It Was a Long Tough Day.. Until the End

August 16, 2023

Loyal readers. As Eric mentioned in his comment yesterday my experience with the hotel was comedic gold. Well, suffice it to say there was some alchemy going on and that gold turned to scat in a hurry yesterday. I’ll spare you all the details, more becuase it will likely just get me upset again. Short version, basically it has to do with the hotel. 5 more intereactions and a front desk check in that went like “I’d like to talk to the general manager”, “we don’t have a manager”.. you get the picture right?

But we if we back up, the morning started out beautifully, I got up and had some leftover Hagen Daz and wrote my blog, packed up and hopped in the golf cart to go put some petrol in the ole tank. Honestly didn’t need it but they were SO nice to me I figured a few bucks of gas to over-top up where my tank was supposed to be would be a nice gesture. Its a beautiful morning ride there an I pass this really cool lift bridge.

Breakfast of champions

When I’m done I have about 45 minutes before the cart needs to be returned so I decided to take a little side trip down the tip of the other side of hte bay where my apartment was. Quite lovely and relaxing.

Then back to Carlos Jeep Rental (have I mentioned to use them if you end up on Culebra), where my friend from yesterday, Annalese (say hi for me if you see her) shuttled me down to the ferry docks. Now the day starts to get …. ah-hem… interesting.

So Annalese helped me make the changes to my ticket yesterday in the app run by City Experiences. I have to say this company bribed someone big time. They pretty much have a lock on all Ferry service and water taxi service in most of the US and its territories… obviously a federal pork bellly contract to someone. But whomever they are, their IT department has to be one of the most incompetent I’ve ever run into and that is saying something. All this leads to the fact that the City Experiences app on my phone all of a sudden is flipping screens, reloading, and when I get it to stop it says I have no tickets… ungh… so over to the previously unhelpful ticket agent and I have a mostly better experience. They are able to reprint my ticket from Cuelebra to Cieba (nothing direct to Vieques remember) but then THEY have an internet problem (which is really a problem with the city experiences systems I can tell) but they aree able to at least print off my confirmation of my Cieba to Vieques ticket and tell me I’ll have to talk to the ticket agent in Cieba to get my ticket printed. No problem.

Well from here things go pretty smoothing for most of the day other than I’m 2 hrs (stated time to be at ferry) early and its 95 degrees, I have my 40lb pack and 10lb daypack with me and there is no breeze. I”M MELTING … I”M MELTING…. but our ferry finally shows up on the horizon and eventually comes withing solid view and its a car ferry.. this is going to be slow. Despite the heat I want to sit on deck so I go up to the top, right next to the pilothouse and camp out. My bag of ice/towel wrapping trick is working like a dream and I’m able to pull out an ice cold diet coke. I thrown one of my spare shirts over my head to shade myself and things aren’t so bad except it takes FOREVER to leave port. In the mantime the 12:00 ferry comes in, a huge fast cat, and I am instantly filled with envy. Turns out they leave 20 minutes after us, pass us and get into port before us. Realy… REALLY!!

Anyway, in Cieba I queue up in lines (surprise) to talk to the ticket agent, eventually ge tmy ticket repritned and head into the cafe… OMG… POWERFUL AC.. I’m in heaven. No place to sit so I find a corner, pop my ass on the ground, then get up and go order a burger, a water and a diet coke. By this time a seat opened up and I move.

Finally half hour before my ferry, they call us to queue up ..again.. now its 97 and no breeze, then they usher you into the holding pen to wait for boarding. The best I can describe this is an interment camp for ferry passengers. 8 foot barbed wire fences, guards with weapons, cramped seating and no breeze. It was verry surreal. I mean, why all this security? Nobody checked my id when I reprinted my ticket at the ticket agent. Nobody checked my bags (no sir I don’t have 40lbs of C4 in my backpack) for security and nobody checked my ticket before I boarded.. so why all the security… keep the rats in the maze! They also need to figure out how to run thier computers LOL

Well this boat was a fast cat, and with the wind from starboard and me on the top deck again, I was getting a gloriously refreshing breeze and some sea mist over the edget so I was actuallyu quite comfortable. And dare I say in my happy place, on a boat wind in my … uh.. hair?!?… and a salty sea mist on my face! Oh and did I mention that I was following the ferry on my nautical navigation sotware.. this captiain knows his crap! he was dodging reefs and cutting corners like crazy! (see below)

Of course today is destinted to not let me just enjoy anything. About half way through the ride, Scott texts me and tells me that our dive for today is cancelled due to forecast high winds. REALLY!

Arrival at the port was easy but chaotic. Needless to say my driver was late, but it turned out because he was the same driver that just too Scott and his family to their hotel just down the street from mine. Strange coiencidence as we didn’t even talk about who we were using for transportation.

So then to the hotel check in. I already talked about it an I wont again.

But they did offer me a bottle of champagne to ease the pain. something I guess. Or so I thought. Till I got to my room, showered, sat on the bed, grabbed the champagne …. and hopefuly you’ve opened a bottle or two in your day so you’ll understand here… There is the metal top that has the twisted loop on the side that is the safety on the cork. Well, I twist it once, twice, three times… POOOPPPPP… I don’t even have the safety fully off, the corke and the metal saftey cage come flying out of the bottle, off my forhead and then off the 12 foot ceilings in my room. Really… no REALLY? You just can’t make this shit up.

Finally the good end to the day arrives. Scott and his family are having dinner and I go to join them. Of course I needed 30 minutes to decompress from all the emotions and get back centered. Call a taxi, get to the resturant and they are not there.

by the way, did I mention that apparently Eric’s wife Jonna drives a taxi on the island!

But Scott and Brendo are kind enough to walk back down and sit and have cocktails with me while I have a delicious pork medalion over pea risotto dinner.

Then over to their condo they rented which is right in town. Before we go for one my big anticipated advenures, a biolumenescent bay kayak tour. You see I’ve never seen this in any of my travels.

So I wont belabor every point of this as thye are rahter mundane, check in, PFD’s, bus ride and into the Kayak. And RIGHT away when you dip your paddle in the water lights up like 10,000 tiny fireflies inthe water.. dip your hand in .. same thing.. scoop some water up and let it run down your arm and it sparkles while it runs down your arm.. simply cool as hell.. thats what my limited vocabulary this morning will come up with. I managed to get one half assed time lapse photo of Scott running his hands back and forth in the water but I just didn’t know how to use my camera well enough to get a good video. I have the memories though and one more thing knocked off my bucket list… now its that damn Whale Shark!!

Buenos Dias, more later.

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