Monday, August 29, 2011

Caja de Muertos




Well, after a whole TWO days of school last week (3 cancelled days due to Hurricane Irene uncertainty), we were all stressed to the max and in need of a relaxing day at the  beach.  ;) 

Luckily, we had reservations for the ferry to Caja de Muertos all booked in advance.

Caja is a small island and nature preserve just off the cost of Ponce, about an hour’s drive away.  The name of the island can be translated to “Coffin Island.”  The “official” reason for this name is that the island is said to look like someone laying down when seen from far away.  The legend behind the name is that a pirate married a woman and took her pirating with him, but she died on the first raid.  Heartbroken, the pirate but her in a glass coffin and buried her in a cave on a deserted island.  Each month, he is said to have come back to the island to visit her grave and leave half of his treasure in the cave.  However, the pirate was killed eventually, and later a Spanish engineer discovered the coffin and named the island. 

Either way…it’s a beautiful island. 

However, on Sunday, not QUITE so beautiful as usual…at least for the first half of the day.

View from the ferry...nice dark storm cloud right next to the island

Sure enough, as we reached the island on the ferry, the rain began.  We made it to a picnic shelter, which helped keep us and our belongings dry for a few minutes.  And then the wind (and lightning) picked up, and we made for a more solid structure.  We stood under the porch of the official office, where two rangers listened to a radio in Spanish and smiled at us empathetically, until the rain stopped twenty minutes later. 

I like thunder storms.  I really wasn’t fazed by the lightning flashes nearby, and I would have enjoyed the storm had the rain been warmer.  The other girls were not of the same mind.  Maybe I should have been more concerned.

Anyway, we survived.
After noon, the sun poked out from under the clouds, and we began to see the island in its true beauty.  The water is clear and still…it’s like swimming in a pool of salt water (which is refreshing, after you’ve been tossed around in the waves a few weekends in a row).  The rocky cliffs provide a striking backdrop.  I can’t wait to go back when the sun is shining and we can see the water in its true greenish-blue.  Also, I want to go back and try hiking to the lighthouse on the other end of the island.  I’m always up for an adventure.


Pelican beach--where we were--is that spot of sand at the right



PS...I can't believe I've been here more than a month already!  And at the same time, I can't believe it's only been a month.  Puerto Rico already feels like home in a lot of ways.

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