stay at the Embassy Suites resort hotel in Dorado was nice.
We had sushi at the Asian restaurant across the street and it was
OK, but not excellent. But, our room was clean and quiet and
we had a free happy hour and breakfast. And, a nice view
from the 6th floor. We left the hotel and headed west to
Aricebo to see the radio telescope but were skunked by their
operating hours. They were closed to visitors on Monday and
Tuesday. Rats! But the drive was very interesting on
narrow, twisty-turney roads.
The photos below are what we saw.
I woke up and looked outside it was clear and sunny, therefore
time for a photo.
drove south from Dorado to the toll road and then west toward
Aricebo. We got all the way there and discovered from the
guards at the gate that the facility is closed to visitors on
Monday and Tuesdays. So we just turned around and went back
to the main road.
attempted to follow road 128 from north to south. Rt 128 is
a narrow 1.5 lane road that goes over the steep inner mountains in
the center of the island. After getting lost several times,
we finally got on the correct road. When we did, we ended up
behind a political advertising truck with massive speakers mounted
on the roof. The truck has its own gas-powered generator
used to drive the high-output speakers. These trucks drive
through neighborhoods blaring out political messages attempting to
change voter's minds before the upcoming elections. It may
work as a tactic, but it surely is annoying.
we started to get higher into the mountains, we saw more
RT-128 our view points were limited to places where the roadside
vegetation has been trimmed sufficiently to allow a view of
anything but near-field growth. From this spot we actually
got a reasonable view to the east showing the intensity of the
highest trees were covered by vines that are likely a type of
the bottom of the canyon we crossed over the river and got the
view of the "wild" river. There was a small waterfall here
as well as an opportunity to go kayaking on this river.
was one small house on the side of the river, but it looked
hills were very steep but green and heavily covered in lush, dense
of the distant ridges had homes and ranches on the ridge-line.
saw both large and small plots of land that had been planted with
plantains. Plantains are like bananas in look and shape but
are more starchy and are used like potatoes in local dishes.
Pounded & fried plantains is a typical side dish as is
mofongo. Mofongo is like mashed potatoes but with plantains
sliced, fried in oil and seasoning and then mashed.
lot of the back-country dwellings were pretty basic but many were
built of robust poured concrete.
route crested a second line of mountains and gave us fleeting
glimpses of the lowlands to the south.
mountains and rain produce rock slides. We passed many
places where there was debris on the road but we were lucky that
the road was passable.
places had dense vines that were hanging into the road. This
set came all the way down to ground level and I only had to open
the window to check it out.
on the south-facing cliffs we could see one of the local
reservoirs used for water storage.
were many small streams that crossed the road. Note the moss
on the rocks. While stopped for this photo we could clearly
hear the call of the coqui tree frog.
of the higher peaks to the east of us were shrouded in clouds.
decided to go to Guanica on the south shore of the island.
We settled on a place called the Copamarina Resort. The
place was nice and we arrived right at sunset. Above is a
view of the beach area, complete with nice palm trees and chaise
had several nice pool areas.
resort had its own pier for small boats.
homes on the small point were not part of our facility but rather
were private homes.
rooms were nice and the grounds were well groomed.
bird followed us around looking for handouts.
Route 128 was
one of the steepest, narrowest and most tortured roads we have
been on. It was not hard in a 4x4 sense, but did require
careful driving at all times. The views were great and we
only passed several oncoming vehicles in perhaps 3 hours.
Sadly, one was a full-sized school bus that ran us into the
ditch. The bus continued on, oblivious to our plight,
feeling confident in his knowledge that "mass always wins".
The good news was that we did not get stuck and there was no
damage to our little micro-car.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.