Along the Ruta Panoramica
After spending four beautiful days on Vieques, it was time for us to start our adventure on the big island itself. Our plan was to drive the ruta panoramica from the east to the west side of the island over the course of two days, stopping one night in a mountain retreat, and the second night in the surfer town of Rincon (known as the “California of Puerto Rico”). Up bright and early Wednesday morning, we made our way to the airport on Vieques and took another 10-minute flight on a 10-seater plane back to the airport in Ceiba. Our rental car was supposed to pick us up at 9 am from the airport, but it didn't wind up getting there until well after 10. Although the wait was less than ideal, it did allow us the opportunity to people watch (always fun), and resulted in us receiving some pretty substantial discounts on our car when we did finally make it to Enterprise. The guy manning the desk, Axel, was pretty fantastic and very charismatic, and was really excited to hear all about our planned tour of the island. Here’s a tip for you: if you go to Puerto Rico, visit more than the resorts of San Juan. Not only will you see the “real” Puerto Rico”, but the locals will love you for it. People were always really impressed and gratified to hear we were seeing more than just the Hilton resort in San Juan, and were always really interested in sharing tips on how we could best experience their Puerto Rico. Axel told us the name of his favorite lechonera (roast pork restaurant) on the pork highway, which we noted and promised to visit it (you have to know us well enough to know that the pork highway was one of the motivating forces that compelled us to visit Puerto Rico in the first place!).