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Puerto Rico, Day 10

Guánica Biosphere Reserve

After resolving a few difficulties with getting a
rental car we set off with a non-Hybrid version of the Toyota Prius to a place
West of Ponce called Guánica
Biosphere Reserve
. It is one of the last dry forests in Puerto Rico
and is now a Unesco World Heritage site. The coast offers also some snorkeling
opportunities. On our way we drive again along the beautiful Sierra de Cayay
reminding me that next time we are in Puerto Rico we have to spend more time in
these beautiful mountains.

Since we
have a late start we decide not to eat lunch in Ponce but to fast-food it. We
end up in a “Pollo Tropical
(yes, it is owned by the same company that also owns Burger King) and are
somewhat surprised to find quite acceptable food (Sorry, Jose — maybe our taste
is not as good as you thought it was).

At around 1 PM we arrive at Mary Lee’s by the Sea. Mary
Lee turns out to be over 80 but is still running a tight ship. Our $100 a night
“studio” is a very roomy place that is well-aired and pleasantly cool given the
sweltering heat of this place. A few houses further is a place that rents kayaks
and wind surf gear. A big sweaty guy tells us that we can buy day passes for $35
per person which allows us use any of the equipment. We make an appointment to
buy day passes the next morning at 8 AM. We also run into a wind surfer who
gives us good information on good snorkeling spots.

With all water activities scheduled
for the next day, we drive to the end of 333 and hike along the coast within the
Guánica Biosphere Reserve. Because it is Sunday the beach is mobbed. As
we advance along the trail we suddenly realize that there all these men in tight
fitting “marble huggers” (one of those tight fitting and very short swim suits
that otherwise only Germans are (in)famous for). They all walk around in pairs
except or standing watch at the trail side. Except for Zulah there is no other
woman in sight. I guess we discovered the local gay meat market here.

With respect to the natural
environment these guys have good taste. Next to the turquoise surf thundering
against a rocky coast are beautiful flowering cactus stands. Some of these cacti
are quite phallic or look like a not too recently shaved fat man’s head with
little pink flowers growing on them. As it gets later in the afternoon these
spikes of these cacti appear like a bright red halo against the light. Needless
to say, we can’t stop making photos. However, we also have to make sure to
return to our car before it gets dark — who knows what this scene turns into
once it gets dark.

We find expensive,
but incredibly good dinner at the nearby Copamarina Beach Resort.

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