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Trip Report Trip Report Vieques and San Juan, Jan. 30 - Feb. 6 2016

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They say if you want God to laugh, show her your plans. Our trip started with an 8 1/2 hour delay by American Airlines that made us miss our flight to Vieques and our first night at an expensive pre-paid inn. Long story not worth telling, but we ended up getting to Fajardo at 11:30 p.m. where we stayed at the Fajardo Inn so that we could get an early flight out to Vieques in the morning. John of John's Publico was over-the-top helpful in following our story and being willing to come get us whenever we arrived, to take us from the airport to Fajardo. And Air Flamenco was great about letting us change our flight with no problem.

Marquita's car rental where we'd rented a 2 door jeep, was also great to work with about our changed arrival time. They had someone to meet us at the airport on Vieques within 5 minutes of our arrival, to help us make it to Hacienda Tamarindo in time to get the breakfast served from 8-10. Hacienda Tamarindo's lobby is built around a tree, so different and lovely. People there very friendly but not at all intrusive. Our room had a terrace with a lovely view tho' really we could have paid less for a more standard room as there were plenty of spacious and quiet communal places right outside the door as well, from which to see the view, and the room itself was fine but nothing extra special.

That day we explored the numbered beaches of La Chiva; would have saved us some time to read in advance what type of beaches the different numbers were, but then we might have missed eating our lunch at one of the non-sandy beaches with a beautiful view and not another soul in sight! The lunch, btw, was not from the Sol Truck we'd heard such good things about, because we missed their having food by about 15 minutes, but we thoroughly enjoyed our food from the truck right across from them.

Evening was our electric boat bio-bay tour with Island Adventures - this was one of those not to be missed experiences that words truly can't describe. A highlight of our whole trip. Once back, had a very delicious dinner at Bili. And decided to stay another day on Vieques, tho' it meant double-paying as we'd pre-paid for an Isla Verde place starting Mon. night.

Next day we took a ride to see the almost 400 yr. old ceiba tree on the other side of the island, very worth the ride, and we discovered a beautiful, completely empty beach right behind it, with lots of pelicans diving into the water. After some time there, drove back to the Sun Bay beach. Hard to believe it's the "town beach" with so few people (meaning maybe 3 other singles/couples; probably were more on the weekend). Beautiful, and we also enjoyed our chat with the man at the food kiosk, who had unbelievably good snack food and drink for a beach spot! More good food at El Quenepo for dinner that night, tho' we actually liked Bili from the night before, even better.

Tues. (our anniversary) morning we flew back to Ceiba, rented a car, and on way to El Yunque stopped at the Luquillo food kiosks to see if anything was open yet. Several were, and I got to practice my Spanish and we had breakfast at one, and got to take a quick look at Luquillo beach for future reference, too. Didn't spend time there, tho', as wanted to get to El Yunque, where we did the typical stops of La Coca Falls and Yocahu Tower, and then took the Big Tree Trail to La Mina Falls. DH got all the way in the water, I only put my feet in, freezing cold, lol, and very slippery rocks!

Of course the hiking deserved a food treat, right? :-) Late afternoon by then, we made our way to La Familia II Bakery, which was an incredible treat for both meal-food and the sweet treats. Oh, that flan! Then drove to Isla Verde to check in to the condo we'd rented for the rest of our trip.

Most of the rest of the trip was r&r on the beach. Notable food/drink experiences were the free coco loco at La Playita, overlooking the water, and the ceviche there; breakfast one day at La Espana y Panaderia; dinner at Jose Enrique and the experience of seeing La Plaza Mercado; and for our last night, the mofongo at our old favorite Mi Casita which gets mixed reviews online but which we love. I had the one with the red snapper, so very tender! Our waitress seemed to genuinely enjoy my doing my best with my Spanish, and was very friendly. And very generous with the half pitcher of Sangria we ordered.

We were then going to go dancing at the hotels as we'd done last year, but I was too tired, a rarity for me as I love to dance! So our trip ended with our condo owner letting us check out as late as we wanted Sat., so we got to stay on the beach with its calmest water day of all, til 1:30, before we had to head for the airport home.

This was a wonderful trip. We ended up saving Guavate and the western part of the island for another time, as we wanted more relaxation time after our day's airport delay, and time in Vieques and El Yunque. Always good to have things to come back for!

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