Due to hangovers and my illness we woke up super late, like 12 NOON (gasp), and tried to swap out our Yaris for a Jeep. You can guess how this story ends. We stayed in that Yaris the whole time. Gas only arrives twice a week on the island, and it happened to come in that day, so we wait in line for about 30 minutes then pop over to the black sand beach we were told about.
Don’t come here looking for a “true” Latin American experience. Everyone speaks English, and there are Americans and expats everywhere! It doesn’t matter though – the vibe here is SO cool. Seriously. Chill and friendly and groovy and I’m just completely wrapped up and intoxicated with it. So many people have visited here and just….stayed. It pulls you in. This island is magic.
Anywho, back to our day: we wanted to go check out the “black” sand beach. I love Latin American directions: take this road all the way out until it ends, take a left, then park when you see the mailboxes. Follow the dry creek bed (walk in it) all the way until it dead ends at the beach. True directions in case you go: take 996 west until it dead ends at 201, go left and stop when you see the mailboxes on the left. Park there and continue…
The beach was disappointing. I hate to leave less than stellar reviews about my trips because in my idealistic and lofty state of mind I picture nothing short of perfect. However this black sand beach was simply brown sand streaked with obsidian ore, weaving in and out and leaving much to be desired. We stayed for about 30 minutes then headed out to Sun Bay, a public beach on Vieques that was voted the #7 beach in the Caribbean. Hooty hoo!
After such strenuous activity, we head to Lazy Jacks for some beers. We start chatting with some locals, one whose mother happened to work at Trade Winds, our NYE swanky dinner spot, and I asked him if we could bring our own wine to dinner. He wasn’t sure, so he offered to pop down to the restaurant and simply ask. So nice! Everyone here is SO nice! (we could, by the way) Virtually no crime besides petty stuff, and you walk everywhere. Our house is on Calle Orquidea which is (literally) a 20 second mosey to the Malecon, the main street where all the boho restaurants and bars are.
A word of warning: Puerto Rico in December is not super hot. It’s comfortably warm and breezy, but don’t come expecting a blistering sun and bathwater temps in the ocean.
Also, most of the wild horses are drunk. True story. They eat the fermented fruit that has fallen from the trees and therefore stumble about themselves. Those horses have it figured out.
New year’s eve started out with dinner at Trade Winds. We then popped over to the plaza at Isabel Segunda that was less than thrilling and lacking in expectant energy. There was a salsa band playing but no one seemed interested and no one was dancing. We downed our Medallas and headed back over to Esperanza to party on the lively Malecon. We popped over to Bili first, where our fave New York transplant made us the fabulous vodka passion fruit cocktails, and then bounced over to Duffy’s, where the music was loud, the aguardiente was flowing, and the revelers were raucous. We spilled out into the street and rang in 2011 with the rest of the island lovers. Cheers to “taking advantage of people,” “easy,” and being “college drunk”.