Just when we thought we had it all figured out, fate intervened and said “uh-uh, I don’t think so.” We had to do some rearranging of plans, so the next 2 days will be packed with adventure *yay*
Procuring a car was impossible; every car in the two districts was booked… and had been for a while. Needless to say, our plans to venture farther along the coast were put on pause, but only for a day (thank goodness).
We secured a car for Thursday, but that still left our Wednesday completely open. Since we were already in Condado searching for a rental car, we moseyed to the beach for a few hours. No need to waste perfectly good sunlight, right?
After lounging for a few, we decided it was finally time to test the Caribbean waters. There was a considerably strong undertow, so we kept to the shallower depths. But the water felt wonderful against our overheating skin.
Before just goofing around, I asked Tiff to snap a picture of me running into the water, which she kindly did. So, for entertainment purposes I will paint you a picture of my photo op: imagine me running, back to the camera, arms raised high embracing the ocean. Suddenly the receding waters rushing back from the shore catch my feet throwing me forward into another wave and I completely face plant. Funny indeed…until I realized the water not only took my dignity, but it stripped me of my Ray Bans. I hope the Caribbean sports them as well as I did for the past year *pout*
After that we splashed around in the rough waves near the shore. Despite their small size they were incredibly powerful…not childsplay.
After drying off, we grabbed a bite to eat at Tijuana’s here in Condado, which was much more decently priced and delicious. The service was better-only because our waiter bought us a margarita. He still allowed our water glasses to sit empty for most of our meal.
I’m not sure what the deal is with service here. Staff members never check to see if you are enjoying your food, if it was prepared to order or if you need anything else. And if you are in a hurry, choose fast food because they take their sweet time. If you want your bill, you have to find your waiter and ask. And gratuity, pfft. Tips are so expected that waiters write in suggested amounts or already add the amount to your total bill-regardless of their performance. My mind is blown.
Took the bus into Old San Juan again after freshening up at the hostel, and after walking a million miles across the city without the maps that locals have so kindly marked up for us (they were safely stowed away on my bed *forehead slap*) we made it to El Morro fort. It was beautiful, fascinating!! And the view overlooking the Caribbean is…breath-taking.
On the way back into town, we passed a Sunglass Hut, so I snagged a new pair of shades, bumped into Lord outside of his coffee shop; then, we ran into Laurent literally right around the corner. We agreed to meet Laurent and John-Pierre for some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, in Condado. They got lost so we nearly beat them there by walking.
The food was nothing to write home about, tasty/flavorful but nothing original or unusual. The service… sucked. After dinner, it started to rain, so we piled into the car and Laurent drove us through La Perla, which is basically the “DO NOT ENTER…unless you want to end up in the hospital. or dead” territory of OSJ. Then, we rode around the rest of the city before returning us to our hostel.
All in all it was a lovely, simple day.