of the Caribbean
The next day, we get up late, feeling the effects of one
too many delicious but deadly coconut martinis the night
before. We had hoped to visit the El Yunque rainforest today,
but this does not seem like such a good idea after all the
rain, with more rain forecast. Instead, we walk along to
the Condado area, where many of San Juan's hotels and casinos
are found. The neighbourhood is slightly seedy by day, although
the amount of building work going on suggests that efforts
are being made to improve things.
lunch, we get a bus back towards Old San Juan, where we
have another fort to explore. Unfortunately, the bus system
here requires that you pay the 50-cent fare in coins. We
do not have any coins, and we struggle to understand what
the bus driver is saying to us in rapid Spanish. A lady
sitting nearby comes to our rescue, and pays our fare. We
try to give her a dollar bill in exchange for her four quarters
but she refuses to take it. The level of generosity and
friendliness among Puerto Ricans is truly uplifting.
San Cristobal fort is smaller than El Morro, but it affords
superb views of Old San Juan. Three flags are flying over
the fort: the Stars and Stripes, the Puerto Rican flag,
and the Spanish military flag, known as the Cross of Burgundy,
yet another reminder of the island's European heritage.
the historic to the ultra-modern, our next stop is Plaza
Las Americas, San Juan's largest shopping mall. Compared
to most shopping malls, Plaza Las Americas is pretty big,
but, compared to the shopping facilities in Barbados, it
is gigantic! I am slightly overwhelmed but shopping is like
riding a bike, and I am soon practising the long-forgotten
skills of handing over the credit card in Macy's, Gap, Banana
Republic, and, best of all, Zara (another taste of Europe!).
We have arrived too late to explore the whole mall before
closing time, which, on reflection, is probably a good thing
with respect to my bank balance.
Part 10: Criollo
Food and Free Drinks