We're presently on the island, almost half way through our 2 week stay. We had hoped to post daily with lots of photos at our blog Bobofeed http://bobofeed.blogspot.com/ and link you all on a semi-regular basis, but the wireless service where we are isn't too great & we're unable to upload photos. We're not big on "text only" blogging, (we can do that here, after all!) so that'll have to wait till we're home. In the meantime we thought a quick field report might be of some interest:
Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010- Thursday, April 1, 2010
Field Conditions: Sunny, 85F/ 30C EVERY FREAKIN' DAY!!*
*(with an afternoon sprinkle on Thursday)
A quick 4 hour flight down from Toronto, arrived into SJU at noon. 3:10 Cape Air to Vieques. Time for a cheeseburger & a couple of $8.00 Heinekens (OUCH!!) at the Sports Bar on Concourse B. Sort of a kick-off ritual...
Chepito actually turned up at the airport to hand over our ride. We think it was left there by the last customer, so he had to come make sure all was in order. All was. Gas just below 1/2. There were no lines at the gas stations so we stopped & put in $10 to see how far it would go. Gauge moved to just over half. (OUCH!!)
Straight to Superdescuento Morales for provisioning. They were pretty low on supplies, but we did OK. No Rold Gold pretzels available, but we could have had our fill of escargots, white asparagus, or quails' eggs. Go figure...
Sunday & Monday stayed pretty close to home. Got started on the half dozen books we each brought down. Some time by the pool, also time for afternoon naps- what a treat! Sunday, stopped in at Morales in Isabel II looking for a few things that we didn't find at Superdescuento, also hit the truck & scored some ripe pineapples & mangoes. Noticed they had bottles of homemade pique. Mmmmm...Unfortunately, they're too big to get through during our stay & we had a previous bad experience with a leaking bottle we carried home (Customs agent re-entering Canada: "Any food items to declare?" Us: "no". Him: "Is that vinegar I smell?...")
Tried the gas station again at about 5:00PM- had to get in line, but it went real fast & we filled up anticipating the holiday rush.
Tuesday, hit the street market at about 9:00AM. Pandemonium. Didn't need much, it was more about the experience, but we tried a baguette from Bayaonda (sp?) for the first time. It was pretty darn good. Headed to Sun Bay in the afternoon. Amazingly quiet, especially considering it's the run-up to Easter weekend. Seem to recall much more activity at this point in the week last year.
Wednesday, back to Sun Bay after lunch. Slightly more action, especially near the bathing pavilion.
The party circuit started for us on Wednesday night and all the talk was about W. Consensus: the grounds are awesome, the lobby/ bar scene is first rate, and the food....well, "meh". We'll be checking the place out a little later in our stay. Other hearsay of (dubious?) note: Next Course is very good (but you already read that hear on TA, didn't you?), El Quenepo is having issues with noise from the neighbours, and Conuco in Isabel has merited a second visit by the informant.
The island is looking fabulously lush, presumably due to all the rain earlier in the season. At the moment, we seem to be experiencing a bit of a heat wave & we find it a little more humid than we're used to here, but hey, we're not complaining!!
Thursday afternoon at Sun Bay was the busiest so far this week. Lotsa kids cruisin' with the reggaeton pounding. Also lotsa security folks on their ATV's. They were having a really good time spinning out on the sand! So far, keeping things safe at Sun Bay isn't all that demanding.
Late afternoon rain forced us off the beach, so we hopped in the car & went to check out the new road paving to Caracas. Pretty sweet, although those speed bumps get a little annoying. The beach was crazy- looked like there were 200 people in the water, tons of folks under the shelters & in little encampments having a good time. We rode over to Playuela & walked the 1/4 mile or so into the beach- met some acquaintances who were on the way out- and found only 2 couples on the entire beach. Crazy contrast between this & Caracas over in the next bay!
End of Field report #1
Sorry, no restaurant or hotel reviews from us yet (other than the gossip). We get off on cooking our own meals (maybe that makes us f**dies??) So just a little slice of our lives while here. We'll try to pop by again later in the stay for Field Report #2