They say you make lemonade of out lemons; well that embodies our trip to Culebra.
A 6am wake up was rough by vacation standards and when we finally arrived groggy and starving to the ferry terminal, which was over an hour away, we were greeted by a long line for tickets and waited. When the queue in front of us had dwindled to less than 10 people there was an announcement that the ferry was sold out. Pissed off and hangry I was ready to drive back to San Juan.
While standing in a sleepy stupor, a man walked over offering a taxi to the nearby airport where we could fly to Culebra. Screw it, looks like we’re flying to Culebra.
Once at the airport we were led through security, which was a man at desk who just looked at us, and continued out onto the tarmac. As we approached a small plane the pilot, a burly guy with long hair, aviator glasses and cowboy boots, climbed out and said to me “big guy, you’re up front with me.” I was not about to object.
I have never flown in a small commercial jet, let alone a 6 seater private plan, so part of me was wondering was this going to be the end of the line. As we took off things went well and I spent most of the time mesmerized by the controls, which included trying not to hit my knees into the steering wheel inches in front of me sending us into a barrel roll. As we approached Culebra, I could see the airfield nestled between two mountains, and began to wonder about how this landing was going to go down. Nearing the first ridge the pilot cut the throttle. Uh-oh. He then proceeded to glide through a gorge banking left and then right, seemingly very close to the mountain, and eventually landing, but not before my heart skipped a beat or two.
Once on the ground we decided to again just go for it and rented a Jeep for the day. As soon as we got on the road and began driving around the island, all the mornings fiascos slipped away from our memory, and the focus was now finding the best a beach to relax on.
The first destination was an obvious one though; Flamenco Beach. Rated as one the best in the Carribean, Flamenco Beach had it all: crystal clear aqua water, waves, fine white sand and a gorgeous panorama with hills curling around the mouth of the bay. To top it off, a short walk away was another beach that offered prime snorkeling, where I saw dozens and dozens of brightly colored fish.
Finally it was time to catch the ferry back to the mainland, and we rushed down to the dock to catch the last boat of the day. We took it down to the wire and were the last people on the boat. Fitting. As I mentioned before, this was a perfect example of making lemonade out of lemons. All our tribulations to actually get to our destination made it that much sweeter when we arrived and were able to enjoy their beauty.