Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday 3rd February

Puerto Rico

17 57.6 N
66 17.6 W


As we had the car until 15.00hrs today we decided that we were going to go towards the east and have a look around Guayama. Before leaving the boat we tried to listen to the weather forecast to see when the winds and seas were going to be dropping so we could try to plan our departure from here but we were unable to pick up the forecast on radio so Gerry downloaded a weather fax which took a while. It would seem that we were going to be able to leave here on Tuesday morning. Having done this we took our computer with us and headed in to the cruiser’s gallery – a café just a few yards walk from the marina where we could access the internet by WIFI. The café is set up so that you can either use their computers or take along your own, we had decided to take our own as we weren’t certain of being able to use one of theirs – the café is very popular and the computers are often in constant use, they allow you free use if you have bought some food there or you pay $1 for 15 minutes. We had decided to have a late breakfast there but were disappointed to find they had no cook on duty so we made do with toast and coffee. We logged on and checked our email, loaded the last few blogs and checked a different weather site before packing away our computer and returning to the marina for the hire car. We took the coast road out of Salinas and headed towards Guayama, it was a pretty unremarkable drive, the mountains to our left side were very dry and brown looking – just ripe for the bush fires that we had noticed burning on them the day before. On the way we passed banana plantations and a couple of drug company manufacturing factories but very little else of interest. Arriving in Guayama we headed towards where we could see a lot of buildings that looked like a shopping center and were pleased to find a Pep boys store (car parts specialists), we had promised another cruiser that we would try to find the store and purchase some special oil that he needed. Well we tried but Pep boys didn’t have it, we had one other place to try – K mart if we could find the mall. Gerry asked for directions to the mall and still managed to miss it driving down some roads which had gutters that you could loose a car in. The roads have had layer after layer of surface applied without taking off any previous layer causing the road to be very much higher than the gutters, at one point we had to cross a gutter and the thud the car made was quite sickening, I was glad it wasn’t our car! Eventually we stumbled across the mall and joined the queues of shoppers doing their Saturday mall crawl. We found the K mart store but again it didn’t have the oil that our cruising acquaintance wanted. By the time we had done this Gerry was getting antsy about being in a shopping mall and decide that we needed to go and have some lunch so we took off to the nearest Burger King which was just outside the mall, we climbed out of the car only to find that the tire on the passenger side at the front was going flat. Looking at changing the tire we discovered that the spare was one of those thin “get you home” tires and it looked fairly bald so Gerry decided to put some air in the flat tire and see if it was a puncture or a slow leak. It turned out to be a leaky valve which probably leaked after the thump of going over the gutter. The newly inflated tire lasted until long after we had eaten lunch and then returned the car, thank goodness. By the time we got back to the marina it was just about time for dinner so we walked along the marina road until we came across a couple of restaurants and chose one at random, they don’t display menus outside so it was a bit of pot luck. The restaurant we chose had an open verandah which overlooked the sea, as it turned out the meal was OK but we thought there wasn’t a lot of food for the cost still we enjoyed the meal and then made our way back to our boat for the night.



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