Author Topic: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)  (Read 5672 times)

Offline Jm1248

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Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« on: September 02, 2015, 10:16:10 AM »
To start with I was not going to do this trip as I had a week long trip to Costa Rica planned for August 16th. Then I stumbled across a new member on the forum selling an $800 JetBlue credit at less than half price. It seemed no one else was willing to take the risk so I was able to snatch the credit and even bargain for a little cheaper. Total cost ended up being >$200 per rt ticket!

Wed night - got ride to JFK with my kid sister. Landed at 330 am, rented car from Charlie's and got to the villa we were renting at 5 am. We chose it because comparable hotels (meaning location & how nice it would be) were over 200 a night and this was 160. Plus, we split this with another couple - relatives - who arrived one day later. Villa was like 120 degrees before we turned on ac. Turns out only bedrooms had ac so main floor was pretty hot our entire stay. Owner was very nice however, and I think it's normal not to have ac on main floor there so we didn't press him about it. It was down the block from the beach and had a nice rooftop for bbq'ing.

Thurs - woke up a little late and headed out to el yunque. The amount of potholes in this country is unreal. For some reason every time we took a really hard bump our windshield wipers went on as if for dramatic effect. Plugged in el yunque to google maps and ended up in middle of a village somewhere. So I looked it up on tripadvisor. Turns out we were an hr away from where needed to go. #dontrelyongps. Went to the visitors center to get map which imo was worth the $4 as we were short on time and needed advice on what to do. Ended up doing hr and 20 min hike to observation tower (really cool!) and then another hr hike to waterfall. No rain at all and we got home like 6 pm. We brought schnitzel and baguettes and heated it up in oven so we could have schnitzel sandwiches for supper.

Friday - drove to old San Juan. Barely any street parking. Found a cheap lot and paid about $6 for 5 hours. Took ferry to Bacardi factory about a 5 minute ride. Then u need a taxi from there to factory ($3 per person). They have a mixology tour which we didn't get to do because it was already full so we did the basic tour which comes with a delicious free drink! Tour was a lot of fun because half the tour group was drunk since you need to wait around by the bar before the tour starts :). Did some shopping in old San Juan and went home for Shabbos. Friday nite went to Chabad and had a really nice time. Met some other couples from New York. Had some issues getting back into the complex where our villa was located without our key but the guard eventually let us in

Shabos - had a great time in Chabad. They had a tremendous kiddush/lunch with delicious food
Saturday night - went to visit my sister who was staying in the marriott. Spent a little time in the casino and went swimming

Sun - got up at 5 am and headed to RVR (ceiba airport) for our 10 min flight to Vieques. We had decided the night before it was worth the $64 roundtrip tickets to save the time and hassle of the ferry. Parking lot by airport is 8.50 a day and about 10 steps from check in. Got there 40 min b4 flight and check in counter wasn't even open! Finally the counter opened about 20 min before flight and he took down our weight so he can properly seat us on this 6 seater plane! They weighed our luggage but did not care at all that it was 20 lbs over. Didn't even ask us for ID. Watched pilot feeling the wing tips and rest of plane to make sure it's ok. Finally we get on this dinky little plane and I was seated right behind the pilot (who had his arm hanging out the open window!). Gorgeous, gorgeous views throughout the short flight. Was worth the money just as an activity! Landed and went straight to Avis which was closed till 9 am, so we went to our villa which was not available yet but the front desk took our bags and gave us a place to stay in the meantime. Davened and ate breakfast then headed back to Avis where we got a bright yellow Jeep Wrangler for $69 a day. Drove to blue beach down the bumpy road in wildlife refuge and parked by access point 10, which was completely empty. We had brought our own snorkeling gear and had a great time snorkeling for about 3 hours (with a break for turkey sandwiches). We then went back to our villa which turned out to be really nice and new. We were warned to keep gate closed as the stray horses on the island had a tendency to come in and eat the plants and flowers. We chilled and walked around the town of Esperanza, then made a BBQ in our yard with its own hammock and outdoor shower. At 8:00 we headed to sun bay beach to meet our tour for the Biobay. It was a truly amazing experience. It's pitch black and the dinoflagellate sparkle and light up like billions of little stars. Plus our kayaks were clear bottomed so we saw them zipping by underneath us. Our guides were really nice and very informative. We went on a moonless night to enhance the effect. One thing that was just as amazing as the water is the sky. It is so clear and you can clearly see the Milky Way and all the stars (things that I barely knew existed coming from ny😉 ). We got back around 11 pm & after our jam-packed, 16 hour day, we fell asleep before we hit the pillow.

