Written by Ishtar on 13 Dec, 2001
Chuck captures the sunrise on camera and it's mind blowing as he takes several shots showing the sun's position. He's quite excited about it and when I wake up, I get to see it on the computer screen. The day is going to be great,…Read More
Chuck captures the sunrise on camera and it's mind blowing as he takes several shots showing the sun's position. He's quite excited about it and when I wake up, I get to see it on the computer screen. The day is going to be great, so we are getting ready to have breakfast at the main house, and we are joined by a family of 4 that arrived yesterday who speak no English. They have 2 turbulent boys whose hyperactivity cannot be satisfied by the bucolic surroundings.
Today, we have yet another server, and it seems they all work part time. Once again, the colorful place mats take their spot on the tables, and eggs are starting to fry. There is a self-service beverage bar where you can have tea or coffee while you wait and jugo de china which is orange juice. Chuck goes for the fried eggs, and I select the scrambled with cheese. The absence of fruit at breakfast surprises me, as it is normally a staple in the Caribbean.
The sun is already playing games on the water, and it goes in and out of the clouds. After breakfast, we step into the lounge library and look at the collection of what turns out to be mostly paperback novels. Actually, I'd call it literary trash, but I spot a copy of the Satanic Verses by Rushdie which I've been wanting to read, so we have a find. For Chuck, I find a book on the world's rainforests. We are actually going to go back upstairs, open our door, and let the sound of this little corner of earth into our room. We had our bathing suits on the terrace in the hope that they would dry, but they are still quite damp. Chuck is itching to go to the beach, so he takes off as I relax in bed, and do some writing. A few minutes after, in my bathing suit, I join him on one of the chaises lounges. We sit in awe of what we are seeing, albeit not the first time we are faced with such wonder. The sun feels delicious, but neither one of us really can sit in it too long. I decide to go on a hunt for beach pebbles which are of a certain veined variety, and Chuck installs himself in one of the hammocks and falls asleep. In the meantime, I have gathered quite a collection of red veined pebbles which are going to join the rest of the assortment back home.
After being fairly well rested, we head to the pool area of which we never took advantage as the water was quite cool and uninviting. We look around, and there are 3 pools in all; the main large pool, a jacuzzi which is not turned on, and a kid's pool. There is a wet bar facility, but nothing in it. We were told that parties are held here, and my imagination tells me they must be quite a hit. There are quite a few uva del mar trees, and these actually grow right out of the sand on the beach. I originally discovered them in Caracas in 1966 when I made my first trip there, and have been completely enthralled by their shape and versatility. We also cross paths with a couple of lizards, but they must be very well fed down here as they are much larger than the ones in Ponce. I prefer to call them miniature iguanas.
We see the couple from Toronto, and he does some snorkeling in the water and retrieves a few snail shells. By the way, if you are really into swimming, the beach here is a bit inadequate with its very rocky shore. It actually HURTS! So I am not recommending this place for its beach although the tranquility and facilities on sand and between palms are extraordinary. One can always go and have a dip elsewhere as the shore line is neverending. We are both regretting the fact that we cannot spend any more time at Carib Playa.
Written by Ishtar on 15 Dec, 2001
Road # 3, KM86.4
This place is heavily advertised in the tourist guides as a seaside resort hotel, with gold and tennis courts on the Caribbean. It is in the Southeastern part of the island, and from Patillas, you need to stay close to the…Read More
Road # 3, KM86.4
This place is heavily advertised in the tourist guides as a seaside resort hotel, with gold and tennis courts on the Caribbean. It is in the Southeastern part of the island, and from Patillas, you need to stay close to the coast; but we do discover a couple of treasures along the way. We make our way through crooked streets, sleeply villages and mountainside restaurants. The Caribbean is always there, either in the distance or within a few feet of the road. At one point, we see the seashore with a magnificent sandy front with some houses perched on the cliffs. We come to an abrupt end which has a "danger" warning. Park the car, and negotiate the rocky make shift stairway to the beach. To the left, an impressive cognac colored rock juts out of the water and the contrast against the blue is heart stopping. The sea is calm except for the gentle unfurling of the waves and there is not a soul as far as the eye can see. Run in the water, along the shore, get wet more ambling. Wonder how many people know about this spot. At one point, we see some kids going to the other side near the rock. Snap more pictures. It is hard to capture the mood in words.
