Part 13:  Old San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Diego, CA


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The Trip

We stayed our last night in PR at the airport Marriott.  Oddly, it was the only place where we had reservations.  The bad news is that it was the Marriott.  The good news was that it was on the beach.  In the morning, we broke camp and headed into Old San Juan to see the other part of the fort that we missed on the previous visit.  That and to score some good  "mero en criolla" (grilled grouper in creole sauce) for lunch.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The Marriott shared a great beach with a number of other resorts.

The view from our breakfast table on the patio was stellar.  Note the reef on the horizon.

The waves crashed into the reef with amazing force producing showers of spray and foam.

I love gals with boob jobs, but not for the obvious reason.  When done correctly, the results are plainly visible for all to see, or at least hopefully so.  No, the real reason is that the gals that get them don't want to waste the monies spent, so they exercise vigorously too, typically producing a stunning result.  The one above is good-to-go and was a wonderful contrast to some of the animal life that we have recently seen.

We left the Marriott and went to Old San Juan to see the other part of the fort.  This is an imposing structure particularly given that it took 250 years to complete and was started in the 1500s.  This is the main courtyard.

The fort we visited previously, El Morro, is visible in the distance.  The fortified walls surround all of old San Juan.

The old cannons were mounted on cast iron wheels that pivoted on the big pin.  The pin held the position constant, absorbed the recoil and allowed easy reference for changing the angle of fire.

The eastern watch tower had a great view of the surf.

The upper portion of the walls provide a nice view of the capitol building and downtown San Juan.

There are dwellings outside the northern walls between the walls and the surf.  This must be prime real estate, but dicey during a hurricane.  And given the proximity to town and the ocean, I would have expected nicer places.

Rainwater was gathered within the fort and stored in giant cisterns.  The well above provided access to the water.

The Old San Juan Casino.

The cars in the parking area provide a sense of scale for the massive walls.

The stiff breezes on the upper towers kept the temperatures acceptable.  But, it was much hotter on the ground level.

This structure is the access to the circular stairs that descend to the inner portion of the castle.

One of the many barracks areas for the troops.

The map was nicely done and while the text is too small to read on this page, it does give a reasonable overview of the layout of Old San Juan.

The fort was assembled using a combination of cut stone, bricks and rubble.  Then it was coated with a limestone plaster.  The park service is restoring the outside coating.

To the north we could see a tug pulling a barge with containers.

On the egress from the fort, I asked Kathleen stand next to the wall to provide a sense of scale.  These walls are truly massive.

We had a great lunch at a small restaurant near the castle.  On my way out, I spotted this fellow napping on the ledge in the shadows.

The alley next to the restaurant was paved with Old San Juan's signature blue bricks.  The fellow with the crutches is visible on the right.

On our way back to the parking lot we passed a number of fine examples of colonial architecture.  This building had nice wrought iron railings.

This building had nice wooden doors and intricate iron work.

Returning to Old San Juan was a great conclusion to the trip.  We had lunch in El Asador and both Kathleen and I had "mero" which is the local name for grouper.  The dishes were excellent and a great way to end the trip.  From Old San Juan, we had to return our rental car and then get to the airport for an ass-numbing flight to Houston, then on to home.

The Caribbean as awesome.  Some folks do not like the steamy heat of the tropics, but I find it desirable.  The ocean temperatures actually allow swimming and water sports without wet suits.  All in all, a wonderful trip.

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