Riding the Guerrillla Highway

Riding the Guerrillla Highway
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Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome to the world Kale Mikala Devloo!

My partner Rachel Christensen and I welcome to the world Kale Mikala Devloo born 11/11/2015 at 11:20 am in Salida Colorado. A new journey of fatherhood has begun. Please show your support by sending a gift of one of my books or our newest product our Yoga nude in Kalalau calendar this season! my most popular title: Casa Construction, Exterior on Amazon now!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice On the Continental Divide.

So many stories since PUerto rico....skiing, california, kauai, but this is the nOW JUNE 23....a Solstice tale.

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and I traditionally try to spend it outside in serene natural surroundings. I decided to keep with tradition and adventure into wilderness high country once again.

Now relocated to 'front wranglerville' my close to home options for reaching the great divide are limited to the well traveled I-70 and 285 corridors. I choose 285 and the colorado trail at kenosha pass to get my summer solstice fix. I ninja-ed into nearby Sonic bloom music fest the night before but after 4 hours of blasting speakers, dust, and hordes of tripping youngsters, I was ready for solitude.

Plan: I'd sleep in my van at the trailhead and wake early, bike 12 miles of colorado trail to the divide, climb 13,400' Gugot peat on the divide and return. Well I woke up late and narrowly avoided the campground host, and set out on the bike under fading clouds. The bike sort of kicked my butt. I hadn't done a ride over 20 miles yet this season. My body felt old and worn, even though I know I'm in great shape, my body demanded frequent breaks on the the up and down accent to 12000 feet. Looking back the days prior were filled with a lot of on my feet activity: running biking dancing, thus so be it, I was slow. At tree line the snow patches covered the trail to the point where biking was silly so i walked towards gigot peak in patchy trees. What does Gugot mean anyway? The peak was impressive and I decided that I'd settle for a nice ridge walk on the divide instead. My legs will thank me later I sighed. On the divide I felt alive and free and blessed. no one was around. I was in my element pure in open air. I dreamed of the San Juans and a summer of freedom I could have had, had i not jumped on an irresistible job offer of 3 day a week PM work in Boulder. The front range. Could I really join the rat race of weekend warriors?
 Gugot and the divide
 My favorite high country flower, only grows above treelike
 June Bloom
One of many snowfields. Its been a wet spring in Colorado.

Hush you are on the divide now just enjoy? My heart wanted to race around and climb every mountain in sight to release in supreme escapism but my tired body just wanted to lay and watch clouds.

Miraculously I got a surge of energy from a sardine-cheese-tortilla I ate earlier and I decided I'd run  east along the divide to the top of a cool looking bowl. I ran freely above all (except towering Gugot) at 12,500 feet. At one point on the ridge I could see the back side of keystone, lake Dillon, and Breckenridge to the north and pikes peak to the south. It was really cool to take in the incredible view of the landmarks.  The ski runs and the lake were the only signs of Man for miles. I remembered another summer solstice in telluride when it snowed. And a winter solstice in Vail when it rained. How wild is this state the mountain world? I thought it would be appropriate if it snowed a little for me on the ridge run. And the clouds came in and the wind whipped flurries of flakes on me. The start of Summer!

The Continental Divide is the ridge of mountains that divides east and west watersheds. This concept evokes deep thought...This great division mirrors my divided heart,,,,Love and freedom, Simplicity and Security,,,,succumbing to normalcy or embracing the great mystery....The power of pondering, the power of acceptance, the power of Nature...Ruling or guiding forces?  Wonderstruck on the divide on the solstice.

Before I got back to my backpack I started walking. Then I laid down and just closed my eyes. My tired body was allowed to rest with mother nature. AHHHH. The sun warmed and the wind cooled. I really was tired, but time could heal and it did. by 3:30 I was back at my bike where I rested again and then rode the 11 miles back to Kenosha pass. By this time I ran into many wranglers on the trail as well as colorado trail through hikers.

At kenosha I was still divided. I wanted to be outside but my legs didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to camp alone. I didn't want to go to Sonic Bloom and endure blasting music and lots of walking. I didn't want to retreat to the front range. I didn't really want to drive anywhere, but driving could be a form of rest so, I drove. EAST. I thought to camp near bailey even kayak the next day....I put my feet in the freezing south platte (which here comes from a tunnel under the divide from lake dillon.) and i decided I wanted a swim bath in a warmer lake. SO back to front wranglerville I descended.

Soda lakes right off of 470 near Morrison has a ninja swim option I discovered last week. It only really works going northbound. I pulled off 470, scrambled down a steep embankment, and was naked in the lake. Not warm, but not lake Dillon. I swam out towards the middle. In a similar 'proclamation fashion' as on top of the divide, I stated: "From here I can see Red rocks amphitheater, highway 470, the sunset , and Home Depot...." I was no longer in pristine natural surroundings, but I was ok. I was happy to get in a ninja swim right off the interstate.

I decided if I wasn't gonna camp, I had to rally for a FUNK band at the fox in boulder. This longest  day of the year was not over. I tried to numb the tired legs with PBR and Vodka and it worked to an extent at the dance-a-thon killer performance of "The main squeeze." By  midnight the moderate amount of alcohol was no longer working So I told my legs "SHUT UP LEGS" (quoting german cyclist Jens Voigt) and drank red bull. I rallied through encore.
Colorado trail Park county

That was my longest day of the year.

Just a little bit more...The next day I kayaked South boulder creek and did a 1.5 hr yoga practice, (also a solstice tradition of mine.) And went to Denver to meet a lady friend. I was so high on nature and yoga that Denver almost destroyed me. I met her and her friends at 16th street mall downtown and was overwhelmed. It was Pride fest, 16 street mall was not GAY and gleeful, it was traffic, smells, concrete, and aggressive pan handlers. There is no comparison to pearl street mall in boulder. denver was intense. I literally told the girl that I was having a hard time enduring denver and I needed to go to a park or the south platte river or something. We rallied to Wash park for world cup BBQ at her friends. At first, I contemplated just leaving. Back to boulder or mountains, but I'm glad I stayed and I wrote it off as a cultural experience. I laughed so hard watching a gay black guy give twerking lessons to girls. worth it for that. Still I decided I will just say no to DENVER from now on. Yes DENVER has culture and diversity but the mountains in the distance seem so far away it hurts.  If you are a friend in DENVER please meet me in the mountains or boulder... :)

.....Where do we put all these people in this world? Denver is not even a big city on a world scale. There are others bigger and dirtier and more horrible....It's frightening how resilient the human race is, and how well we are at,,,populating? and enduring our self-created concrete world of rules and restrictions. OK back to writing about beautiful fantasy...Neverland...could it be real?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Puerto Rico Project, OLD SAN Juan and Conclusion

            The ferry back to Puerto Rico is late so I go buy an ice cream and chill out alongside the bay. Random delays are a great excuse for treats, and I’m always quick to splurge at such opportunities while traveling. I joke with an Aussie guy and his new Michigan wife while in line for the ferry. Soon I find myself in deep spiritual conversation with this new upbeat couple. They are more than willing to drive me to the heart of San Juan in their rental car. EASY. Cool people great! Jonathan excitedly squeezes in an excursion to the old colonial fort in San Juan before their flight. We wisk through the cobble stone corridors and around the massive thick stone walls of the fort. I am always amazed in the effort shown through Spanish colonial architecture in massive amounts of stone and mortar moved and erected by hand.
            They receive my last free, signed book graciously and drop me off in the heart of old San Juan. I twist up some tight stairs to the happening hostel ‘posada san fransisco’ in the heart of the colonial city.
a cemetery next to the old fort

“La unica opcion que tenemos es una habitacion para $50.” I have $65 left out of the $350 I started with 9 days before. I grumble and offer them $40, explaining that I have to save $20 for a taxi to the airport tomorrow. No! My smooth spoken Spanish gets me nowhere and I descend the 6 floors of fun young travelers to the busy street below. My web research had already shown me that there’s no other cheap places to stay in old San Juan, and I moan along knowing that my budget is crushed and I may have no place to stay on my last night. Well that’s how I should feel but somehow I don’t let getting denied at the hostel or having only $65 left bring me down in the least. I’m convinced that it will work out easy as it has been in accordance with other manifestations of the trip thus far. I walk down the narrow streets towards the sunset. I pass a few small hotels including and alternative mentioned by the woman working the hostel, but they all just look too nice, so I don’t even bother asking. I pass by a restaurant-bar that just reminds me of Granada Spain, the sign outside stating ‘mejor paella de San Juan’ draws me in. I sit at the bar next to an older couple from Chicago drinking whine. I order a water and ask for a menu, Having not really eaten since the ice cream on Vieques, I sort of give in to temptation. Sure I’ll have the paella, I tell the waiter after he assures me that it’s really good, comparable to Andalucía. It was the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time with perfectly cooked fish and mariscos, a jumbo shrimp center piece and a side of fried plantains to boot. I get to talking about my plight in finding a place to stay with the bar staff and they direct me towards a nearby bar where I could ask for some hole-in-the wall hotel that seems to exist. I pay the tab…$25…ouch, and set out with my backpack in the darkness. Now down to $40, I wonder only slightly if I’ll be screwed and sleeping on a sketchy beach or the in some cubby of the old fort or the port. Round the corner a street side tout snaps to me and leads me around to a barred gate with a small sign that reads ‘hotel.’ The senor lets me in and leads me up a dark stairwell to a ‘habatacion bien barrato.’ I Thank the vagabond tout and gift him my last two tortillas. The ‘hotel’ is all too reminiscent of places my sister and I stayed in along the guerrilla highway in Colombia. Narrow dim corridors with exposed pipes and rooms with padlocked doors and a shared bathroom down the hall. However the solid marble staircase leads me to believe that this place was once a proper hotel, circa 1892. The senor shows me to an 8x 8 foot room with a clean single bed, a fan, and a flickering lamp. For $16, I’m charmed. YES! After over a week of muggy camping the bed feels great. I take a nice hot shower and settle into the evening. I sit out on a balcony and play music to the cobblestone street below. Salsa music competes from a bar down below, but I still get a couple smiles up from passersby on the street. I talk slightly with an older latino man staying there. I’m charmed, way better than the white-bread experience I’d have in a shared dormroom for dudes a few blocks away. Even before this trip I’d decided at this point in my life I can’t really do the shared dorm thing anyway.
            So manifestation, faith and good intentions come through for me again. Around 9:00 I go out, planning to spend the rest of my money on cheap beer. The cheapest bar is appropriately located just below the hostel posada. Its near deserted but I order two Heinekens for $5. The local beer Medalla is piss water I can’t justify more than one. I meet a tattooed up British guy with his kid and hot Puerto Rican wife and we talk about life in San Juan. It really seems like a cool city and I wish I had the time and money to enjoy it more. Vibrant and cultural, it feels like the NYC of the Caribbean. Oh to catch it on a weekend would be quite the scene! Its Thursday, there’s got to be something going on? I wander around but no place seems to draw me, so I return to my room thinking I’ll wait till prime time to hit the streets again around 11PM. Three beers, up since dawn, walking around with a backpack, and the newfound comfort of a real bed are too much for my body to overcome and I pass out. I wake at 2AM shunning myself. I just blew my only opportunity to go out in what seems to be one of the coolest cities of the Caribbean.  I go out to the little balcony and still hear music but I can’t bring myself to rally. FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out has overcome me.
            I sleep in and join the morning shuffle around 9. I decide to go for one last run along the outter edge of the old city. I run through the famous oceanside ghetto, la Pearla, and along the bluffs overlooking the rocky coast. I cruise around past a couple of pocket beaches and city beach parks. Hugging the coast I’m stopped by a big stone wall and a rip rap jetti dividing the public beach from what looks to be a private resort. I stash my shirt and shoes among the rocks and dive into the ocean lagoon. I come up and I’m at the Hilton resort San Juan surrounded by beautiful gringos. I sit in the hot tub and feel good. Then I lie in a hammock in the warm breeze and feel really good. Then I lie on a memory foam bed under palm trees and feel really, really good. Why does my plane leave in just a few hours, I sigh. I swim  back across the lagoon to the real world. I run 3 miles back to The port of old San Juan where I notice a lively street scene. They’re filming a movie ’22 jump street,’ 
It’s supposed to be a scene of ‘spring break in Mexico.’ There’s hot Puerto Rican girls in bikinis everywhere! I can’t help but wander past the barricades for a closer glimpse. I’m overwhelmed by smiling ladies, just standing around waiting for ‘Action!’ I’m bombarded by movie crew people, half of them are telling me to get off of the set while half are asking me to sign paperwork to be a paid extra in the movie. I’m leaving in just a couple of hours, I can’t participate! If only I had another day! I call Delta with a fish story for a flight change. But its no use, I have to go home. My last $20 covers my taxi and I speed away.
My Credit card keeps me fed that last day but other than that I stayed true to my strict budget, $35 per day. I decide that if I did another trip I must allow $450 for a week. This would be much more reasonable. In JFK airport, I do a full Vinyassa practice during my 2 hr layover completing my goal of doing yoga every day of my trip. I Completed all of my other goals aside from my sailing dream and got a tighter grasp and a firmer belief in the power of my own intentions.  I am completely convinced that this is something completely real. Pure intentions and manifesting energy are forces equally as powerful and useful as logical thinking, active ambition, and reason. I re-examine the goals and intentions I set forth before I flew to this island:
·       Take time to do yoga and play music every day. Teach yoga at least once, write a song.
·       Swim in several beautiful places, be warm!
·       Take time to write at least 3 good sessions.
·       Dance with Puerto Ricans
·       Get invited to a party
·       Go sailing or fishing for free
·       Buy food for someone and also receive a free meal.
·       Get shown to a really cool place that I would not have found on my own.
·       Speak Spanish, stay out of trouble.
Many more smaller intentions came true and made the trip as beautiful and easy as it was.

All of my clear set intentions and goals came easy…well except for the sailboat, but the one I almost got on, crashed, so maybe not meant to be! I will continue to try to set pure intentions and hone in on the hidden energy currents of my surroundings. I look forward to continued focus in writing my novel, Love and Magic in Neverland, which provides even greater insight into the harnessing the hidden energy and magical manifestations in the spiritual world and beyond.

Thanks to all who took the time to read this!
 Viva la Magica Y PURA VIDA!

 Newly wed friends Jonathan and Lori tour the fort
 Riding the canon
 Christopher colombus, with the hostel posada san francisco in the background
spring break movie set 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Puerto Rico Project Waiting for my ship to come in...

Waiting for my ship to come in.

Culebra is a tiny island, but it possesses a marvelous sea inlet that just looks like a sailor’s paradise. The harbor is bound by rolling verdant hills which lead down to mangroves and coral covered beaches then it twists out to the open sea. Of course The many sailboats anchored in this harbor don’t sail. They just function as cramped floating condos. But two sailboats just cleated on the town dock must be on the move I decide. I dedicate a yoga practice on the dock to sailing with one of these two potentials, the stiff trade wind blows excitement through my body as well. ‘Leave a note on this here boat,’ the wind seems to tell me. So I do. I leave a bilingual note with my phone number and dream of whisking away to St. Thomas as soon as tomorrow. Dream big, right?
Watching Docked sailboats from my best private beach camp...a bed of vines on playa melones

I continue my search for sailor’s at the bar. Asking around I find out that the only guy that sails is a rum-infused sea captain know as the Nightrider. ‘He’s right over there just go ask him,’ a happy couple insures me.  They invite me to play music at their Christmas party as well, of course I won’t be around then, but its another manifestation achieved.
“They call me the Nightrider, cause I only go at night. I’m the night-sailor that’s my thing, my little boat ‘ll do 30 knots across the inlet.”
The Nightrider says he’ll give me a tour on his trimaran sometime when the time is right. I wait. The band finishes and the Nightrider gets cut off. Hmmm time to sail? I approach him but another gringo guy busts right ahead of me asking the Nightrider to take him out to one of the sailboats in the harbor where he’s left his wallet. “And where do you got to get to?” He turns to me queerly.  “I can go anywhere, I got all of my stuff right here, I can camp anywhere,” I tell him.
“So you don’t even have a destination?” He toils.
“Well uhh no…but that doesn’t matter, I just want to go sailing.”
“You know it’s kind of rough out there, and this guy here well, he’s got somewhere to go you know.”
I stumble over my words, and kind of realize how silly my whole desire to sail with the drunken captain at night sounds anyway.
“We’ll go another time,” he assures me. I humbly depart and go find a random getto ninja camp spot round back of an abandoned pharmaceutical factory. Sporatic yet powerful night and early morning rains make for a restless night.
The next morning I run into the same gringo kid.
“How was your voyage with the Nightrider?”
“Yea we crashed right off the dock, and had to be rescued.”
“What? What happened?”
“We un-cleated the boat and a wind caught us and just blew us right into the bridge before we could even get going.”
“Dam and you had to be rescued.”
            “Yea it was a shitshow, bet you’re glad you didn’t go.”
           So I continue hope that I’ll get a call from one of the leave a note on a boat attempts, but that soon fizzles after I meet one of the captains and he tells me that his boat hasn’t moved from the spot on the town dock in over a year. The clouds never really clear today, but I still enjoy some time wandering the quite island and swimming in the surf on playa flamenco. I find a great campsite on a vine covered hill just a few feet above my own private snorkeling lagoon. And great snorkeling it is. I rent gear for $14 and explore the underwater world of the crystal clear Caribe. Fan coral the size of pizza boxes, withering underwater cactus coral, and giant brain coral abound. Iridescent tropical fishes flutter about. Some of the best snorkeling I’ve done.  Definitely the most exceptional coral beds I ever seen was at Playa Melones. I snorkel again the next morning before taking the 1pm ferry off the now practically tourist-free isla Culebra.  Its Monday, and everyone seems to have moved on.
I’m ready too, but I can’t decide where to go? I hadn’t met anyone cool to tag along with, or even been inspired enough by anyone to set a goal for a particular place. I forage ahead plan-less. Surfing beaches in Rincon on the west side of PR, Then rainforest preserve, El Yunque, or some giant caves I’ve heard of in the center of the island. Ponce? Isla Vieques? or back to old san Juan. I get caught up on the ferry with work calls and emails back to Colorado, no time for deciding. None of the taxi options seem to take me anywhere cool or far enough for 20 or 30 dollars so I just go back to the same muelle where I wrote Pescadero Amorero and ponder. I call Neri and ask her about bus options to get to the west side. Everything seems so complicated and busy busses and taxis just don’t appeal after 3 days on quite culebra. Do what’s easy I remind myself. So I do and for an easy $2 I catch another ferry to Vieques island from the same port. I manage another yoga practice on the muelle while I wait for the 4pm ferry. Easy simple another isla tranquillo. Another un-crowded ferry another new yet similar place. Its dark when I arrive and I hop in a combined taxi with a Chinese couple.
            “You can just camp on the beach for free right here,” the taxista tells me pointing to a little beach where fishing boats are anchored right near the one strip of restaurants in Esperanza, the tourist town of the isla. Its easy enough so I camp and remain there for the next 3 nights unbothered. I swim, run, read, explore, and amble about the tiny town. One night I rent a stand up paddle board and cruise around the outside of a barrier island under the light of the half moon. The eerie experience  of paddling against wind and over 4 foot swells naked in the moonlight is feeling I will never forget. I play music to the sea on the pier and endure the muggy nights in my now stale smelling tent. At some point I’m almost wishing I’m back in Colorado but I dare not, for I’m not bored, and I know the sub-zero temps wouldn’t suit. Still Vieques seems to lack the Puro Puerto Rican cultural experience as in Culebra. At least during this quiet midweek time period the pulse just isn’t there. I don’t really have the budget for other options though. I’d never make it on $30 a day in San Juan or any other city. Would I be able to camp safely on the main island anyway? So three days on vieques and I’m back on the ferry still with no plan. But this time I need to make my way back to san Juan to catch my 2;30 flight home tomorrow…
            Let me meet some cool people and get an easy ride back to san Juan. Cool people, keep it easy…I send out my prayer to the open ocean…

 Sunset view from camp by fishing boats on vieques
 Green grassy fields where horses roam overlooking turquoise blue.
playas desconocidas
Singing to the Sea

Saturday, December 14, 2013

puerto rico project---Las islas

I’m cheerfully driven to the docks on the other side of Fajardo por la madrugada. (morning darkness) The organized ferry is hardly a shitshow, there’s not even a line at all. Not sure whether to go to popular Vieques island or smaller isla Culebra, I let fate decide and just pick the earlier ferry to Culebra at 9. I decided that this is supposed to be a stress free vacation and that all decisions should be “easy.” Make the easy choice. I wake up with a café corto and walk over to a deserted muelle (pier) to wait and watch the sunrise. It reflects gloriously off a horizon of clouds and I’m satisfied to be where I am still 3.5 hours before ferry departure. I sing out to the open sea and rising sun. Like a fish in love with the ocean or a lonely but content fisherman I am. I’m thinking in Spanish, still in rhythm from the intense conversation hours ago under the streetlight. I start to sing en Español. Pescadero Amorero comes together to be my first Spanish ukulele composition.  I comes together as a song of a fish singing to a fisherman asking him what is love. I follow the masses onto the ferry and sit across from two Puerto rican construction workers. Its not even half full, and I seem to wonder If I choose the ‘right’ one.
The modern ferry blasts across the water at 30 knots. Its quite the ride for just $2.25, must be government subsidized. Everyone gets issued a Disney style ‘treasure map of the tiny 2 by 6 mile island as we are ushered off into a horde of taxi touts. “You want to meet women you rent a golf cart,” One man proclaims. I buy an ice-cream instead and hop in a shared taxi to playa flamenco, know to be the ‘most beautiful beach in Puerto rico.’ Sun and swimming and even some good bodysurfing.  I’m reluctant to set up camp cause I don’t want to pay but I keep to my goals of daily yoga and have a nice practice under the ironwood trees. The water is much clearer on this tiny island than off the coast of Puerto Rico. It’s a real light majestic blue.
I attempt an evening run along a trail across the island to the leeward side and back to the only pueblo at the port. Its more of a scramble along a coral covered rocky coast and along overgrown trails in fading twilight. I have the feeling that I really am exploring like a 17th century Caribbean pirate stuck on a half deserted isla.
Town seems to be made up of gringo ex-pats and those who never left tiny Culebra, not a lot of local action though. I decide to splurge on some not so big coconut shrimp and a couple of beers. I cut myself off cause I’m already at $20 with tip. The first pains of my miniscule budget are felt. An old crusty white bearded sailor buys me and another guy a shot of aged whiskey and I manage to hang till midnight before I hitch a ride on a golf cart back to beach camp. I keep the belly full on coconut.
I wake up with the sun beaming down on me. I know it’s late. I should have broke down camp at dawn as to not be noticed by the campground host. I get up and see a note on the picnic table beside my tent. ‘Please come to the office’ the note reads in English and Spanish. Luckily I was naked in the tent with the rain fly off otherwise the ranger might have tried to wake me for payment. Thus I’ll reveal another ninja tip. Being naked is better than a do not disturb sign.
I pack up and peace out…time to explore anyway.
I hitch a ride to Zoni beach a desert beach on the east side of the island. From there you can see St Thomas of the Virgin islands in the distance. I suppose from my comic book map that I can do a run-hike to the even more isolated Playa Brava on the north side so I stash my pack and set out shirtless with just a water bottle. I scramble up a steep face and work my way onto game trails and then onto an overgrown 4x4 track. I’m taken aback when I suddenly come upon a house off the overgrown trail. Peeking around it looks like no-one has been around in months but its more or less intact. I guess it to be early 90’s construction.
I continue up over a high ridge and gain a sweeping view of the northeast side of the island.  Its hot and there’s little shade. Its long grasses on the double track and scrubby thorny trees along the ridge tops. I see a massive whitewashed complex in the distance towards Playa Brava. I merely take note of it’s location and prominence on a high mesa overlooking the north coast. I keep a keen eye out for fruit trees and other settlements, I’m wanting more water, it’s the heat of the day and I only have a few ounces in my bottle. I come across a lime tree but the sour juice does little good. I cross over a near invisible barbed wire fence buried in the weeds heading towards a tree with giant gord-like fruits. I smash open a fallen fruit excitedly but I find the inside to be a milky bitter puss. Yuck. But somehow there another jeep trail. This one actually seems to be dropping down towards Playa brava instead of hugging the ridge. I scurry down and come to a green gate. The area still seems deserted so I climb over and continue on. Then the overgrown double track steepens and turns into a crazy steep concrete sluice. What? It twists down a good ways. Reinforced concrete just barely a car’s width. Having recently pour concrete back in Colorado I make the estimation the this concrete sluice drive is at least 14 concrete trucks, well over a hundred yards of redi-mix delivered and poured here on this tiny island. My brain struggles to imagine ferry loads of concrete trucks coming from mainland Puerto Rico.
At the bottom of the sluice the road levels out and there is a grand white gate. And on the hill top beyond is the villa. The same whitewashed mansion estate I saw from above. It seems almost abandoned but I dare not enter… could be the lair of a captured druglord I suppose…I continue on a side trail and end up at my goal the secluded playa brava. It’s a 2.5 mile long palm-lined crescent beach with just two sets of footprints on it. North swell pounds hard like the north shore of Kauai in winter time saying swim if you dare. Swimming is the least of my desires. Water I want. I find coconuts and select what shakes to be a good full one. I break it on the rocks strategically allowing the outer husk to be easily peeled back without cracking the inner shell. With a smaller rock I break the inner shell and indulge in 3 good mouthfuls of juice. Additionally I find a half-full water bottle washed up on the beach. Normally this would be trash but the stale water inside is a blessing for me.
It takes careful analysis of the two sets of footprints to decide which direction they came from but with good detective work even more than this can be determined. I follow the man and woman out to a hidden trail and alternative exit to the beach. Trying to cut back to Zoni beach I find myself bush-wacking again. Its hot and I wish I really had jumped in the ocean at brava. Ohh but I would have dried by now anyway. I wish for a stream, a freshwater swimming hole. Soon my ear catches the sound of running water and son after I’m pushing through thick brush to get to the stream. I sink into the waist-deep not so fresh pool with satisfaction. Finally I manage to bushwack to the road to Zoni. After a half mile of walking I get picked up by two gay dudes in a jeep. This is when things get interesting…just kidding they drop me off with a smile, I recover my stash and catch a ride back to the pueblo from an old local lady. She is the last car at the beach and its past sunset, so I’m relieved that she’s willing to take me…
Sunrise in La Puerta Fajardo waiting for the ferry to Las islas