After one day back in Austin, I decided to head down to Costa Rica for a few days. I understand there are many adventures to be had and many diseases to be caught. It sounds like a good time!
Towards sunset, we traveled over to the west side of the island to watch the sunset. We were in an area called “Bravos,” where all the gringos hang out and do all kinds of fun white things like badminton and not looting.
There were some very pretty houses over on this side of the island and there seemed to be a lot of renovation happening. It is starting to appear that people are finding out about how pretty Vieques is and it may turn into another St. Bart’s, in terms of escalating real estate prices.
After making several wrong turns and going through a slum area where people scowled at me as I ripped through their shanty town with my sweet SUV, I finally found my way to an old Spanish fort that overlooked Isabella Secundo. I would have stayed up there longer and taken more pictures, but there was a Conquistador following me, trying to give me Legionnaire’s Disease.
The US Navy used to own about 22,000 out of the 33,000 acres on the island. Even though they recently released a lot of the land for public use, there remain several restricted areas. It was with a leery eye with which I anxiously explored down the roads that said, “Danger, Unexplored Ordinance.”
I knew I was staying in a bad part of the island when my hotel directions said, “Turn left at the hidden land mine and keep going straight for 2 miles when your Geiger counter explodes.”
I rented this car from Maritza Car Rental. The island only had one gas station that was open right when I ran out of gas. Luckily, I ran out of gas at my destination, where I bribed a guy to go fill it with gas for me while I was busy eating fried conch fritters. Handing money blindly to a non-English speaking Puerto Rican may sound scary, but it really wasn’t. Yes it was.