Thursday, August 25, 2005

Puerto Rico

This is not the best picture in the world, but one of the neatest things I have ever done is visit a bioluminescent bay in Vieques, a small island off the North East coast of Puerto Rico. There are little organisms which live in the bay (called dinoflagulites) which, when touched emit a blue/green light, like you see in the picture. We hopped on sea kayaks in the evening and went to the middle of the lagoon and then swam with light emitting everywhere we touched. When you picked up water your hands glowed, Justin & Joe's chest hair glowed. It was really neat.

Puerto Rico is one of the neatest places that I have traveled. The island is small, yet there are tons of different activities. We went to the rain forest (the second picture is Joe, Justin & Nate in standing in a waterfall at the rainforest), saw the largest radio telescope (satellite) in the world, went snorkelling - Joe & Justin saw an octopus, went to the smalled branch (of church) ever, and generally had a really good time.

One of the more interesting parts of our trip was figuring out where we were going to stay each night while there. After reading about all the fun things to do in various parts of the island Camille, Justin, Nate, Allie, Joe & I decided that we wanted to travel around and stay in various parts of the island. The second night was an adventure because we had just arrived in Vieques and all we cared about was making sure that we could see the bioluminescent bay. By the time we figured out what we were doing for the night, all the hotel offices (they were small ma & pap's shops) were closed for the night. We were sure we would be sleeping on the beach, which didn't sound good since I already had 100+ mosquito bites and the sand was chaffing our legs. So, we ended up staying in an empty house owned by a friend of the guy who took us to the bay. We were all certain that we were going to die. It was kind of an adventure trusting someone you don't know... he had keys to the house (and therefore, access to us & our stuff), was our only form of transportation (not to mention the only one who knew where we were) and took us on a rather scary excursion through the unkept woody area behind his house. Fortunately, we made it out alive and no one had their stuff stolen! The next night, still not knowing where we going to stay, but attempting to get across the island, we stopped at the first hotel we saw when we got tired. After asking for three rooms, we became inquisitive of the strange set up of the hotel. Turns out, it was a hotel that caters to PROSTITUTES! Every wall in the room was covered in mirrors. It was quite an experience. After that we stayed in a few nice resorts to make up for our other sad, yet fun, experiences.