Ok, this time I’m mentally well prepared. Our friend George on Summer Wind suggested we go in the other direction for a hike in the dry desert side of Puerto Rico. Surprising place, this Puerto Rico. John from Bad Bunny was along as he’s always up for some exertion. George has become our de-facto tour director…it’s his car after all and he seems to know his way around the island and sure enough he knew of a roadside vender where we could stop to buy lunch, and a beautiful beach to eat it on. Great BBQ ribs, rotisserie chicken, and for the long suffering vegetarians among us, yucca, plantains and rice and beans with that promised beautiful beach picnic spot thrown in just for atmosphere.
George quickly found the entrance to the park and we were amazed at the contrast with the rainforest park. It didn’t even look like the same island with more cacti than you could shake a stick at, if you were so inclined.
It turns out that George is a paraglider pilot so he’s always on the lookout for launch sites that have a cleared area with no obstructions and that also face the eastern trade winds. Oh and have some height of course. On our way back to Ponce, just as I was settling comfortably into the back seat of the little KIA I heard George say under his breath, hey that could be a possibility. I chimed in with a cheery, hey we’re here let’s check it out. In my defense I really hadn’t thought it through what with having that nice tired feeling there in the back seat of the little KIA. Maybe it’ll just be a drive by. Soon we bouncing up a nearly vertical, twisty, rock strewn, rutted dirt road. Eventually the little KIA said NO MAS and we started climbing by foot with about one third of the mountain to go, there was much huffing and puffing from crew. Great view, bad launch site with all manner of electrical wires and cell towers and the clearing didn’t face east.
As for the descent, just read A walk in the rain but subtract the mud and add loose dry scree, just as treacherous but an easier clean-up. It was steep!
As always we hit a couple of provisioning stops on the way back just to take advantage of the ride. I don’t know why but we always forget things that we need even though we have a compulsive list maker among us. She’s also a compulsive list loser which may explain some of the problem but we’re always grateful for any extra provisioning runs, especially in a car.