The shipped arrived in Puerto Rico in the early a.m. giving us about one our to venture around on foot and then head back to line up for our excursion. We decided to see how close we could get to El Morro castle as we headed up the hill we stumbled across “Parque De Las Palomas” it’s a park dedicated to the hundreds of pigeons that like to rest in that area but it originally was a rampart for cannon placement and was constructed during the 18th Century. It was a very nice view but you must be careful as you know birds fly and can do their necessities in the air as well, LOL. After the park we walked the streets admiring the colonial homes, many of which are now modernized and still look awesome.
One of the things my wife always wanted to do was to zip line on top of the tree canopies so we decided Puerto Rico’s rain forest was a great place to try so. We booked the excursion called “Puerto Rico Canopy Adventure” Zip lining and off we went. We were shuttled in a nice little minibus. The driver gave us a little history of the city and drove us through the old neighborhoods some with buildings in the process of being torn down and full of interesting graffiti works and some not so interesting ones plus many just plain chicken scratch make the neighborhood look shabby. If you have been to any major city and been to some neighborhoods is no different. After passing that area we passed by the upper neighborhoods where the 4 and 5 stars hotels were, very nice area to visit by the way, and on to the highway we went. The driver told us not to worry about the turns and speed we felt, he said “I got this, you’re in good hands”. In a short 15 to 20 minutes we were in the city of Guaynabo on our way to the Marquesas rain forest. After a few twist and turns in the very narrow streets where the cars have to hunk at the turns to signal that a vehicle is also making the narrow turn (very common in Puerto Rico hills) we were greeted by our tour guide whom was a happy and knowledgeable lady. She allowed for people to use the facilities before we headed in our little adventure. We did a short walk to get our very well used gear and I was happy to see that some helmets had a Gopro camera mount on them so we geared up they went through our equipment checklist to ensure we were not missing anything, they gave me time to place my small camera on the helmet.
As we were getting ready to get on our way a gentleman was just coming back extremely excited screaming how awesome it was and it was his first time doing so and how this was the highlight of his trip. We all got excited about it and off to the sky lift we were. It was nice to see that the equipment was brand new and so we felt safer at this point. We boarded and took a few pics and spoke with a gentleman and his wife about his adventures in Waspam and Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua where his Baptist mission went to build a church and help the community. I told him about wanting to kayak from end to end on the Rio Coco (Coconut River) which is where a lot of my family is from. This is the river where I spent many months of my childhood and where I learned how to fish in the most unconventional ways imaginable for a child. There are looong stories to tell from there during those times. “Small world” we said. After getting off the Skyride we went to appreciate the view and took some pictures.
There I was amazed by the human spirit once again, a gentleman completed just another item in his bucket list while only having one leg and being taken on a wheelchair and then shouldered along the long descent to the zipline platforms he did, yes he did the whole thing. I was told “try to complete your bucket list as long as you don’t kick the bucket while doing so” those were some wise words from the missionary man. I took a small time lapse of the descent to the first platform where we were instructed on the use of our equipment and as we were doing so a lady did not work the nerves to go through with the adventure and she headed back. Well, there were a few with second thoughts but all of them did go through with it.
To our surprise there were a series of about nine platforms three of which were simply short, basically to lever us through our positions on the rest of the platforms. There were some kind of long ones that went through the Rain Forest and as expected the last one was the longest one, some saying as long as two football fields but the decline was a steep angle making it a short timed descent, very very fast. On this last one we did go on top of the canopies and if you looked in the right direction you would have been able to see the great ocean view and the city in its shores. I tried to capture that scene in my camera but the suns glare got on the way. I hope you will enjoy the short video when it’s finished. The only thing I did not like about this excursion was that it finished. I loved it and so did my wife with all her fun screaming down the zip lines. I was surprised to hear her say “I want to do this again!”.
Below is sliding down the last platform and only line where we really were above the canopy.
As all great things do come to an end we headed back to return our ear and must say that little incline going up the Snail trail was the most difficult walk I did on this little adventure. We returned our gear and got a bottle of nice really cold water, wow, I love water!!! Off to the small shuttle bus we went and got ready for the speed, twist and turns, and to try and get some pics of the beautiful houses in the mountains as we went back to the ship.
Oh, Oh, traffic and lots of it. It was rush hour in Puerto Rico so the highway was at a standstill where an accident had happened. Our driver asked if it was ok for us to take a small detour through old San Juan and the rest of the people said noooo, the he said “I will drop you off at San Cristobal Castle and the shops, it is only a five minute walk to the boat from there”. Then everyone said “YEEEEEESSSSSSS”. We were lucky as we basically had a free $10 tour like the buses charge the tourist as they just land from the cruise lines. The driver gave another short explanation of the streets and pointed towards the better tourist spots that were in the proximity of the Cruise Ships. We had been here before so we headed to our favorite spot at the Café Puerto Rico for some delicious Mini Cheese Alcapurrias a great and very tasty Puerto Rican dish but in a miniature size this time and we also shared a plate of Chicken Cassava Mofongo (Yuca Mofongo) another great Puerto Rican dish normally made with mashed cooked green plantains, garlic, and other fixings. It was delicious and well followed by a local Magna beer.
Our drop off point, by the entrance of San Cristobal Fort.
We had a great time while enjoying the “Puerto Rico Canopy Adventure” Zip lining excursion, the food was the icing on the cake and after we made a quick stop to look at the buy 1for $10 and get two free bottles of 750ml rum, gin, tequila, vodka, or gin. All locally made liquor but at 3 for $10 it was a good deal and great for giving away to friends. These stores were in the Tax and Duty free area before boarding the ship. The day ended for us so off to the ship we went to prepare for a stop in St. Maarten, the Dutch side.