Part 10: Guanica to Ponce, Puerto Rico


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The Trip

Our night at the Copamarina Resort was very pleasant.  Nice rooms right on the water with nice landscaping.  While we did consider staying another day, in the end we decided to roll on.  Our plan was to continue west to El Rincon and see the lighthouse and beach and then turn east and go to Ponce on the south shore.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

We had a brief thunderstorm at dawn and it left mist in the air.  When we left I also discovered that leaving your camera in an air conditioned room causes fogging on the lens, filter and inside the camera on the imaging array.  The effect is only slight in the photo above, but 10 photos later the fog totally obscured the image.  The solution is to let the camera come fully to ambient temperature before attempting photos.  The object of the photos above was to show the Blue Palm tree just to the right of center.  But, the closeup photos of the tree were totally fogged.  This was the best of the set.  The leaves (fronds) are really blue-green and they have a different structure than the conventional palm.  Oh, and the beach was nice too.

On our way to the rental car we passed this monstrosity.  Something a little different.

From Guanica we headed west on Route 2 (the main road) to the turn for Rincon.  Then, after a short 2 lane road, we hit the water.  It is very high tide and the water is lapping at the base of the houses on the shore.

Further down the road we found a restaurant and got a table on the beach.  This was the view looking west.

Same location looking east.  Due to the tide the waves are coming far up the beach.

After a tasty lunch, we headed to Faro El Rincon (Rincon Lighthouse).  The shape of the shore makes the waves at Rincon huge and it is claimed to be a world-class surfing area.  There is no sense of scale in the photo above, but I estimated the wave height to be 10-12 feet.

These rollers were throwing huge amounts of spray into the air.

Some of the sets produced great tubular waves which the surfers crave.

I was totally absorbed by watching the waves and when I looked around I spotted this orange iguana.  This fellow is about 30 inches long.

Look at the gnarly claws on this fellow; he could really slash you if he had a mind to.

Notice the waddle under his neck; it was about 4" long!  And the front claws are just as nasty as the rears.

Faro El Rincon with more thunderheads building to the north.

The first iguana had a buddy just a bit further down the walk.  This fellow was green, but much smaller.  This shot was taken from quite a distance and also looking toward the sun.  I was actually quite amazed that the Olympus was able to get an image that was respectable.  The photo above is a crop-of-a-zoom.

One of the overlooks provided a sweeping view of the beach below.  Many of the locals that we spoke to thought that El Rincon was the most scenic place in all Puerto Rico, and that is saying quite a bit.

These were huge waves and the noise was tremendous.

While we were taking photos and admiring the waves, this C-130 banked a turn and flew right over the water.  They were quite close to the deck and I am sure that they chose this flight path so the crew could get photos too.  The shutter speed on the camera was fast enough to freeze the props on the plane.

We finished in El Rincon and headed back to the east on Route 2.  Sadly, it was local rush hour so we slugged it out in heavy traffic for about an hour.  When we passed Yauco, Kathleen was taken by the colorful paint jobs on the local homes but she manged to get a respectable photo shooting across the car in front of me out the window while traveling at 60 mph.

We decide to stay in an antique hotel at the square in Ponce.  En route, we passed this monument and due to traffic had to shoot through a dirty windshield, thus the nasty spot.

We got a room at the Melia Hotel on the main square.  The hotel was built in 1915 and certainly had a rustic flare including a creepy four person elevator that belonged in a black and white movie.  But, there was excellent ceramic tile on the floors and all the locks had been upgraded to card-keys.  Note the size of the pillars.

We dumped our stuff and headed out to the square before it got too dark.  When we arrived, we came upon a photo shoot in progress.  To the untrained eye, it seems is if he is taking a zoom photo of her ass.  More on this later.

Munich, Germany had painted lions in their streets.  Ponce decided to follow suit.

Each lion was painted a different color scheme and each was dedicated to a differennt luminary in Ponce's history.

A less interesting color scheme.

On the north boundary of the square was the local cathedral.  An imposing structure.

Opposite the cathedral was this interesting structure that must have been a home at one point in its history.  Very ornate.

More lions, this one in a more interesting color scheme.

More lions.

Ah, the subject of the photo shoot as she leaves upon completion of her assignment.  NOW I understand, and after a week on the cruise ship looking at fantastically fat asses, this was a welcome surprise.

While the model's exit path may have influenced my decision to take this photo, the real purpose was to show the colonial nature of the buildings and streets in downtown Ponce.

We continued to hike around the central area of town in search of a nice place to eat.  Above is the Ponce History Museum.

The musical arts building.

The theater and concert hall next door.

The full moon was on the rise over the horizon as we came to the balcony of our room.  The full moon translates to an astronomical high tide which had the unfortunate effect of accentuating the flooding due to Hurricane Sandy.  Even through the moist air at the beach the moon was quite clear.

We enjoyed Guanica and would go back again.  El Rincon was off the chart and the huge waves had Kathleen mesmerized.  I had to pull her away to leave.

Tomorrow, we continue east.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.