Author: Sandie (---.port.east.verizon.net)
Date: 01-22-05 12:44
We just spent 6 days camping @ Flamenco (after camping on Vieques - I'll post that info on the Vieques forum). We shipped our stove down ahead of time to avoid the airline hassle, but in the end that wasn't even necessary. Fuel: you can find propane canisters everywhere and sometimes sterno. There is NO white gas/Coleman Fuel on either Vieques or Culebra. EXCEPT the guy that sells ice @ Flamenco keeps a can there......which I didn't find out til long after I'd put unleaded gas in my fuel bottle (my stove can run on multi-liquid fuels). The showers at the beach are outside, they're not warm and they're in full view of the workers at the campground who love to time their breaks around the 4 o'clock viewing. You are not supposed to use soap or shampoo and though I am a LNT backpacker, I confess after swimming in salt water and camping in sand day after day with long hair, I have to use some kind of suds to get the crud out. It appears they're building real shower houses.
The campsites at Flamenco were great, though I can see (as we did somewhat with the holiday weekend) how crowded and party crazed it can be. The old timers seem to set up in "D", we were more in the B/C area. Make sure you pick a site that has some kind of breeze, but not so much that you end up sandblasted as we did one night after placing the tent on a dune. There are water buffaloes with fresh water all along the road - but this water is not potable. There is potable water up by the main bathroom. Toilets leave a bit to be desired, and are never stocked with TP. Rate is $20 a tent/per night (they take credit). The guys running the campground are great, we enjoyed Henry a lot "my friend". He even comped us our last night there, for whatever reason.
All in all, we really enjoyed our time on this island, and would definitely head back to camp there again. We met lots of people who make this an annual trip for 2, 3 or 4 weeks every year and I can see why.
Taxi rides back and forth were mainly available, but one day in town mid-day we couldn't get a ride, hitched to the airport, but no one would pick us up after there, so walked back to Flamenco. Willy was mostly accomodating, but we were concerned about getting from the beach to the airport the last morning @ 6AM, he indicated getting a taxi at that hour was going to cost us more than the usual $2 fare.
Never did find fresh fish in town to cook ourselves, but had a fantastic Snapper meal @ the Dinghy Dock the last night. Service was good, you have to go with the attitude this isn't NY (I live in Maine) and things will take longer and are just not the same as home. And the meal @ Barbara Rosa's will go down in infamy as one of the best nights we had on our trip.
Panaderia sells sandwich rolls cheap and fresh.
We never did make it to Reseca or Brava Beaches, but the one day with the rental car we trekked to Zoni, which was well worth it. I would tend to avoid renting vehicles from JM Rentals/Thrifty, even though we had checked and knew we were covered for insurance through our home company (MetLife) and our VISA, we had to sign a waiver saying we'd be responsible for all damages, even if not our fault. My husband wouldn't sign that, so we had to pay the $15/day. Hence, we only rented a vehicle for one day. Next time....scooters I think or bicycles. I enjoyed walking and taking taxis and spending more time outside the insulation of a vehicle. Carlos from Carlos' Jeeps was very friendly and I wish we had gone with him from the beginning.