(No, that's not powdered sugar left over from our mallorcas,
it's the actual color of our legs pre-beach)
A big highlight of the trip for all of us was the rainforest, El Yunque (yoon-kay), which was about a 40-minute drive from San Juan. After our big night out dancing and just about 3 hours of sleep, we rented a sedan and Gio drove us into this magical forest of rain.
None of us had ever really been to a rainforest, and the best thing I can say is that it felt good. It was a balmy 80 degrees and we were surrounded by the lushest greenery, refreshing air and rain, and I just felt free, energized and inspired, even. Like I could really breathe. It was exhilarating as we ran from waterfall to waterfall, in and out of the car from one monument to the next.
We requested that the guys taking the above shot for us in front of Cascada La Coca make sure to get "no thigh", and then when it was their turn for a photo, one turned to the other and asked pensively, "Do we want thigh?"
At Yukaho tower, it really started pouring. The water stung but we didn't care, because the view was breathtaking.
The main chunk of our time in El Yunque was spent hiking to Cascada La Mina, a large waterfall in the middle of the park. It took about 40 minutes to hike in, and it wasn't overcrowded at all. The path was paved, as it would have been a complete mudslide otherwise.
But some parts were slippery, and one of us took a tumble. I can't tell if the real fall or the reenactment was more entertaining.
Sometimes we walked along like penguins, other times like velociraptors or T-rex. Then finally, we made it to the falls! We had hoped to actually swim in the pool at the bottom, but since it was raining so profusely, the water was extra-powerful and it wouldn't have been safe. Beautiful, still!
We were all pretty much soaked to the core by the end of the walk, and I was sporting a new style coined "mophead" by Brittany.
After changing into dry clothes in the car and leaving the rainforest, we headed to Fajardo to drop off the rental car and catch the ferry to Vieques. It wasn't the most stress-free experience (to put it mildly for Gio, our brave driver), as roads were cramped, signs were minimal, and we ended up ass-backwards on a one-way street with a local parking man wagging his finger vehemently at us and a police car chastising us from their loud speaker. These are the things memories are made of, and we got out with just a few frayed nerves. When we told the rental car guy about out finger-wagger as he drove us to the ferry, he said, "Oh yeah, everyone knows that guy. He's crazy." Oh, good. It's not just us.
Finally, I leave you with this gem from El Yunque. I feel at liberty to post it because we all look equally ridiculous, but were really having the best time with the camera's auto-timer, as you can tell.
"I made it!" -Gio