Monday, August 31, 2009

El Yunque Rainforest

Hey kiddies! I know I’ve been neglecting you for a week, but let’s put that behind us. In the words of Mark McGuire, “I’m not here to talk about the past.”

Starting work in Puerto Rico has been a lot like starting a new job: New boss, new projects, new surroundings... new everything. But I’ve come up to speed pretty quickly and have already made real contribution to the project. My younger colleagues are quite adamant that I have a good time while I’m here and expect a full report every Monday about my weekend. A conversation on this topic led to this exchange:

Ángel: You know, there’s a club in your hotel that is well-known throughout the island. You should definitely check it out.
Maritza: (A bit incensed) Don’t send him there! That place is a meat market; they’ll try to eat him alive!
Ángel: (Completely calm) Of course… that’s the whole idea.

This weekend I got out of San Juan and visited El Yunque, the rainforest of Puerto Rico. Hiking is not typically my forte, but I was curious to see a rainforest (I don’t count those childhood visits to the rainforest at Baltimore Aquarium), and the challenge of hiking to the peak was too good to pass up. So here is my hike in pictures…

This picture is from a vista point near the start of the trail. It's about 5mi. (as the crow flies) to the nearest coast in the photo. Those more distant parts of the coastline to the right are 10 - 15mi.

11:20am: It's 2.4mi. to the top (and a 1378ft. increase in elevation), and this sign says it will take me 2hrs. We'll see about that... clock starts now, and GO!

11:30am: Several small streams work their way down the mountain.

11:45am: Doesn't it look like a shot straight out of Treausure Island?

12:00pm: Very steamy.

12:12pm: The view from this vista point took my breath away... it seemed like I could see from one end of the island to the other.

12:15pm: Uh oh, these dark clouds don't look so good. Better keep moving...

12:24pm: We've done it! Made it to the top with a time of 1hr. 4min.!

12:25pm: Wow, I bet the view from 3,496ft. will be amazing. Let's just take a look from this little fortress-like building at the peak, and...

12:26pm: ...WTF? Fog?!? Well, it's rather breezy, I'm sure it'll clear in a few minutes...

12:47pm: ... or not. Well you can kind of see, right? :(

Since I wasn't able to give you a panoramic view from the top, here's a parting shot of El Yunque from La Coca Falls.

Well, some thick fog completely shrouded my view from the peak, but I still made good time getting there, so I'm putting this one in the "win" column.

More to come this week. I promise. :)


  1. HILARIOUS!! I love the picture commentaries the best. LOL. Glad to see you're having a good time. And for the record Angel definitely has the right idea. HA!!

  2. I want to know what happened in the club at your hotel.

  3. breathtaking pictures! they look unreal. but i still believe that you took them.