Puerto Rico 2015Co-qui, Co-qui, Co-qui. We woke up this morning with the repetitive but soothing sound of the native blue-headed frog. This magazine-worthy amphibian is known for its bright colors and is only found on the 3500 square mile island of Puerto Rico. After a short stop to get a taste of Puerto Rico, a traditional ham and cheese sandwich topped off with pickles, we took off headed for El Yunque National park. El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest run by the United States National Park Service. Plants of all kind hang from every which corner, lizards and iguanas climb every tree, monkeys swing from every branch. No, the monkey part is not true but it's quite an incredible scene. After a short drive home we met Yann, my brother who is a pilot based in Puerto Rico, and found a typical restaurant called La Vacca Brava. This directly translates to the brave cow.
Before meeting up with Yann, we took a little breakfast bite at a nearby taco shop. We then hit the road and headed west towards a quiet and quaint beach where massive waves collided with volcanic rock spewing mist all over the beach. Then we headed towards a cove on the water where natural caves formed. Fun fact, the native people that lived their hundreds of years ago used the caves as a town hall and met for political and spiritual purposes.
Today we woke up bright and early at 5 in the morning to take a one hour plane ride to St. Bartolommei, an island one colonized by the french. In fact, if you didn't know, you might think you were in France with bakeries on every street corner. So we started off by meeting my dads nephew. Stephan, was born in Algeria like my dad, and en moved to Colmar, Alsace, where my dad and him spent a lot of time together. So he told us the best beaches,bakeries, and boutiques. After a tour in the city, we took our car and crossed the island to the north eastern side, about a 40 minute ride with spectacular views everywhere. Literally. Colombo beach is only accessible by a 30 minute hike along a gorgeous hill covered with all sorts of vegetation intertwined with cacti, or by boat. After spending some quality time snorkeling and talking to fellow french citizens. But sadly after returning on the windy roads, we were called back to the airport to leave.
This morning we woke up at 10 after getting home late from the airport yesterday. We started off by eating at a quiet and quaint restaurant called Caficultura. This modern cafe serves typical Puerto Rican food with an American twist. I ordered a coconut pancake topped off with strawberry jam and coconut shreds. Walking through the streets, I noticed how beautiful the paved roads were in old San Juan. These small cobblestone squares are tinted grey with a hint of blue, blending right in with the nearby ocean. Shortly after leaving the restaurant, we stumbled upon a basketball court. This court had been created by basketball star Carmelo Anthony to promote basketball in this Puerto Rican slum. Then we went to the Museo De Las Americas. This museum talks about Spanish, African, and European heritage in Puerto Rico. For dinner, we ate at a small Tex-mex restaurant where I ordered two soft shelled tacos.
We started off this morning with a quick swim in a nearby resort where my brother, Yann, met us in the poring rain. El San Juan, the resort where we were swimming, was built in 1968 and was originally a warehouse until covered to a resort in 1991. Following our relaxation we headed to old San Juan where we ate at a American /Puerto Rican fusion restaurant. They served adventurous but delicious dishes where truckloads of taste were poured into your mouth after every bite.
Today we started off by eating at our favorite restaurant Caficultura. Then we headed towards the old town to pick up a pinacolada at the birthplace of the world famous drink. Then we visited the governirs palace, a small version of the white house with fancy rooms. Here are some pictures: