Despite being only 21 miles long and 4 miles, Vieques is a place of endless adventure. Day 4 started with more snorkeling, this time at the Mosquito Pier. We heard that the variety of sea life here was well worth the effort. It was an interesting and exciting experience swimming under the pier, around the pilings.
Next up was a walking tour of Vieques’ downtown, Isbell Segunda. Since it’s the ferry stop from the main island of Puerto Rico, the town is bustling with life. Around almost every corner you can find locals, tourists, horses and chickens.
After a refreshing local fruit drink and a dose of local flavor, we headed out on the final adventure of the day, the ruins of the Central Playa Grande Sugar Mill. Sugar was a thriving industry on Vieques from the 1880s until the 1920s. Things crashed in the 1930s and then the last mill shut down in 1941 when the US Navy appropriated two-thirds of the island. Walking in and amongst the ruins captivated our imaginations. Over 60 years later the crumbling walls haven’t totally given up to the aggressive vegetation, giving us a chance to learn another piece of Puerto Rican history.
For all the adventures we found on day 4, we had as many false starts on day 5. Our hopes of finding some rock climbing on the south shore were dashed with high tides and rough seas. Despite the failure to launch, we seemed to find plenty of interesting creatures as we drove from point a to b to c...
In addition to iguanas and chickens, we most often saw the horses of Vieques. They roam free throughout the National Wildlife Refuge, both towns (Esperanza and Isabell Segunda) and everywhere in between.
Similar to Day 4, we had a full schedule of adventure on Day 6. It went something like this: start with a fresh coconut on the way to a repeat snorkel trip to the pier. Followed that with shopping and lunch. Afterwards, drive to yet another rock climbing location and settle for more slack-line practice at a beautiful beach instead. From there, jump in the water to cast the fly-rod hoping to land some ocean fish. Hop back in the car and head into town. Enjoy the last sunset on the island via hammock from the old sugar mill dock. And finally, celebrate with pizza from Taverna, one of the best tasting crusts we’ve ever had.
Stay tuned for Part III......
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