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Published: July 30th 2015
On My Own Again
Guanica, Puerto Rico
I checked into the hostel, Posada San Francisco, and then went to Marshalls, near our old hotel. I wanted to stay busy so I wouldn’t miss Michael too much. At Marshalls I bought a new piece of luggage on wheels. As much as I hated to, I was abandoning my wonderful, Samsonite dive bag. It had sentimental value, as well as being a great bag for scuba gear. But it had only two wheels and I had to wrench it in the right direction with a kick between the wheels for good measure, in order to get it rolling. And, it fell over when you released it. It was clear I could not manage the recalcitrant dive bag and my other luggage without help so I had to make changes. I decided on a new four wheel bag and discarded both the dive bag and my carry-on, using my back pack instead.
I had to return the first suitcase I bought because when I got my gear packed in it, it did not meet my needs. Marshalls was great,
though, and just handed over a cash refund. I bought another bag which rolls easily on four wheels and opens flat with a separate compartment for my dive gear. It is not easy, nor pleasant, but I can now move all my luggage myself; two rolling bags, one to check and the other I can carry on the plane. It holds my underwater camera and my regulator. I don’t like to check these important pieces of dive equipment.
Just for a laugh…imagine this crazy American lady rolling a big suitcase four or five blocks in San Juan heat, to the hostel. Then she rolls it back to the store. Back to the hostel with another one, but this one, in the sun, is a vibrant purple. And of course the wheels rattled, so there was no stealth. I had a laugh, myself.
I met some very interesting people in the hostel. Two men were there for a seminar on Alexander Hamilton, and I even became interested enough in the founding fathers of America and their Caribbean roots, and how that affected the making of America, to consider reading some biographical histories. Funny how tastes
After numerous emails I finalized a taxi to Guanica, on the other end of the island, for some diving. The dive shop was very helpful in connecting me with the taxi and also giving me the name of a place to stay near the shop.
I was unhappy about the price of the taxi…$200 for two hundred miles, but there are no buses and I don’t drive when I travel. I am afraid of the different signage and rules, where to park, etc. And being responsible for someone else’s vehicle.
The taxi driver was very nice. The road was sometimes quite good, and sometimes under construction. The terrain was much like driving over the mountains from western Washington to the eastern side, arid rolling hills and high mountain passes. Guanica was a small town off the highway. The hostel was in a residential area, with a five minute, or less, walk to the water and the dive shop.
The place I rented was a wonderful completely equipped apartment and I was very happy there. The first day I walked to the dive shop and talked with
Kitchen on the 4th floor
I usually had this all to myself.
the owner, then had a big, fresh, fruit smoothie next door. Still wanting food, I crossed the street and ordered fried pork…no English here. I wasn’t happy with the food, but I ate most of the greasy, homemade fries. I bought a couple of bottles of water from a street vendor. I later discovered that there was a great beach park two minutes away and I enjoyed relaxing in the water there, with my landlady, Bonita, and her Pomeranian.
I wrote a note to my dive buddy in Seattle and told him I planned to dive here in Guanica, the next day. He wrote right back and said one of the guys from our dive club, Curt, and his wife Helen were in Puerto Rico. I laughed to myself…having just traveled two hundred miles to find a place to dive, I knew it was a silly question, but I wrote back…Where in Puerto Rico?
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