DAY 4: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
On Day 4, Paul and I hiked in the El Yunque rainforest! We still had the rental car. Brian and Dottie stayed back and enjoyed a day at the beach.
After a 45-minute drive, we arrived. This national forest boasts over 29,000 acres. We drove the narrow, winding road up into the mountains.
Certain areas of the rainforest were still closed due to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria; nevertheless, we were able to hike plenty to our heart’s content (see map below).
We stopped first at the Baño Grande observation point.
“Baño Grande” means “big pool”. It was such a pretty spot!
Then, we drove to the Mt. Britton Trail trailhead. A 45-minute hike would bring us to the Mt. Britton Tower. Here we are, excited to start hiking!
This is what the trail was like at first. It soon became a narrow, paved footpath. And eventually, a stoney, muddy footpath.
Pretty flowers along the path:
And a butterfly:
We hiked higher and higher…
We made it to the tower!
The view from the top:
Once we had our fill of the view, we headed to the trail that would lead us to the El Yunque Peak. This would take an hour.
We stopped at a lookout spot along the way.
A panoramic shot:
It was a little bit dangerous getting to and from this vantage point! The cliff you see here goes straight down.
We kept hiking…
…and admiring the views…
…until we made it to the top!
If you look closely in the photo below, you can see Mt. Britton Tower and the road where we parked the car.
Now it was time to hike back.
Back at the beginning of the trailhead, we snapped a photo with a co-traveler, Cindy, who had joined us along the way.
We drove to a couple of other observation points. This is the Yokahu Tower.
A friendly guy at the top of the tower pointed out to us the “old Indian” face in the mountain. I had trouble seeing it…
And George Washington’s profile:
Another stop we made was La Coca Falls.
It was a beautiful waterfall.
By now, it was time for lunch. We Googled to find a small local restaurant. We pointed at what we wanted, and ended up with this delicious plate of food:
We drove back to drop off rental car and took an Uber back home. We had a couple of hours to spare before heading to dinner, so we got out our playing cards and played some Euchre!
Our dinner plans were to meet up with a piano teacher, Lucia Fernandez, who I connected with via a piano teaching Facebook group. Lucia and her husband made reservations at a lovely restaurant called Cocina Abierta in Condado. We had a good conversation and a nice time getting to know each other.
This is a delicious tuna dish we shared.
We arrived home late and went straight to bed! It was a full day.
Stay tuned for Day 5!