Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Exploring the wilderness of Puerto Rico

When we left home there was a terrible blizzard and it was bitter cold. This is a picture of our bird feeder before we left. Hours later we were in the tropics with a warm breeze and lots of color! We kew we would be doing lots of hiking and snorkeling but didn't anticipate where our son would take us (although we should have known), I don't think we hardly ever saw another tourist the whole trip except our one day in old San Juan and then we went when the cruise ship was leaving port. It was wonderful.
Our first day we drove to El Yunque in the mountains and hiked down the mountain through the rain forest. It was sooo beautiful but difficult due to the wet rocks and slick mud.
These are the snails that live in the rain forest.
It was so lush and green. And most wonderful, No Bugs! Maybe it was because of the time of year but we never had any problem with bugs.

We hiked through a lot of mountain streams, look at the size of this leaf.
This is a mile down the mountain at our picnic ground. We had to hike back into a spot with big flat rocks to sit on.
My son and husband jumped in to cool off, the line running down the middle of the picture is a vine that ran about 100 ft. from the top of the tree to the water.
Our kids know how to pack a gourmet picnic. We also had smoked salmon sandwiches with cream cheese and cucumbers on home made rolls my daughter in law made (gluten free). My favorite meal to eat anywhere, is a picnic.
And a glass of wine to take the pain off the climb back up the mountain.
As we started off the rain began, here I am hanging on to a vine to help me cross the stream.
Back on the top. I love this fern with the biggest fiddle head I've ever seen.
The flowers were so striking. Over the next few days I'll post some more of my pictures of the trip. My DDIL and I did find some of the local textile traditions. Luckly, she can speak spanish so she spoke to some elderly local ladies in Old San Juan, they showed us some new born outfits and kept saying estopilla, we weren't quite sure what they ment. A few days later we we're in a little town called Ponce and there was a local fabric store. We went in to look around and Alka heard the customer ask for estopilla, we watched and found out it was 100% Ramie, and comes in pastel colors and white. There was a young family there buying some, a local seamstress was making their daughters 1st Communion dress. The father spoke some english and explained that the fabric was used for making new born clothes, christening outfits and 1st. Communion dresses. It was so interesting talking to them. Then, the day I came home Alka found out from another local elderly lady that Mundillo (bobbin lace making) is a Puerto Rican tradition still being practiced today in a little town called Moca and there are some very famous lace makers living and teaching there. In a nut shell they believe the art started about 200 years ago with the arrival of the Spanish, French, Belguim, Italy, etc. The needle work was taught in private schools run by the Catholic Church. It's estimated the some 9,000 persons across Puerto Rico make mundillo. Next time we go back, we're off to Moca to visit the museum and some of the lace makers.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

ALl I can say is WOW! WOW! WOW! The snails are so pretty! & so are the fiddle heads & the flowers & the trees!

It looks like awonderful trip. I wish I hadn't had to go to work when you called, I wanted to hear more!

I'm sorry. Call me in the morning if you can, I'll be home until 4, then off to the AFF & Quilt Walk.

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