Thursday, June 09, 2016

A Walk in the Rain Forest...

While in Puerto Rico we took a hike in the El Yunque Rain forest. It's the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. Park system and was set aside in 1876 to be protected by King Alphonso of Spain. This makes it one of the oldest preserves in the Western Hemisphere. The trail we hiked was actually private land and not national park. Our guide reported that the owners had been offered 8 million by the government to add the area to the park. They are keeping it in the family for now and look to be doing a good job.

Here's a sign on the trail. Says something like this paradise for all. This was a guided tour we purchased from a flier on the street. In addition to the rain forest we stopped for a swim on a calm public beach. On the trip was our party of Me, Cathy, Mary, Miguel, Pop, Geneva and Matt, out guide and two girls from Brooklyn. While on the trail we might have seen two other couples and a group of four young men all apparently on their own so I think this was the kind of place the local know about and go. 

Trail starts here. 

That's Cathy with Miguel, guide Obi, the Brooklyn girls and Mary and Matt there somewhere. Obi was a little nervous that in addition to Pop and Geneva that me and Cathy were no spring chickens. Apparently he had a recent event where an American tourist, a macho guy in his 60s went on the trip, was a hard head about taking cautions and ended up with a busted face, knocked out teeth and a concussion from a fall. They needed an am ambulance, the police came and OBI was understandably cautious. This was not a handicapped accessible trails. The harder things such as a rock slide and a 50' jump into 20' of water were just not going to be doable for all in the party. 

Matt helps Pop but really I think Pop is slipping away from him as he mounts the trail. 

Cathy and Geneva on the climb. 

It's a tradition that has a pretty gloried past in our family lore. When in the wild, make a hat.  

Looking down stream. 

Cathy is a show off. 

There was water. Since I was a small boy I have pretty much stopped and fished every puddle I pass. I packed a Ronco Pocket Fisherman and I caught a fish from this river. I don't know what it was but it took a Roadrunner spinner jig in a 5' deep pool that a few minutes earlier had folks dropping in from a rope swing. The fish was about 15 inches long, a forked tail, silver fast swimmer type. Put up a good fight. I also spotted a couple of other fish of a different type in the clear water but not long after catching this one 4 guys showed up to use the rope swing and I stopped casting and shared the land. One of the Brooklyn girls made this photo as Cathy had swam off and Miguel, Mary, Matt and Obi went to the rockslides and the cliffs. From this point on the trail got pretty serious and I was content fishing and swimming in this quiet pool. 

Later when I showed Obi the picture he said "You threw it back?" Catch and release apparently not popular in Puerto Rico.

Mary swings from the rope. If you check her face book there is a video of the cliff jump. 

Me on the trail. The mountain rain forest was nice temps, cool, damp and a good place to get as wet and muddy as you liked. 



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