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Puerto Rico, USA: "La Isla del Encanto!!
thewisegardener.com welcomes you, friends, to America's Own
Paul,"The Wise Gardener!" is very proud to introduce TWG's readers to our future U.S. 51st state. You will often find that generalisations are seldom accurate when describing our American Caribbean Island Paradise! Puerto Rico is very old; it is also so very contemporary. 500 year old Spanish forts lace the island's rim, (in San Juan's El Morro,and at Cabo Rojo), but so do mega shopping malls, like Plaza las Americas (the largest in the Caribbean Basin, and featuring the Caribbean's first MACY'S Department Store!
How seemingly incongruous but really, how typical! Our Isla del Encanto is really as American as...Yuca & coconuts! Olde Spain juxtaposed with Nueva York? Si!! Actually, our Puerto Rico has always been hard to define: mountains & beaches; it's Cornell University's Arecibo, PR Radio Wave Telescope, that constantly searches the heavens for extra-terrestrial life! Chinese & African immigrants well-blended with Los Tainos (borinquens): the Caribbean's own Indian aboriginals! Friends, expect your Chinese food to arrive with papas fritas (French Fries!!) Expect to hear English & Spanish about equally...or perhaps the Puerto Rican's "patented" Spanglish! With Spanglish, BOTH languages: English AND Spanish, are barely recognisable! But everyone understands it!
Variety of sights is very striking AND enthralling!! Las Cordillera Centrale mountains are the isla's "backbone", rising over 1900 Metres. These impressive, verdant & misty rocky outcroppings literally divide the island in two: rainforests to the north, and tropical desert to the south! Coconuts...to cacti!! What variety, garden friends!
Ponce, with over one half million residents & miles of civic pride, on the Caribbean side is sunny & very dry. It is P.R.'s "Suncoast", if you will! Spanish heritage runs "hot" here, with some incredible art works and beachside views. Incidentally, the waters here are akin to lapis lazuli and nary a "chop" in sight! Delightful water temperatures will stay around 30 degrees C. year-round!! Just perfect, friends!
San Juan, with almost 2 million residents in the Greater Metropolitan Area, is like any "big city" American-style! Restaurantes galore, high-rise apartementes & hotels, and traffic, traffic, & more traffic! It is, indeed, electric, frenetic and, perhaps, just a bit overwhelming! If you pick your spots, though, San Juan can be intoxicatingly gorgeous! Ancient Spanish residences, dripping with bougainvilleas, Royal Poinciana tree blossoms, hibiscus, and roses! Musica romantica emanates from every bistro, it seems, as "hot" as the night! You just might see/hear Ricky Martin filming a new salsa-themed music video, on the island! You never know?
In El Yunque, America's Caribbean National Forest, one can experience five climate zones, from humid-tropical to humid-temperate maritime. In its' upper reaches, sun is a rarity and fogs are ever-present, along with misty gales! Expect showers, frequent rainbows, and the unique & lilting melodies of Puerto Rico's el coqui, that precious tree frog, who was named for his nocturnal chant..."co-kee", "co-kee!" He's a true treasure of fauna, and a pleasure for one's auditory canals!
Please enjoy these photo remembrances of an exploratory island adventure that Chef Brad and yours truly enjoyed a while back...We plan on renewing our love affair with this enticing & enchanted land very soon. We hope that you will come too...and enjoy & behold this Caribbean "jewel": Puerto Rico!
Paul, The Wise Gardener!