Posted by Amanda
Another great day in Puerto Rico, but first, something funny from last night. Both of us had wet clothing from the Biobay trip. We had a small clothesline in the tiny shower but it wasn't long enough to handle all of our wet clothes. We took our own suction cup line and stretched it over my bed filling it with items. At some point in the middle of the night, they all fell on me. I hardly noticed because I'm in the Sleep Marines. I did notice the resident who woke me up at 4:40am from down the hall. I asked her to keep it down as it was surprisingly well passed quiet hours.
Anyway, we meandered around a bit this morning.Noah had heard of a nice beach so we walked in that direction.It was preceded by a large park that reminded me of Riverside Park in NYC. People were running and walking their dogs. A huge fountain was gushing without one single person there enjoying it. A pedestrian bridge led over the highway to the beach. It was a picture postcard type beach with palm trees on the fringe providing shade and coconuts. Plus, only a few people were there. We waded for a short time then walked along the beach for some ways. The views of San Cristobal Fort were amazing. We continued to the capitol then back to the ship.
Our next adventure was a trip sponsored by Semester at Sea to El Yunque National Forest—the only rain forest in the National Park system. We hiked downhill quite a ways to La Mina falls. I had not really planned to swim, but with so many people in the water, I changed my mind. Of course I had to do it in my clothes. It was a bit cold and with my bare feet it was hard to navigate the rocky bottom, but it was fun. Consequently I have another clothesline rigged over my bed tonight. We then hiked up out of the area. Compared to the Amazon, this was nothing. The path was all paved, though narrow.We could wear anything but flip flops. There were s o many of us that the only animals we saw were snails (they were too slow to get away) and we couldn't hear our guide. We did have a chance to ask him about the Puerto Rican flag. He just told us it was created at the same time the Cuban flag was in NYC. The students were hungry so we stopped at a roadside stand. The food was cheap and good. I've asked Noah if we can eat at all roadside stands and carts tomorrow—cheaper and more fun—maybe more authentic. After that we headed home for me to begin my duty on the ship and hopefully a quiet night.