Puerto Rico Day Eight: Reefs, Beaches, Cemeteries and Reflection On My Last Day In Puerto Rico
It was my last day in Puerto Rico. As usual, I was again up before the sun. I wanted to watch the sunrise and searched Google maps for a good place to do that. I decided to drive to what looked like a reef about three miles from my hotel. Traffic was light and I was soon at a small commercial area near the ocean.
One of the restaurants was already open and the smell of food and coffee filled the air.
I walked down some stairs to the ocean and was immediately overcome by the pristine beauty of the beach and reef so close to downtown San Juan,
I walked along the shore and navigated large razor sharp rocks as I avoided the rushing waters of the incoming tide.
I was rewarded with a spectacular sunrise. Once again the beauty of Puerto Rico astonished me.
I tried to walk further east on the beach but large rocks and cliffs prevented me from going any further.
I retraced my steps in the and and tried walking west toward San Juan.
And once again rocks and cliffs prevented me from going very far.
It was still early, my flight was a 4 p.m. , so I decided to return my car to the airport and spend some time relaxing on the beach. I had no problem getting to the airport, returning my car, and taking a taxi back to the hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from sunrise walk. Puerto Rico Day Eight: Sunrise walk San Juan
I finished most of my packing and had breakfast at the hotel. I was going to relax on the beach for a few hours but instead decided to do a little more exploring. I first walked along the beach.
Like the day before, I noticed almost no seashells, and only a few shore birds.
There was not even a lot of seaweed washing ashore.
The beach narrowed as it approached a row of high rise apartment buildings.
I saw many of the residents, mainly senior citizens talking a morning walk or walking their dogs.
I continued my walk until the beach ended.
I decided to walk the main street back to my hotel and walked past the usual gas stations and fast food restaurants that are always near the commercial area near an airport.
I was surprised, and delighted to find a cemetery on my return walk. I love visiting cemeteries and I was soon roaming the many well attended graves and mausoleums.
The cemetery did not appear to be very old. The oldest graves I found were from the 1940’s. It was well maintained and many of the graves were adorned with flowers.
I walked among the departed reflecting on their lives and how different and similar they were from my own. I also thought about the recent tragic loss of my sister and brother-in-law. So quickly and way too soon they left us. I so much enjoy exploring new countries, as did my sister. I loved sharing my experiences with her, and my dad, who we lost 4 years ago. Travel still is my passion but it will never be the same. I reflected how Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love, and Ash Wednesday, the reminder of our mortality, occurred on the same day this year. A lot to think about, and I did.
I also reflected on this beautiful island. Many places I visited were completely recovered from the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria. However, others were not. Water lines, , roads and the electric grid are still in ruins. I saw a small part of it. These folks need help and our Nation must do more to help them. Well, enough reflection.
I walked back to my hotel and still had an hour until I had to leave for the airport. I finally relaxed and caught some sun on the beach. I checked out at 1 p.m and took the five minute taxi ride to the airport. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk. Puerto Rico Day Eight: San Juan morning walk
At the airport I had a new experience at check in. Puerto Rico and Hawaii require an agricultural inspection before a United States citizen can return from a visit to these places. It only took five minutes and I was soon wandering the modern airport. My flight took off on schedule and I had a quiet uneventful flight to Philadelphia, another short flight to Avoca and a 45 minute drive home. Like always I loved my travels, but there is still no place like home. Sadly two of the reasons I wanted to return no longer are here with us. But none of us live forever. I can only live on as best I can, knowing my sister would want me to continue to share the beauty of this world that our dad taught us to love. So the question is The Balkans or New Zealand?
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru