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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Curt takes a hike...

Woke up early this morning. Had a light breakfast of hard boiled eggs, juice and coffee (sounds like a broken record doesn't it). We arrived on Orchid about 8:45. Judy and Andre were right in front of us on the drive in. We were surprised to find another couple on Orchid when we got there. We were also surprised to find our cabana empty. So far this trip I haven't had to build one...yet. After we unpacked, my first order of business was to add a stone to the sundial for 9am. Problem was I got side tracked by talking with Andre and missed the 9am point. We decided to wait until 10am and put that stone in.

 I did remember to take a picture of the table I made yesterday:

You can see the coconut laying on the table. Well when Judy and Andre were down talking they told me about all the coconuts laying around down by them. They said I should come down and get some of them. So Lorrie and I did. We tried to grab ones at different stages. The first one I opened had only milk in it, but the milk was sweeter than the ones we had yesterday. But that was nothing compared to the second one I opened. The outer shell on it was all brown. I was actually just looking to eat some coconut meat. What I found was a whole lot better. When I began peeling the outer shell off of the nut I noticed a small sprout coming out of one of the three eyes. I felt bad at first because this had already sprouted but I couldn't see it under the shell. The sprout was only a half inch or so long.  I really didn't know what to expect because I had never opened one that had germinated. Well what I found was a spongy ball inside the coconut once I got it opened. There was also white coconut meat. The ball had the consistantsy of  angel food cake and tasted like cotton candy. What a treat. I had once watched a Survivorman show where Les was one a small island. He opened a coconut and found one like the one I had opened. He talked about how good it was. Anyway..Lorrie and I enjoyed it. I have pictures of the coconut:

I have since learned that this is a delicacy and I believe it's called coconut bread or coconut heart. Once the coconut sprout reaches a height of 18" or so it can be poisinous. Something to be aware of if your thinking of eating a coconut with a big sprout out of it. Mine had no visable sprout, otherwise I would have never cracked it open. I probably would have planted it.

I did take time to go out and try to snorkel again today..but the visibility was no better than before. When I came back in I checked the sundial to see it was still keeping correct time. I checked it at 2 o'clock and took this picture:

It was right on the money.

Today saw 17 people on Orchid, about the same as yesterday. One lady came down to talk with Lorrie and I. Her name was Mimi and she was from Mass. She ask how one goes about getting one of the cabanas on Orchid. I said "you build one". She was amazed that we had built our little cabana. She ask where I got the materials? I told her that everything came off of this beach, even the rope.

It was a really relaxing afternoon for Lorrie and I. We went over to the rock gallery and stood up pieces that had fell over. I added a new one and so did Lorrie. We talked with Judy and Andre for a long time. The weather forecast called for a 50% chance of rain. Other than a quick shower when we arrived, the skies where absolutely clear all day long.

It was getting later in the afternoon when I told Lorrie that I wanted to walk over on the west side of Orchid around the point and take a few pictures. I ask her if she wanted to go. She said she would rather stay at our little cabana and read.  I bid her adieu and headed out, camera in hand.

So if you want to, come along on my little walk. I took A LOT of pictures. Rather than comment on each one I'm gonna to just talk about a few. Most were me  trying to capturing different colors and textures I saw along the way. So if a picure doesn't make a lot of sense...it wasn't really suppose to. Alright then..here we go:

First we tell Lorrie goodbye...she's already into her book.

Now this is the reason you have to wear shoes or sandals if you leave the immediate beach. That's a sand burr and let me tell you they hurt.

Ok...it was somewhere around here when I was taking shots of the cacti that I realized I was over the half way point to Escondida. I decided to push on and walk all the way over to Escondida and then take the road back to Orchid. I hoped Lorrie wouldn't worry about me being gone so long. So..on to Esondida:

When I got on the beach I saw this palm. I had planted this palm in November. It was laying on the beach, having been uprooted from Irene I would guess. I had dug a big whole and mounded the sand up around it. It was still there and the palm looked to be doing fine.

Now it was back to Orchid

When I got back, Lorrie could see me come up from behind and ask "How did you get there? I thought you were walking over there by the west side of Orchid?" I told her I had walked all the way around.  Pretty good little hike it was.

Lorrie and I ended up staying on Orchid until 6 o'clock. We set a stone for 5:30 but the sun was too low to do one for six. So nice to have the beach to ourselves again. We took one last swim for the day, Judy and Andres rocks were over on the far east shore, ablaze in the setting light.  I took a quick video right as we were leaving Orchid today. We hated to leave,  it had been such a beautiful day.

Still wanting the day to last we decided to drive to the very end of Playa Chiva and catch the sun as it dips under the horizon. I shot video of the sun setting and Lorrie and I taking it all in. How many times have you just took 4 minutes to watch the sun set? Funny how we only find the time to do that when we're here on Vieques. If you've got 4  minutes to spare watch the video and sunset with us:

See ya tomorrow


  1. Awesome, as usual! Take time to smell the roses, & if there are no roses, stop & watch the sunset! We've always loved that Monte Pirata is pretty much invisible until you're on the refuge lands, and then it really transforms the south coast view of Vieques into one of those quintessential tropical island scenes.

  2. Hi Curt,
    This may seem like an odd question, but what kind of shoes do you have for these hikes? We are looking to find a better footware for our next trip. Something that works kayaking, as well as beach walks/hikes. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. My back and forth to the beach shoes are a pair of Nevados Men's Harbor Suede Sandals. These are hands down the most comfortable footwear I've ever experienced, but they dry very, very slowly, so I keep them out of the water. For hiking I have two pair of shoes I use. One is a pair of Helly Hanson watermocs. The other is a pair of Speedo Men's Shore Cruisers. Each has it's advantages. The Hanson shoes keep all sand out. Nothing like getting a shoe full of sand. Plus they have excellent traction on rocks. I feel very comfortable climbing around rocky outcroppings with them as well as reef edges. But they also do not dry out as fast as one would like. They can get rather "stinky" unless you rinse them well. I would buy them again. The Speedo Shore Cruiser, while not fitting quite as tight as the Hanson, is more comfortable and seems to dry faster. It will let some sand inside though. I tend to wear them when I'm not climbing over a bunch of rocks. They don't seem to have the support of the Hansons. Sometimes if it's just sand we will just wear are diving socks. They hold up remarkably well in just sand.