Author: Tammy (---.br1.sho.az.frontiernet.net)
Date: 10-10-08 19:54
We spent Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 on Culebra and the only word I can think of to describe it is AMAZING. We already can't wait to get back.
We flew in from San Juan via Air Flamenco. It was a fun flight on the smallest plane I've ever been on. I sat directly behind the pilot and was closer than I would be in the back seat of some cars. The views from the flight were gorgeous though and distracted me from being quite so nervous. :) I was very pleasantly surprised on our arrival at how nice the airport is (especially after having gone through Miami Airport and being surprised at how run-down it is).
From the airport we started to walk to Casa Ensenada, where we stayed in the Estudio unit, with our luggage. We were pretty sure we knew how to get there, but were a little nervous about getting lost while dragging all our luggage around. We didn't see any publicos, probably because its low season, but a young high school boy pulled over and asked if we needed a ride so we hopped in and he got us there. He asked for $4 but we gave him $10 for gas. It was worth it to not have to try and wheel our luggage through the construction zone.
We made the mistake of heading out to try and find a place to eat dinner without looking at the map. We wandered around a while, finding everything closed and started to get worried we would be going hungry that night. But we ended up figuring out where the bridge was (we had been heading toward the ferry dock) and crossing to the Dinghy Dock for a yummy dinner and drinks.
As it turned out that most places were closed while we were there (which we knew would probably be the case since it's still hurricane season), so we ate mainly at Pandeli Bakery and Dinghy Dock. Most of the time we cooked breakfast and made lunch in our room. Even though we ate at the Dinghy Dock almost every night, we didn't get tired of the food because the menu changed nearly every day. The atmosphere of being right on the water was also great and my husband was thrilled to watch the tarpon come up to the dock to get fed every night.
We rented a jeep (Suzuki actually) from Jerry's Jeeps on the second day there and spent most of the day just exploring the different beaches.
We got into the habit of going out to the beach in the morning, coming back to the room for lunch and siesta, and then going snorkeling, boogie boarding or fishing in the late afternoon and evening. Most of our days passed by in a quick but very, very relaxing blur that way.
Snorkeling at Melones Beach was great. We've only snorkeled a few times and never alone before, and Melones was a good place to "get our feet wet." :)
My husband caught several snappers off the dock at Casa Ensenda, but we didn't eat them after being warned of the discharge into the bay.
On the last day, as we went to gas up the car, a man from the fisherman's association asked us if we wanted to buy a lobster. We got a live lobster for $20, took it back to the room and boiled it. It was delicious!!! And made for another great memory of our trip.
It did take us a day or so to slow down to the pace of the island, but that's exactly what we hoped to do and we really enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere, the friendly people and the gorgeous beaches. We're already making plans to go back.
I made a slideshow of pictures from our trip. The first part is pictures of Culebra, the middle is of Old San Juan and the end is pictures of snorkeling at Melones. You can see it at http://www.searlesmedia.com/video1.wmv