Monday - Woke up early and headed out to black sand beach. Extremely hard to find as there is one teensy handwritten sign with an arrow pointing to a dirt path. From there it's about a 15 min walk/hike to the actual beach. Got there about 930 am and were the only ones there. Beach looked untouched with no footprints or anything in the sand. It was really cool and the sand is magnetic so we filled a cup with it to bring home as a souvenir. Luckily we were warned not to put it in our hand luggage as I doubt it would be allowed through security!
After that we did a snorkeling tour with the same company we used for the Biobay. Started at 10 and went till 1. It was lots of fun and they had an underwater camera to take pix of us and the fish (no extra charge). Then we drove around the town of Isabel Segunda and got some souvenirs. Finally, we returned our jeep to Avis and took a shuttle to the "airport". Drove back to San Juan and the owner of the villa we had previously stayed in was kind enough to let us crash there for a few hours as it was empty. We heated up our leftovers from last nights BBQ and then flew home.
Hopefully I will follow up with some pix over the next few days :)

HT: AJK (for always bugging everyone to write tr's) 😜

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 10:53:50 AM »
Nice.

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 11:47:30 AM »
Nice TR. Thanks for sharing!

At 8:00 we headed to sun bay beach to meet our tour for the Biobay. It was a truly amazing experience. It's pitch black and the dinoflagellate sparkle and light up like billions of little stars. Plus our kayaks were clear bottomed so we saw them zipping by underneath us.
Really cool! How much was it?

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 12:04:32 PM »
Nice TR. Thanks for sharing!
Really cool! How much was it?
$45 cash pp or $50 with cc

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 01:04:09 PM »
Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 02:36:17 PM »
Awesome report.

BTW, PR is not a country
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 02:37:38 PM »
Awesome report.

BTW, PR is not a country
Lol I know. I was thinking of modifying my post to change it but was curious how many would catch it :)

Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 02:48:08 PM »
ARGHHH!!! WHY THE NEW THREAD!!!RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!! ROARRR!!!! POST IN THE EXISTING MASTER THREAD!!!

N000000000000000000000000000000000000BBBB!!!
READ THE DARN WIKI!!!!

Chuck Norris...
...can still do FT method
...READS THE WIKI!!!

Offline chucksterace

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 02:53:33 PM »

ARGHHH!!! WHY THE NEW THREAD!!!RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!! ROARRR!!!! POST IN THE EXISTING MASTER THREAD!!!

N000000000000000000000000000000000000BBBB!!!

??? Why. TR can usually go by themselves.
You may not hold me responsible for any actions taken that were recommended from my account or username.

Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 03:00:18 PM »
??? Why. TR can usually go by themselves.
keeping with the spirit of the day http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=55285.0

I was hoping the obnoxious caps and yelling would convey my sarcasm...
READ THE DARN WIKI!!!!

Chuck Norris...
...can still do FT method
...READS THE WIKI!!!

Offline Ergel

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 03:01:51 PM »
Why clog up useful threads with stupid drivel
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline beeweegee

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 03:46:19 PM »
Great write-up, thanks!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 07:36:26 PM »
Nice TR! Are there any pics you can share? I've never been to PR (HI is a lot closer and more convenient), but hope to get there one day.

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 09:33:55 PM »
Thanx everyone. I do have a lot of pictures. Hope to get them up sometime in the next day or 2. i also need to put together a tr for my week long Costa Rica vacation

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2015, 01:07:50 PM »

El yunque

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2015, 01:10:32 PM »

View of el yunque canopy from observation tower

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2015, 01:12:09 PM »

Bacardi factory

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2015, 01:12:46 PM »

#onlyinpuertorico

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2015, 01:15:17 PM »

Original of ה׳ מלך playing in Bacardi factory

Offline Jm1248

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Re: Jm1248's Puerto Rico TR (08/05/15-08/11/15)
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2015, 01:17:22 PM »

Ceiba airport

Waiting area!