We've been here since last Saturday, staying near the beaches in San Juan. It has been a complete change of scenery and climate. It's funny how you forget what tropical heat really feels like. I love it but have to admit that our northern German climate is better for outdoor activities like running and biking. This weather is only good for going to the beach or pool. Luckily, that's what I have been doing. Poor Aaron has been hard at work, fitting five days' worth of meetings into three.
So far, the absolute highlight of the trip was our rainforest adventure. On Sunday morning, we were picked up at 7:00 AM and driven halfway across the island up to the highest mountain. We spent the morning walking up a mountain river and climbing waterfalls. The biggest was probably 30 feet tall and we had to wear climbing harnesses and helmets. The afternoon was spent ziplining through the rainforest treetops. It was so much fun!
Our two guides were fantastic- so knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. They pointed out all kinds of things on the trail, including the abundance of food sources. The area was an old coffee plantation so we saw coffee trees, as well as banana, passionfruit, mango, orange and plantain trees. We saw pineapples growing and saw yam vines. Aaron and I probably ate a dozen passionfruits throughout the day- they were everywhere along the forest floor. We also ate termites! I can't really believe I did that but it wasn't that bad. Well, except that I might not have chewed enough and for the rest of the day I felt like there was a termite hanging on at the back of my throat. Other than that though, delicious!
Our lunch really was a delicious treat. It was prepared by locals and delivered to the picnic shelter at our trailhead. It was very traditional Puerto Rican fare, which is not at all like Mexican food. We ate pork and chicken, yuca root, rice and red beans, fried plantains and avocado. Our guide prepared fresh coffee for us after lunch. Fresh meant that he had picked the beans off the trees within the last two days and roasted them earlier that morning. It was quite possibly the best coffee I have ever tasted!
I am continually amazed by the diversity in our world and the people in it. It is such a joy and privilege to see so many wonderful places. Next stop, one of my favorite wonderful places- home!