When it’s hot and humid, what better thing can you think of to do than hike through a rainforest, a mountainous rainforest? Okay, I can think of a million other things, too, but we won’t let the potential for heat exhaustion stop us. It was Easter Day and we thought all the religious folk in Puerto Rico would be in church, so it would be a great day to go to avoid the crowds. Just to be safe, we left really early, too. We thought you had to start at the Ranger Station, which didn’t open until 9:00. We drove around looking for trailheads, but didn’t find any so we waited until the Ranger Station opened. They informed us we didn’t go far enough. So, anyone planning on going… Just keep driving until you think you’ve past it, then drive some more and you’ll get to the trailheads.
We started on the Big Tree Trail. Now, we have been hiking in the rain forests of Costa Rica and I suppose we set our expectations too high because of it, but man! We only saw one animal the entire time we were hiking. It was a cute little anole. This seemed really odd. I was expecting all sorts of critters, even tiny ones like frogs or caterpillars.
Nope, but we saw a lot of trees and plants.
Bromeliads were everywhere. However, we saw them all over Puerto Rico and didn’t need the sweaty hike for that. I once again hoped to see some wild orchids, but the rain forest didn’t even have those for me. We heard birds, mostly doves, but never saw them.
We saw waterfalls like Coco Falls and Mina Falls (pictured above). And, as you can see, people. We were wrong about Easter Sunday and as the day progressed, we found out we were very wrong. El Yunque National Forest is also a park with covered picnic areas in it and large family groups selected spots to spend the day. At the end of our hike, people were coming in by the tour bus load. So we decided not to hike any more trails and walk the road back to the car.
Walking on the road was much more interesting. We saw a lot of lizards, and birds flying tree to tree. We saw a bush loaded with cute caterpillars that were eating the plant alive, stripping it of all its leaves (pictured at top of page), which would eventually kill the plant. Cute, but destructive.
Oh well, it was good exercise and we still enjoyed ourselves. Along the way, Dave provided a goofy pose by Coco Falls to lighten things up. But if anyone wants a good rain forest experience, we recommend Costa Rica!
While we were hiking, Mile High Dream moved on. Greg’s brother and sister-in-law came to visit him and they set sail for Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands that is part of Puerto Rico. In fact, this was our last day in Puerto Del Rey. We leave for Culebra tomorrow.