Monday, February 13, 2012

Memorable Mishaps

Last weekend, I met my friend Lily in Old San Juan, and we began our 9 days together.  As is SO often the case with travel, the weekend was one of memorable mishaps—many small things adding together to make the weekend one we’ll never forget.

On Saturday, Kelsey and I met Lily and went to breakfast at Café Mallorca.  Delicious as always, with good service from our waiter.  Walking back to the hotel to pick up Lily’s bags, my sandal broke.  Mishap #1. 

Thankfully, Lily had an extra pair of flip flops, and though they were small, my feet didn’t hang off the back, so I wore them for the rest of the day.

We took a walk around Old San Juan and visited the Casa Blanca (a residence built for Ponce de Leon, but in which he never lived; he died before its completion).

View from the house

We then made our way to the pier and successfully purchased ferry tickets to take us across the bay to the Bacardi plant. 

As we got off the ferry, Kelsey realized her phone was missing.
Mishap #2. 

Long story short, the phone was not recovered.  However, a true ray of positivity, Kelsey was able to put it out of her mind and still enjoy the tour of Bacardi. 

We ate sushi at J-Taste for dinner (YUM!), then came home to Guayama.  On the way home, we were nearly in an accident as the car in front of me braked suddenly (I still don’t know exactly what happened, though Kelsey, riding shotgun, can explain a bit; I focused only on braking quickly enough to avoid collision).  There was no accident—but it made all our hearts race.
Mishap #3.

Sunday morning dawned bright, as we got up and prepared to head to the ferry in Ponce to take us to Caja de Muertos.  The ferry leaves at 8:30am, and it’s at least a 45 minute drive to Ponce, so we planned to leave between 7:15 and 7:30.

Since Kelsey didn’t have a phone, and therefore didn’t have an alarm, Lily and I went over to meet her at 7:15. 

The house was dark.  I tried calling Danielle, Kelsey’s roommate, but unsurprisingly at the early hour, received no answer. 

Kelsey’s room is at the back of the house, and there is a cement wall (perhaps 10ft high) making it impossible to get from the front yard to the back yard without entering the house.  Lily and I were in a conundrum. 
Mishap #4.

After a few minutes deliberation, we decided I probably wouldn’t die if I climbed the wall.  So, up and over I went (it turned out there was a pile of cement blocks on the other side, so I didn’t even have to drop down).  I came out of it with only a skinned shin, and scampered back to Kelsey’s window to pound on it and wake her up. 

Awoken, she performed miracles and was ready and out the door in less than 5 minutes. 

We left the city limits of Guayama at 7:45am.  Half an hour to complete a 45 minute drive.  Ever optimistic, I put my foot to the floor, kept a keen eye for cops, and made it to Ponce by 8:15.
But then I missed the exit.
Mishap #5. 

We realized it less than 5 minutes after where the turn would have been—but because we would have been cutting it close to make it to the ferry had we turned at the proper time, we decided to cut our losses and abandon the Caja de Muertos plan.  We kept on driving and headed to Playa Sucia, my favorite beach in Puerto Rico, which was only another hour’s drive along the way. 

With the help of google maps on Lily’s phone (OH how I love phones with internet access while travelling), we found the beach with no problem.  (Kelsey and I had been once before, but didn’t remember all the streets to turn on). 

The weather was beautiful at Playa Sucia—hot and sunny.  The water was refreshing, and of course I enjoyed gallivanting on the cliffs again.

The iguana herder at work again...

At the end of the day, we came back, stopping in Ponce to find dinner.  We got lost and then couldn’t find an interesting restaurant.
Mishap #6. 

We ended up at Burger King, but in the main plaza of Ponce, which was beautiful, at least.

The rest of the trip home was uneventful, and Lily and I retired early to recover from sun-induced exhaustion.  

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