EAST TO THE RAINFOREST and EL YUNQUE
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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The day was overcast and warm as we left Carolina and wound our way up the slopes of the Luquillo Mountains towards the peak of El Yunque. We can see the distant peaks from the apartment windows and they are mostly covered in cloud.
Frances led us to a "secret" spot away from the crowds and it was an easy stroll on a very wide track through the majestic forest, that has been protected and is probably close
to what it was when the Spanish reached the shores of Puerto Rico 500 years ago. Ancient trees live here, along with palms and vines and gorgeous flowers.
Later in the day the wonderful shrill call of the coqui, Puerto Ricos famous little frog, fills the forest and reminds you that you only hear this sound on this island- they exist nowhere else. We did not catch sight of the elusive parrot. Woops- the coqui was taken over to Hawaii some years ago where it is considered a pest-same old awful story about humans messing with nature!
Some showers fell from the cloudy sky but in the tropics this is ok because the air and rain is warm and you dry quickly. We found a natural umbrella- the large leaf of the yagrumo tree.
After about 20 minutes we arrived at the entrance to the muddy and slippery down-hill track to a pretty waterfall and pool. The water was cool but we all managed to slither in and take a dip. It was a lovely quiet place of natural beauty and we lingered a while to relax and absorb all that nature offered us away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The rainforest is similar to our Australian forests but is the only tropical forest in the US forest system so is a popular destination for American tourists.
Maritza and Kath were wearing their good clean runners that were now soaked in orange mud, later easily cleaned up in the washing machine. Note the message on the red t-shirt we found by the car and used to wipe our shoes!
Thanks Frances for a wonderful adventure in a special place!
Well, after all this fresh air, we were hungry so it was barbeque chicken and beer for us all at a busy roadside eatery. There is a lot of tasty food sold roadside in Puerto Rico and it is mostly fried and deadly tempting!