Sunday, August 21, 2011

Have you ever climbed a palm tree? I have. (Luquillo beach)

It begins with a drive. 
Five girls and beach supplies packed tightly into Kia, fighting nausea and exhaustion as the car winds through the mountains and countryside of Puerto Rico. 
It ends with a beach.

Half the fun of our day at Luquillo beach, near Fajardo on the northeast coast of the island, was the spectacular view of the mountains and the sea that we drank in for two hours before arriving.  The road we took follows the coastline and winds up the cliffs to several small towns before joining with main highway and views of El Yunque (the rainforest) off in the distance.

Okay, maybe not half the fun.
Luquillo is gorgeous.  Hermosa is the word I would use in Spanish.  The beach stretches for ages with clear blue-green water on all sides.  The water was the perfect temperature to relax and cool off, and where we were, the waves didn’t break until the shoreline, making it perfect to bob and float. 

The coral at Luquillo comes almost right up to the beach, so we took out snorkel gear and went out to see the fishies.  We swam out pretty far, and coming back was a bit of a workout!  In a good way, of course.  Snorkeling is so peaceful.  Your face in the water, you feel like you’re in your own little world, watching the tiny fish below you. 
Rachel has an underwater camera, so we took pictures there too.  I tried once, unsuccessfully, to swim deeper…but I couldn’t make it.  Buoyancy…I tell you.

Photo by Rachel Hix

Photo by Rachel Hix

The afternoon was a perfect mix of time in the water, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and exploring.  I noticed that the palm trees had boards nailed to them for people to climb up and get the coconuts, so Rachel and I climbed one.  I didn’t go all the way up, but far enough to get a great view. 

Have YOU ever climbed a palm tree?  You should!

We finished our day in Fajardo, which is near Luquillo (and where the tours of the bio-luminescent bay departs from), eating at Popeye’s.  Pinchos y arroz con habichuela…a great way to end the day.  Also at Popeye’s, I made good friend with a parrot who tried to kiss my eye as he perched on my shoulder.  (Property of the restaurant…an employee comes around and puts the bird on you for photos). 

I lied.  We finished the beach portion of our day at Fajardo.  We finished our day driving back the way we’d come, oohing and aahing at the lights in the mountains, and singing along to our favorite club songs as Kelsey found them on youtube and played them on her phone. 
A good day.

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