Now that we’ve covered the hotel we stayed at in Puerto Rico, we can move on to the activities. We planned to do 3 different activities:
* Night-time kayaking at a bioluminescent bay
* El Yunque Rainforest
* Walk around old San Juan
Because we ran out of time and decided to take it easy and relax rather than push the activities for the 3 days we were there, we skipped the walk around old San Juan (a reason to go back and visit Puerto Rico!). But we did do the first 2 things on our list.
Saturday morning dawned a bit foggy and it rained on and off throughout the day.
* Side note on the view from our balcony – our shuttle bus driver from the airport informed us that Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas died while performing a sky-walk across those 2 buildings. It’s true. Read about it here.
We weren’t sure whether we would still be able to go to our night-time kayaking trip, but luckily they did not cancel. Rain did not put off the trip. Woohooo! So we got on the bus and went off to the bioluminescent bay!
Puerto Rico has 3 locations which are bioluminescent bays. We went to the Las Croabas lagoon in Fajardo, Puerto Rico about an hour and a half’s drive from San Juan. A bioluminescent bay is basically a bay filled with a microscopic organism that glows when the water is agitated. So basically, the water glows because of these micro-organisms when you kacau (agitate) the water like say with the paddle of a kayak or with your body. Las Croabas lagoon is about a 30-minute kayak trip through a narrow mangrove canal from the Fajardo shoreline and because we were all kayaking it was not possible to bring our camera. You know lah – water+camera=time to buy new camera. They warned us to remove spectacles, hats, slippers, everything that could sink into the lagoon should not be brought. So I googled a bit and found some pictures other people took. Here’s an example:
[[image:pr48.jpg:Swimming in the bioluminescence:center:0]]
Seriously, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done. It combines kayaking and swimming (which I love) with being able to make “bioluminescence angels” in the water! As we got out of the canal leading to Las Croabas lagoon, the oars started glowing in the water while we paddled. I kept sticking my hand in to make glowy patterns in the water. After we kayaked out to Las Croabas and heard the tour guide’s very interesting information on the bay, we had about 15-20 minutes of time when if we so chose, we could get in the water for a little frolic. Without further ado, Vin and I both decided we should swim in the water. I was to get off the kayak first. Vin warns me to be careful not to tip him over and of course as I tried to gracefully slip into the water without upending the kayak, the whole thing tips upside down and, like some giant sitting buddha statue, I saw Vin go up in an arc and splash head first right into the water, still in a sitting position! Poor Vin. I made him lose his glasses with my clumsiness…
I did make various bioluminescent snow angels and I felt so magical since I was glowing in the water. Even without his glasses, Vin enjoyed the trip (although I owe him some new glasses). It was fascinating. Before I knew it, the guides rounded us up and told us to get back on the kayaks – time to head back. Here we are after we had changed from our swimsuits and waiting in the bus for the hour and a half ride back to the hotel.
[[image:pr35.jpg:Vin (no glasses) and I:center:0]]
We both had a really good time, and even though I had to navigate carefully and tell Vin which way to paddle on our way back, it did not take away from our experience. Luckily, Vin brought enough contact lenses to last the rest of the trip, and has a spare set of glasses waiting for him at home (not as cool as the ones he lost, but they work). I wish there was some way that we could have brought our camera to take pictures of the fairy-like phenomenon, but what can you do? As it turned out, it was lucky we didn’t bring the camera as it would have either been completely water-logged and broken when I tipped the kayak over, or might have even ended up wherever Vin’s glasses might be, somewhere in lagoon’s lost and found. I’d like to think that some poor short-sighted old turtle is now gifted with the miracle of sight having found Vin’s glasses, and that its given that old turtle a new lease on life.
We arrived back at our hotel at about 1:30 AM, pretty exhausted by our long trip. But we were starving – so we had ourselves a room service fiesta before bed. In the morning, our next activity: El Yunque. Which I’ll cover in the next chapter on Puerto Rico.