Saturday, April 26, 2014

Part Three: Destination Puerto Rico-An Epic Class trip

In my humble opinion it's rare in life to find a place that satisfies nearly every fantasy and silly preconceived notion about paradise. For me, as anyone could easily guess, I lean to the tropical and the small fishing village of La Parguera was everything I could have ever imagined. In fact, I am afraid that I inadvertently embarrassed my wife stumbling around with a childish look of amazement and wonder across my face. Okay, I admit it also had a lot to do with me jumping around like a hungry monkey who had accidentally fallen into a room full of bananas. Personally, I'm just going to blame Jimmy Buffett, who for decades sang about such places to the point reality became a huge disappointment for Parrotheads like me.      

During our all too short a time in that terrestrial paradise we stayed at the Parador Villa Parguera, which as you can tell was situated on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Yes, I admit I have been lucky enough to stay at some pretty fancy resorts in the States such as Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Florida but while it had everything a spoiled American might want but for me it has always lacked a certain genuineness. Disney spends tens of millions dollars to create an atmosphere and setting for their resorts and theme parks the same way George Lucas made his Star Wars movies with actors, props, and tons of special effects. This place made no ornate and fake promises, it was perfect to begin with.       

The patio section of the hotel. It was tranquil and supremely quiet even with over twenty kids running around, of course they were all at the pool.
Yeah, I like flowers dammit!

Actually while I do like flowers I was also testing the close-up setting on my camera.

There was a real purpose to our visit to La Parguera other than satisfying the silly Parrothead fantasies of one middle aged and sadly overweight Beach Bum. After dumping our gear into our new rooms we headed over to the docks to board the Fondo de Cristal III to have a lesson in marine biology, done in Spanish of course, then to visit Bioluminescent Bay.

On the way out we passed many mangrove islands. Literally living on the knife edge between the sea and the land these little islands provide a vital habitat for many forms of life from birds, shellfish, and numerous microorganisms. A "little" factor that seems to escape far too many people is that mangroves also provide a lifesaving service to people as well. Mangroves, and truthfully, other low-lying coastal ecosystems play an important factor in absorbing the energy from hurricanes and other storms that come in from the ocean saving both property and lives. All told there are 80 different species of mangroves with all them possessing the ability to filter out seawater either through their leaves or root system.

A bad picture of some of the birds living in one of the mangrove islands we passed.

Some of the seaside houses and cottages we passed.

Not my choice for an outside color but the location cannot be beat.

Yes, I am a bit antisocial resulting in me taking a few too many pictures of semi-isolated cottages. Just realize there about twenty of these types of pictures I haven't posted. And yes once again, I do have the name of a local real estate agent although I would be renting instead of buying. The collapse of the housing market never really touched these bad boys. 

While I may have lead you guys to believe I was alone on the boat with my previous pictures, there were many others on the boat.

Darth Wiggles and yours truly.

Finally some science!

A local expert showed off many living examples of the marines species that inhabit the waters.

Wiggles, along with many of the other kids, got up close and personal with various marine species.

Including an octopus. I wasn't exactly happy with this segment, the poor cephalopod was probably scared shitless, or inkless in its case. One thing is certain this waterborne class is one those kids will never forget.

The next morning it was time to move again, the main objective for the day was a tour of Puerto Rico's rain forest. That is for next time.


Pixel Peeper said...

I wonder if it's as humid in PR as it is in Florida...

Good thinking, getting a real estate agent's contact info - you never know when you'll need it.

And that selfie of you and Darth Wiggles is priceless!

Rose L said...

Getting up close with nature is fine as long as it does not tamper with the ecosystem. In Hawaii they used to have a wonderful coral reef where people snorkeled for years, but now the reef is dead because of suntan lotion. It destroyed the ecosystem.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I'm sure the animals wouldn't voluntarily educate our children. On the other hand, how are the kids gonna learn to respect wildlife if they don't experience it.

Nice pics. :) Are all pictures selfies now?

Anonymous said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: I mentioned to my aunt about how much I would love to head back down to that village to stay she came back asking if I had given up on Key West or Belize, which I had also talked about running away to at some point. I admit there is a large dose of wishful thinking on my part concerning playing the expatriate but it's nice to dream about it.

As far as the humidity it wasn't bad during the trip but I've got to figure with Puerto Rico being in the tropics it is probably high.

Rose: Yeah, We were told before hand not to use a certain type of insect repellant for our swim in Bioluminescent Bay. Because of nighttime conditions and the fact that I did not want to drop my new camera into the dark waters I skipped trying to photograph that part of the excursion.

Life As I Know It Now: It's a quandary concerning the use of animals in that respect.

Skyline Spirit: Thank you and Welcome.

goatman said...

I tend toward the desolate beaches where I can run wild and free (if you know what I mean). One is near Port St. Joe Florida on the gulf side where 7 miles of white sand and dunes exist on a peninsula. Another is near Cannon Beach Oregon where a lot of climbing down from the top gives you a kinda rocky beach and crashing waves on the rocks -- no one around to save you if the waves win out.
But there is something to be said for a cold beer nearby, and people to watch.
Each to our own . . .