At the restaurant we ate dinner at on Thursday, our waitress had told me if we wanted to go to Culebra, we should leave our hotel by 6 AM. So, that we did. We drove to the Farajado ferry station and were in line for tickets by 7:15 AM. I had considered reserving tickets through an agency the week before but they charged a $20 fee and I thought for sure it would be a waste of money because the Puerto Rican kids would be in school by the time we came and the crowds would not be that bad. So I did not do that….
When we got in line there were actually not a large number of people in front of us. I thought for sure that we would get tickets for the 9 AM ferry. The line did not start to move until 8:50 AM. So, the kids and I were standing in the sun for 1 hour and forty minutes before the line moved. Finally around 9:20 they announced (in Spanish) that there were no more ferry tickets available for the day. I asked the man if it was possible to reserve tickets for Monday and he showed me where to go. The kids were not happy that we did not get on the ferry.
I proceeded to the reservation area and the woman told me I could get either 4 AM or 1 PM tickets for Culebra on Monday. Arg. I thought for a minute and then asked her if there were any tickets available for Vieques on Monday. She told me they did have 9 AM availability and then she asked me if I wanted to return at 3:00 or 6:30 PM. I stood there thinking for a minute because to me, 3:00 seemed too early and 6:30 seemed to late for the kids. She told me to wait a minute and she would check with her boss. She came back and printed me three tickets and then pointed out that she was able to get me onto the 9:00 AM ferry for Culebra on Monday. She just pointed to the island and she did not want to seem to say it out loud, I assume because she got me a special override on that ferry. I was very grateful…although I had hoped to go to Culebra today. The three tickets cost us around $8.45 for all three of us. So, if we decide not to do it, it is not the end of the world.
After our disappointing ferry experience, we went to go find a local beach to hang out at. We ended up going to the Seven Seas beach. The minute we got out of the car, it started raining…so we decided to wait it out in our rental. About 20 minutes later we got out of the rental and proceeded with all of our stuff to the beach. Once again, the skies looked ominous. It started sprinkling…then pouring. We decided to return to the car. That “quick” storm ended up being torrential rain for about an hour. At least we were in the AC. The kids entertained each other by playing a game where you had to say a country that started with the last letter of the country you previously named.
Finally around noon the rain stopped. By this time we had snacked in the car. So, we headed to the beach. The kids were amazed at how clear the water was. We immediately saw a blue crab, and we also saw some fish. We kept seeing crabs that would come out and then cover themselves with sand. So this made us slightly nervous to put our feet in the sand. The kids and I snorkeled for a little bit and then we rented a kayak for an hour. After that the kids played in the water some more. We probably left the beach around 3:00 PM. We then went to McDonald’s to get some McFlurries and a lunch for the boy.
Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way back to our hotel. We arrived back around 4:30 PM and then R went swimming for an hour while the boy returned to the room to shower. While at the pool we ran into the people who were behind us in the ferry line and they recommended a place for dinner. Thus, we went to Bebo BBQ which was a ten minute drive from our hotel. It was all Puerto Rican’s there so I guess it is a place the locals go. While eating there was a stray dog which made R sad. She doesn’t like to see dogs without homes. She convince me to let us feed the stray some of our left over chicken.
We ended our evening by stopping by the grocery store for more sunscreen and a cheap pair of sunglasses for myself. Then we headed back to the hotel and the kids once again went to bed earlier.
I’m sure some of you may be wondering what the conditions are like in PR right now post hurricane. The roads actually seem to be in better condition than other Caribbean islands I have been to. However, there are exits that are closed off unexpectedly. If you did not know about the hurricanes you would probably not realize some of the damage is from the hurricanes. We did see evidence of US support….we were going to go to a playground but then we noticed it was also a site for FEMA assisstance. As a result, we decided not to use the playground.
Tomorrow we are going to El Yunque rain forest and I hear that there had been lots of damage there…so I guess we will see tomorrow if we notice more evidence of hurricane destruction.