are really nice and very helpful in providing recipes for whole fish and conch. They are open daily from 10-3, best selection available around noon.

The weather was wild our first few days; one day the ferry could not dock at Fajardo due to conditions and had to come back. We were watching it from our terrace and it was very intense. So the water was roiled up and wavier than usual. We explored the many shelters at Blue beach, each private and in a beautiful spot right on the water. The road was graded early in our stay so it was a dream ! We went to Orchid beach for the first time, very similar to secret Beach ( which is now marked!) and lovely. We spent a lot of time at red beach where we didn't even need a snorkel to see fish and urchins and interesting plants, and the swimming was fabulous! We also enjoyed the ubiquitous horses, may of whom had new colts with them. We also saw people riding them and talking on cell phones!

The weather was a bit rainy at times, but basically fabulous!

We explored Mosquito Pier, which we were told was built to be the new ferry pier for at least the cargo ferry, but they did not include water to it so it is as yet unused. It is very long out into the water and a great place to picnic under a tree! We also saw the enormous cotton/silk tree near there. This tree is a must see with a root system that forms high vertical walls.

Having flown to Vieques both ways previous visit, we decided to take the ferry on the way home. I loved it; an unbelievable bargain at $2, and the van ride to San Juan airport was easy.

We did hear from people frequently that as the economy worsens, theft is up, especially of electronics. Keeping house locked is prudent and effective. Personally, I think leaving laptops at home makes for a much sweeter, Vieques paced vacation away from the world of hurry and work. We felt safe and secure everywhere we went and found everyone helpful!

I am already planning next year's trip in my mind!

Cummington, MA
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1. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Sorry: the name of the food store is Buen Provecho, not Los Provechos. Beth

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Hi, Beth;

Thanks for your great report! Only 10 days to go till we're on our way (for 2 whole weeks!) so I'm eagerly soaking up any trip reports I can get my hands on!!

We're looking forward to trying out the new produce truck as we always cook-in more than we dine out. Thanks for the tip as well about the fish shop- we've never had success getting fresh fish in Vieques- I guess we usually get out of the house too late in the day!

I'm sure I read once that Mosquito Pier was the beginning of a causeway that was going to connect to the main island at Roosevelt Roads & form a giant harbour for the naval fleet that operated in the Caribean/ south Atlantic at that time (prior to WW2) Then Pearl Harbor happened & the navy realized they should never have such high concentrations of resources in one place ever again. (I'll have to try to find the source, because even as I recount it, it sounds like a bit of a "whopper"!)

Anyway, thanks for the good reading!

B&J

Cummington, MA
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3. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

I think that the previous fish store owners got fairly peripheral; these seem quite determined to be open as stated, to assure a steady flow of business. good luck !

Toledo, Ohio
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4. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Great report! What great news that there is now a fish store! Is it in the building marked "piscadella" or something like that? I know that in August to get fish/lobster I had to wait at that building for the fishermen to come back with the days catch to purchase the sea creatures.

B&J: How exciting to be leaving soon!

Rudyard, Michigan
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5. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Great report Beth, we will also be there real soon, (3-28) for a week and have been reading about what is going on in Vieques. Is Medalla the beer of choice on the island? Maybe I'll try 1 or more. (Can't get the true taste with 1 can you?) haha We really can't wait to get there as I'm not functioning very good at my job right now in anticipation of next week.....

Toledo, Ohio
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6. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Medalla is the "official" beer of PR it seems.

Vieques
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7. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

The pier known as Mosquito Pier was built by the Navy. It is a mile long so as to reach out to water deep enough to load and unload the small supply/munitions ship. The Navy used it to unload munitions, that were stored in all those old bunkers you see on the west end of Vieques.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Hola, 7th;

yes, as Zeeb says, Medalla seems to be the "official" beer of Vieques. Unfortunately, we find it lacks, <como es la palabra? ...las pelotas??>

We're not big on drinking beer at the beach, which is probably what it's best for.

We usually pick up Heinies, which seem to taste yummy all the world over.

Zeeb, yes we are totally pumped about our return. We oscillate between thinking its still so far off & being thrilled at how soon we'll be there!

ByJ

ps- sorry for the nickname- I just can't remember the spelling without seeing it in front of me ;-)

Toledo, Ohio
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9. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

The nicknames fine...lol

Maybe one day kick the Heine for some DonQ, pineapple juice and Coconut cream. I usually make it as a pina colada(slushie)... But drink it like this or bring to parties like this as it is easier to mix and pour on the "rocks".

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: trip report 3/5 to 3/16

Darn, I just finished breakfast! I coulda had a pina colada smoothie if I'd read this sooner!