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Posts Tagged ‘off the beaten path’

An Island In Time – Part 1

IMG_3580I think I awoke at about 3:30 a.m. It’s a little fuzzy now. This trip began and ended in the dark hours of the morning. My entire immediate family converged on a tiny island called Vieques, Puerto Rico. My children and grandchildren were already there waiting for my husband and I. Leaving somewhat chilly December weather in Tennessee and traveling to the tropics, we traveled with anticipation and wonder that so much distance could be covered in one day.

The most exciting part was that we would get to spend a week in paradise with the people that we love the most. Our own little island in time.

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After leaving the mainland of Florida, the views were awe inspiring. I think that these are the Florida Keys, but it may have been a part of Cuba. We drove an hour to get to the airport, flew to Orlando, boarded another plane to San Juan, got a van ride for an hour and a half to a town called Fajardo and barely made it there in time to take the hour and a half ferry ride over to Vieques. When we got there we had another 20 minute cab ride to our destination. Whew!

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The ferry ride began in the light of afternoon, but as we traveled, the sun set over the main island. I couldn’t resist taking shot after shot as the sky grew more colorful. Riding on the very top of the ferry, we could enjoy the wind in our hair and the rocking of the boat as our eyes drank in the view. I had a very nice conversation with a woman and her husband who had just moved to the island six months ago. They had lots of good tips.

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There are SO many beaches to choose from on this island! My sons were determined that we would find the best of them. We drove through some very washed out roads with potholes that looked like small ponds, but did not get stuck or stranded once.  We were rewarded with almost deserted, amazing beaches with not a building in sight. IMG_3637

The beaches all had a different flavor. Some had sand as fine as powder. Some had course sand with lots of treasures to find. IMG_3638

Some were covered with seaweed and some were pristine.IMG_3640

Some had great snorkeling and some did not. IMG_2283

Coconuts grew everywhere!IMG_3737

The town of Isabel II had its own charm. You could tell that once it had been quite a prosperous city, but when the Navy vacated the island several years ago, the economy was greatly affected. IMG_3739

There were some very charming houses that had obviously been abandoned for years.IMG_3740

I really loved this rocky beach! There were lots of coral hearts and interesting bits to find.IMG_3754

The rain moved in quickly and we had to skedaddle. I would have loved to stay longer here. So many beaches…so little time on this trip. IMG_3758

The drama of the stormy sky was very inspiring. The islanders were very thankful for the rain since they just made it through an extremely dry summer.

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The bay near our house was always most photogenic in the evenings at sunset. We always walked there for dinner at one of the restaurants on the Malecon (boardwalk) across the street. They were all open air with a view of the bay.IMG_2310

There were several sailboats anchored there in the bay that one of my sons was paying very close attention to. He is longing for the day when he can buy one of his own.

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The end of the trip began in the dark as well. I think we did pretty well in getting 7 people including two babies to the ferry on time. As we cruised away on the ferry, the morning star was visible as color returned to the sky over the island of Vieques.IMG_2351

More to come…