Visit El Yunque (El Joon-kay) Rain Forest

Trip Start Oct 17, 2006
Trip End Oct 23, 2006

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Flag of Puerto Rico  ,
Sunday, October 22, 2006

Grab some breakfast. Rent the car. Pick up Kristin. Stop for snacks (because you know the Globetrotters can never hit the road without some snacks). Then we're on our way to El Yunque (El Joon-kay) Rain Forest about 45 minutes from Rio Piedras. After a brief stop at the visitor's information center to watch a short film and browse around, we head up, up, up the mountain. What a beautiful drive up the narrow, winding road past trees I've never seen before. Our first stop is at La Coca Falls, a waterfall that gracefully drips down a flat rock surface. We gotta climb the rocks for a few pictures. Kristin passes Globetrotter test #5 - Adventurous and willing to climb to the top.

Then we drive up about four miles and decide to stop for a hike. Kristin dons the backpack and down the trail we go past such beauty-the trees, the rocks, even the manmade pathway blends perfectly with the natural beauty of the forest. The sound of water in the distance calls to us. Suddenly, the trail ends at a natural pool where water falls over the edge of a tall cliff like a sheer curtain over an open window with the wind blowing through it. Michael decides to get in and finds the water very cold. Soon, the waterfall is calling to Kris, and she can't resist. We have to change into our swimsuits. We find the perfect "dressing room" behind a tree and quickly change. Hey, Globetrotters gotta do what they gotta do . . .

Kris is determined to get under that waterfall; but once her body touches the cold of the water she has second thoughts. I know she won't be able to live with herself if she doesn't do it, so I encourage her to suck it up and go for it. Easy for me to say, I'm just knee deep in the icy water. But she does it. Then Michael joins her because he can't resist the temptation to let the water fall on him too. Why didn't I join them? Someone had to take picturesJ

Finally, we start back up the mountain along a different route. Michael insists that we're going to come out of the forest in a completely different spot than where we entered, but Kris and I don't listen. We're just enjoying the scenery. Sure enough, the parking lot we come to is not the one where we left the car. So we walk up the road with cars whizzing past us. Up, up, up about a mile and a half to another parking lot. This isn't where we parked either. It's hot and muggy. The road is steep. I've got pebbles in both my shoes. The Globetrotter candidate is handling things pretty well with that heavy backpack. Looks like she passes Globetrotter test #6 - carry your load without complaining.

Michael runs up ahead, certain that the car can't be too far. We wait. He soon drives up and tells us that the car was parked in a lot another mile and a half up the road. Thank goodness he went on ahead of us to retrieve the car.

Back down the road we stop at a pincho shop because Michael is now obsessed with those little kabobs. Then head out of El Yunque and back to the hotel we go to get ready for dinner. We have reservations at 8 and we don't want to be late.

We look fabulous as we go down to Tangerine for dinner. The food is delicious. Michael orders lobster ravioli; Kristin has the duck; and I had the pan-seared tuna. We share two quarts of sorbet (mango and raspberry). After all of that food, we're way too tired to go out dancing - at least the elder Globetrotters are. Something tells me Kristin is just catching her second wind. I hate to disappoint her, but I can barely keep my eyes open. We go upstairs and crash early, while Kris stays up to do some homework. Good for her.

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