Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 4

This day was the first moving day. Time to leave the East coast and move South. We began the day with Snooba before driving into the mountains for roasted pig, heading through Ponce and arriving in Guanica.
Nathan and I didn't have time to get PADI certified so we could go Scuba diving. Nathan suggested we find a Snooba place where you dive below using a long tube connecting you to the air tank that floats above. There was only one place on the entire island. Good thing it fit into our schedule. Nathan had done it before on a trip to Hawaii when he was 10 or so. I wish we could have gone Scuba diving but this was fun too.
We arrived on time which was apparently WAY too early. The other group was driving from the West side of the island and was caught in traffic. We got to sit around with the wacko instructor/owner and wait for an hour. When we finally got moving it was very rough. We learned later that he wouldn't have gone out it the other group hadn't driven so far. Once we got out there they sent to other group into the water first because they were more nervous. Nathan and I got tossed into the water and off we went. (The other group had freaker-outers that couldn't relax and get under the water. I felt bad for them.) We spent about 30 minutes underwater and the instructor guided me around so I could get closer to the coral without touching it. It had been raining everyday so the visibility wasn't as good but I still had fun and really want to get PADI certified!


I didn't know that I was so close to the bottom and could stand up!

When we got back to the dock we showered and got ready to move on. We'd watched two episode on the Travel Channel about Puerto Rico, No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain) and Bizarre Foods (Andrew Zimmern). Both of them drove to the "Pork Highway" and Cayey and ate roasted pig at one of the many food stands. We decided this was a must do. It was pouring down rain but we made it. When we got there the guy ran around to find someone who spoke English. The food was yummy and we had a great time. they let us pose for pictures and the guy found an umbrella and helped out me into the car so I wouldn't get wet. What a nice guy!

Here piggy piggy!

I ate pig skin for the first time but passed on the blood sausage. The rice was great and we had it at a few other places before we left. There are little pea-like things in it. I'll have to look up what they are since I can't remember the name.

The guy made Nathan hop up there and handed him the knife.

We headed off to Ponce with full bellies. My Dad lived in Ponce for close to a year in the 70's while working for Union Carbide. We saw the old plants on the way out of town. They shut down after a hurricane hit and messed everything up and made it too costly to rebuild. Mom and Dad looked at moving down there at one point. Can you imagine?!

We went to the town center (just find the church) and started exploring. It was lame. Very small and I got creeped out by a homeless lady that was loud and falling all over the place. We ate some sort of ice cream concoction (twice) and looked for souvenirs. We didn't find anything good and I was ready to move on.

You can't really see it but the windows on the top were all different colors. Very pretty!

Tamarindo flavored!

The Lion Fountain in the middle of the town square.

We went back for more! Vanilla and coconut this time! SO GOOD!

We headed off to Guanica to check in to Mimi's Guesthouse. It was a huge room, but the smallest at the place, and was very affordable. The owners were great and super helpful. It was kind of strange staying at someones house instead of a hotel but I'd go back for sure and would recommend it to anyone going to that area! We went out for a drink but went back and we were asleep by 9:30, maybe ever earlier. Vacation is tiring!

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