Back in the car and continuing on Route 3, we catch a glimpse of the resort: what is most striking are the olla colored tile roofs, accented with palms, lagoons, and the extremely blue sea.
However, this is not just a resort, but a self contained community where people have purchased houses and/or condominiums. There are also those who have memberships to the country club and come here seasonally.
When we arrived, Chuck went inside to get some literature while I remained in the car, and enjoyed the perfect weather. Building and expansion is on-going; if you live here, you will have available to you a supermarket, a bank, a shopping center, 5 or 6 quality restaurants, several tennis courts, and a marina on the premises. There is a private, bi-lingual school as well for kids to attend. You also have access to a 3 mile long private beach. Hey, you never need to leave home! Clearly, this is not for us.
But obviously, the popular concept has attracted many families here: prices for the condos start in the low $200K. You have access to a 3 mile long private beach. There are plans to erect a hospital and 2 churches here in the future.
This area used to be a sugar cane plantation and was developed into this community resort/residential area by a Charles Fraser and Esteban Padilla. The lawns, where the land is developed are well tended although some of the greens of the golf course looked a bit ratty. There is a lagoon in the midst of the development which adds some flair. Very few people were out and about when we got there which was about 3pm. A weekend here may be in order.
Should you wish to make a visit if you are looking to buy, here's the contact information:
Angel Del Moral
Associate Broker, Lic # 04811
Palmas Del Mar Properties Inc
Box 2020, Humacao, PR 00792
Tel: 787-852-8888 X 245
Written by Ishtar on 14 Dec, 2001
This part of the island deserves more exploration, and perhaps our next trip will start here instead of San Juan, so we can explore to the west and northwest. What seems to differentiate this area from the north is that you find what I call…Read More
This part of the island deserves more exploration, and perhaps our next trip will start here instead of San Juan, so we can explore to the west and northwest.
What seems to differentiate this area from the north is that you find what I call bald spots in the panorama.
. As we make our way on Highway 52, we pass an airport which is called Mercedita. I am giving you below some common highway signs terminology to help those who are non-spanish speaking:
Estacion Peaje: Toll Plaza
derecho : right (this can also mean straight ahead)
salida : exit
entrada : entrance
parada : stop
maxima velocidad speed limit
playa : beach
sur : south
norte : north
oeste : west
este : east
bienvenidos : welcome
parador : country inn
posada : guest house
ruta turistica : touristic routes
rincon : corner
señal : traffic light
autopista : highway
calle : street
Above toll booths, you will see either a green light or a large ,C above them. Green is for exact change, C is for cambio, which means you require change. The speed limit is 55 on most highways. This part of the state is quite arid compared to the north's lush terrain. Lots of mountains, trees, occasional clusters of villas. As you approach Gabia, you get a glimpse of the Carribean shore line. There are some lovely beach condos going up starting at $106K.
When we need to get off the main highway and onto Route 3 we pass a large banana plantation. More arid land tracts until you rejoin Highway 53 near Guayame , also known as Dr. Jose Barbosa Highway where the limit goes higher to 65 mph. As we roll along we see Cimmaron, the home of Chichi Rodriguez , retired famous golfer, who plays the senior circuit. I didn't know that of course, as Chuck informed me that he's the Arnold Palmer of the 60's.
We also see quite a few manufacturing plants quite close to the shoreline, but it's impossible to distinguish what they do. We come into first triad of resort towns - Guayama , Arroyo and Salinas . Strip Malls, as usual, with all American mega shops. As soon as we see a Walgreen's , we already know that Sears is right around the corner, and so are the Pep Boys , and of course McDonalds's and Burger King . The road now changes to Highway 54 which is a limited access highway and intersects with Route 3 again to continue Eastward. Follow curve to the right, and you end up in single lane, dirt road category once again. It was hilarious to see an old Carvel in the middle of all this.
Signs indicate we are in Patillas, and we want to find a parador and just relax and be lazy. According to the trusted map, there were 3 listed in the area: Caribbean Paradise , for which there was a sign, but the resort couldn't be found; Villa del Carmen for which there was no sign or resort; and finally the Caribe Playa at which we stopped, and saw, and conquered.