(See the orange symbols on the map for our Thursday activities)
The GPS in the rental car took us through some twisty back streets between expressways in the San Juan area. It was probably not the most efficient route to take. But it did show us some of the real Puerto Rico. And real Puerto Rican driving. Sorry, no photos from our hurtling along and playing dodge-car. Sailing was smoother on the expressways, except for some creative passing. While frequent signs dictate the appropriateness of the right lane for slow or heavy vehicles, a lot of people drive slowly in the left lane. So there's passing on the right almost as often as on the left, with little use of turn signals. We did not let Scoot practice driving in Puerto Rico, and he didn't mind.
Anyway, the scenery was just gorgeous. The southern side of the island is in the rain shadow, a little more arid, but still green.
Puerto Rico is a bilingual island. More or less. Names of places and businesses may include English. Road signs are all in Spanish. Dandelionslayer and I are willing to speak Spanish, but we're pretty obviously gringos. So the man at the museum offered us English brochures. The man at the pizzeria in Ponce approached us with an extra rapid Spanish narrative, then switched to flawless English when he saw our blank stares. I found two ladies in the gas station, and addressed the one in the uniform shirt. The other said, "Hi." So I asked my question, in English. Both listened. Then the employee told her friend in Spanish, who talked to me in English. It wasn't really easy to describe, so we went outside so the English speaker could consult our GPS. "Oh, it's not in Spanish," she said. It was also different from the GPS on her phone, so she checked that, and gave us directions. We followed the directions until we found the closed gate to the reserve, then asked the gate guard. He listened in English, then came out to point the way. And asked if Spanish was all right. So he gave us the rest of the easy directions in Spanish. So, bilingual? I think most Puerto Ricans understand both languages. Many have spent time in the United States, at college or in the military, and speak English without any accent. Most are more comfortable with Spanish, though.
bioluminescent bay. This was actually one of the major factors in our choice of Puerto Rico. A couple of years ago, the Caterpillar made a travel brochure about Puerto Rico for his Spanish class. And this is one of the cool things he told us about.
|Thanks to EcoAdventures for the photos!|
For more of the adventure, see: