Before and After Maria Aerial Views

Our Visit to Save a Gato, Old San Juan

For the past several months we’ve been painstakingly searching online to adopt a cat of our own. After a few failed attempts I was almost ready to throw in the towel until I noticed a post on Save a Gato’s feed one morning.  We instantly fell in love and put in the paper work that day in preparation for our meeting. The following Saturday we met with Irma and eventually the charmer in question sauntered up and sealed the deal. (He is the beautiful long haired black cat on the bottom if you would like to see for yourself) Before our eventual meeting though, Irma gave us a little tour of the facilities where I captured a few other beauties along the way.

For those of you not familiar, Save a Gato is a phenomenal organization located in Old San Juan. If you have ever walked the perimeter of El Morro you know many of their TNR cats are free-roaming the area. These same cats are fed, given water throughout the day and their litter boxes replenished. That’s not including all the cats and kittens located in their facility.

All in all, Save a Gato cares for an estimated 250-300 cats daily. It’s a lot of hard work that’s done out of sheer love, determination and dedication from the staff. Unfortunately the work doesn’t end there. Save a Gato is regularly called upon by the public to assist in the rescue of abandoned or neglected cats locally.

For these reasons and more we feel it’s very important to keep organizations like Save a Gato supported by the community. It’s only fair with all they do for us and the cats on this Island of Enchantment. If you have a moment, please look over their pamphlet which lists the many items they need on a daily basis. They are also always in need of dependable volunteers to navigate the many day to day tasks they are faced with. Lastly but not leastly, check out their Facebook page for all the eligible cats waiting for their forever homes.

stripeybw catregal catcats in hammockwoman w catcat potrait enhance low

👽 Looking to the Sky in Lajas

Lajas is renowned for their Bioluminescent Bay, Playa Rosada and purported extra-terrestrial sightings. The latter we didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing. Dammit.

Again, like so many places here, it was like stepping into another world. As we stopped along the way we approached many a gate with cattle and cow behind them. They all stopped and stared at us as if to say “Wth do you want?” I wanted to throw a big bouncy ball among them but Steve muttered something about lawsuits so I reluctantly put it out of my mind.

Later, we did see a white blimp hovering along our journey, camouflaging itself against the pale-blue cloudy sky. Would have rather seen an alien though, just sayin.

The Meseta Coastal Trail, Guanica Dry Forest

We needed a change in scenery so we headed to the Southwest corner of the island to experience the infamous Guanica Dry Forest.

Established as a reserve in 1919, the area encompasses nearly 10,000 acres. All species of animal and plant life are staunchly protected, including 48 endangered species and 16 endemic.

As usual our plans got side tracked and we ended up arriving two hours later than we hoped, at 11am. Those of you familiar with the area know this isn’t the ideal time to visit, especially for a really pale, sun-phobic person.

Right off the bat we saw 100’s of small butter-yellow butterflies going nuts over the tree near the trail entrance, not two moments later a black snake crossed our path.

The trail is easy to follow but as you get further down, the shade opportunities quickly dwindle. We almost ventured off the trail but thought that would be pretty dumb knowing how inexperienced we were and it was now high noon. It’s a good thing we didn’t, I checked out the area we would have been in via google terrain and it lead to an area with zero outlets.

In total we were on the trail for two hours so I guestimate we completed half of the trail. If we had gone earlier we could have finished the entire length, the sun is just that relentless this time of day. As much water as you think you need you can at least double it.

Needless to say we were rewarded with spectacular views and a very interesting terrain to traverse. Next time we will devote an entire day to the reserve when we have more time, we barely scratched the surface this outing.

Centro de Conservación de Manatíes en la Universidad Inter Americana de Puerto Rico 

Went to visit these amazing creatures one afternoon. If you get the chance you should pay them a visit! They’re easy to find and you can make reservations via email. More information here.

Tip: Bring exact cash only, they don’t supply change and no credit cards are accepted!

The Green Plague.

The Green Iguana now outnumbers human inhabitants on the island. That’s 3.6 million Humans vs 4 million Green Iguanas to be precise, for now.

They can grow up to 6′ long, destroy crops, damage bridges and hinder flight traffic at our airports. Other than the occasional dog’s chew-toy or passing car, these creatures have no natural predators.

There is a movement to bring them to the local menu but as of today there are no large scale processing facilities to handle the task. I did a short poll at a recent family function though and all refused to even entertain the idea of eating one. :)

Several groups have also taken upon themselves to conduct large scale hunting expeditions to cut numbers down. All perfectly legal and encouraged. Ecological groups tend to focus on destroying the clutches of eggs buried through out the island. It is estimated with both concerted efforts it will still take approximately 10 years to get the population under control.

Convenient drive-thru horse petting in Arecibo.

Delicias Falls in Ciales

On our way back from the Jayuya Coffee Festival we decided to check out Las Delicias Falls in Ciales. It was a little scary going up in one spot, (super slippery) but after that it was a breeze and took less than a few minutes. This was one of those rare days where we were essentially alone in this idyllic setting.  If it weren’t for our growling stomachs we could have stayed there all day. Take a look for yourself..

Farm in Caño Tiburones

This trip found us meandering through the back roads of Arecibo looking for another access point to Caño Tiburones. After passing a few homes in what seemed like the middle of nowhere we decided to ask for help.

We spotted a lady in front of a farm house and explained our quest. Sure enough she had an access point right on her property and kindly let us use her private trail to get there. Some days we are so incredibly lucky to find such accommodating people.

We had a blast looking at all the farm animals including many few week-old calves and goats. Lots of dogs, horses, chickens, pigs and cats as well. As per usual, we didn’t see many birds, in fact, we only saw one egret and another that flew away too quickly to id. Oh well, it all evens out, right?

It’s a horse, dummy.

Saw a bush move in a field and then this sweetie’s head popped up.