June 11, 2007
Viejo San Juan & Culebra, Puerto Rico
I believe I have found paradise on earth… Friday after class Kathy, Jodi & I traveled via puddle jumper to Culebra Island (12 miles off of Puerto Rico and about 8 miles from St. Thomas). Here’s the full or not so full story:
Participants: Kathy (friend), Jodi & 10 other PR Hash Hound Hashers.
Purpose of the Trip: Celebrate “box cars” last Hash by holding it on Culebra. Which essentially means to eat, drink, run & chill out on the beach in Culebra.
We arrived on Friday, before the group on Saturday. That night met a few locals… including Taz – who will come into play later on in this story. Awesome awesome awesome people. We quickly discover that the “local rule” very very much applies on Culebra. i.e. you either know everyone and can get anything or chose b, you’re a tourist and all the locals “hate you.” Most of the locals are either there to hide or retire / relax. A local shop’s sign says it all “Island Women’s store. Open some days. Closed others.” Hope you can slow down and not give two bits about anything other than beer & beach. By later that night, though – somewhere between being invited for dinner w/ locals at “dingy docks” and singing karoake with them at Gretchens (two out of four bars in total on the island) we’ve taken to them and they seem to have taken to us.
Saturday we eat, watch a few iguana’s tool around, slow our pace, drink some coffee and wait for the others to arrive. They do, and we get on with relaxing at the beach, body surfing, snorkeling, etc. Saturday afternoon we “hash” the island (i.e. run) where the locals are following us in there cars “auto hashing” if you will with us. Our run ends with a great little hike down to an awesome beach just in-time for the sunset. Oh and about 180 beers to drink in the process – doing th math that’s a crap load. The pictures do more justice than I to the experience. The night rolls in and we celebrate in true style.
Sunday…. What I forgot to mention above is that somehow one too many Corona’s on Friday night had me not only singing karaoke but also committing to Taz teaching me how to scuba dive on Sunday. He’s a really fun / cool person that’s retired to the island to run his own little scuba shop. I tried to tell everyone of my fear of sharks which got the well desired response “honey, the only type of sharks you have to worry about on this island are the kind you find on land.” LOL. So, Kathy, “Box Car” & I jump on his boat and partake in a full day in the sun which includes 1 scuba certification course, 2 scuba dives, 5 sting ray (one of which I came within 3 feet of), a baracuda, a ship wreck, lots of fish, lots of sea urchen, stuck my hands through big sea furn and some other something. Was completely a surreal experience. Someone said it feels like flying under water which I agree with. I very much think it feels like you’re swimming in one big aquarium at one with the fishies. Very relaxing very cool experience.
So then took the puddle jumper back to San Juan and continued along with Spanish classes today. I realize I haven’t given too much info on the reason I came here (i.e. the spanish immersion program). So maybe another day. I’m tired, back at Kathy’s laughing at Hell’s Kitchen.
Hopefully the pics will do a bit of justice to the experience.