San Juan (Corina, Stacey, Josue)
The next day we were up bright and early enough to catch a coqui!
These tiny little frogs are named for the sound they make (can we say onomatopoeia?) every night like song birds. Of course, some people hate the sounds they make, and it keeps them up, but I thought it was beautiful. Plus, if you can sleep through the songbirds pre-dawn every morning, you should be able to handle a few measly frogs.
Then, we were off to the Camuy Caves, a huge system about an hour away from San Juan. From what we’d heard, these caves had the potential to be closed though – there had been an accident about a year ago in which falling rock had killed a woman, the first accident to ever happen during a tour at this cave site. Consequently, they were closed to update safety procedures for some time. Kelsey had told us the day before that she had gone to see them, and they were open for business, so we were excited to have the opportunity to see them. Unfortunately we arrived just after an English tour filled up, so they told us we’d have to wait for about half an hour for the next one.
2-3 hours later, we still were not actually in the caves. In fact, not a single tour group had departed since we arrived. After severe questioning of the authorities, we found out one of the trams had broken, there were still at least 90 people in line ahead of us, and they had no idea when the next tour would even depart. Thankfully we were able to get a refund, as we wouldn’t have time to come back to the caves, and typically they only give rain checks.
We had planned to spend the afternoon on the beach, so we quickly headed off in the direction of the coast, hoping to recoup some of our waiting time at the caves. We were all starving by that point as well, so some food seemed in order. I can safely say, the roadside stand we stopped at was excellent, and those pinchos were the best part of our day. And Corina really liked them too…
Of course, as soon as we stopped to get out of the car, tropical heavy rain. The beach was out for the moment. Instead, we half-stumbled into this lagoon area where swimming was forbidden, but many people were fishing. So we set of to hike around a bit, and discovered…snails. Not just one or two, but hundreds of the big old things.
There was plenty of other wildlife as well.
Finally at the end of the day, we relaxed on the waterfront of San Juan with fried foods and several Medallas (local beer) each.
Eventually we worked our way over to listen to a reggae group we’d heard about, and took some time to look at the water at night, and enjoy the stars while we slowly relaxed into evening. And despite a few showers and a possiblity of a rain-out for the band, everything resolved itself in the end.
All in all, though it was an unexpected sort of day, and if it was early-on filled with waiting and boredom, it was also full of hidden surprises. And if you can’t recognize those when they spring out at you, what’s the point anyway?