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5.12.2013

Puerto Rico - Day 4

We explored the beaches and city center in Ponce. Ponce is the second most populated city on the island and is located on the southern part of the island.

La Guancha Boardwalk, facing the Caribbean Sea, was beautiful - there is a marina, an observation tower and plenty of public space overlooking the water. This part of Ponce reminds me of the classic California beach town. There were restaurants and bars sprinkled throughout the sunny public boardwalk - it was clean, bright and well constructed. There were big pelicans that approaches us with no reservation and giant fish in the shallow water.

We also walked through the city center which was lively with shops and restaurants galore. The architecture was detailed and painted in bright colors. We saw the old red and black striped fire station and the gorgeous Ponce Cathedral. We ate at a little cafe where we tried empanadillas, crescent-shaped turnovers - one filled with chicken and one with ground beef - and dumplones. We were impressed by the simple yet delicious food!

Our night was filled with a Bio Bay tour in
Vieques along the Caribbean coast. It is one of the most spectacular Bioluminescent Bays in the world. A blue-green light is created by micro-organisms which thrive in an environment uniquely suited to their needs. When the water is agitated by the boat, fish or rain it glows! Our tour began with a power boat ride to the island, followed by dinner at a restaurant in Vieques, followed by a scary bus ride to the bay. We essentially went off roading in a school bus painted black with no door! Once we got to the bay we boarded a pontoon boat that took us out into the bay. The motors illuminated the microorganisms as well as a few fishes swimming around the boat - a sting ray swimming by caused the most amount of illumination! I volunteered to emerge myself in the water to show everyone on the tour how swimming in the water would also illuminate it - I did water angels which caused a glow all around my body! On the boat, the guides also poured two buckets full of the water over my head down my body so it looked like I was glowing! It was a pretty cool experience though our cameras could not capture the illumination, so no pictures :(

Today we are off to Old San Juan and the beaches on the Northwest side on the island for some more great experiences!

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