Our final destination for the day was the coastal town of Aquadilla, but as the villa was self-catering, we decided to stop at a nearby grocery store and stock up for our 3-day stay. After an hour of browsing and grabbing a wide assort of goodies and a tidbit of real food, we proceeded to spend the next hour searching for this very hard-to-find, but well worth the effort, villa. An hour and several photo stops later we found the small lane running off the highway and followed it down to the beach and to the 2 story villa apts.
I, personally being an old surfer, from my bygone days as a beach bum in San Francisco, was quite anxious to discover if this beach did indeed live up to its claims as being one of the best surfing beaches in all of Puerto Rica. The Villa Tropical apartments are directly in front of what Windsurfer Magazine has called the best wave sailing beach in the Caribbean and what Skin Diver Magazine has called the best snorkeling and diving area in Puerto Rico. There is a good surf break directly in front of the villa, and to one side are more than two miles of open beach without a single house. I lived for these moments and wondered was I up to the task? It had been 2 decades since I held a surfboard, much less rode a wave.
We walked up to the first floor office and after a few moments were greeted by the owner, Mr. Mike Shand. With his deep tan, it wasn’t difficult to conceive that he was a genuine beach and surf lover. Being from the US mainland him and his wife bought the property and turned it into a real dream vacation destination.
Our large and very comfortable apt was fully equipped and I even had my own private bedroom for those warm afternoon naps and a peaceful night of refreshing the spirit and body, especially after a few hours in the sun & surf. Browsing through the kitchen, I unpacked our store bought goodies and headed for the beachside deck. Mike and I had some long and entertaining discussions about surfing, the island and a wide variety of life topics.
Hector and my son, Dakota had tore off for the beach within 10 minutes of unpacking and I hadn’t seen them since. Leaving the deck and walking down the steps to the beach, not seeing them, I sought my own solitude. Strolling as far as I could walk without seeing a house or person, I found the peace & tranquility I wanted and needed.
The beauty of our world never ceases to amaze me and on this beach, on this small Island in the Caribbean, I was left with another cherished memory deeply embedded in my soul. The sun was falling gently, but without delay it continued its daily journey across the sky and was fast approaching the dark abyss that would once again engulf its light. I have always loved the sun and especially as it sinks into the ocean, so grabbing my camera and as daylight faded, I headed back for the beach. The sunset was still a few moments from dropping into the waves, as I positioned myself flat on the sand and waited. I feared to move as I anticipated what just might be one of the best sunset photos I had shot since Santorini in the Greek Isles.
I checked my camera and made a few slight changes and when the sky turned as red as it was going to get I placed my finger on the button of my Nikon D100. Keeping one eye on the waves I waited and just as a wave leaped into the air directly at the low hanging sun…I snapped the shutter. Later when I uploaded the photos into my computer I was ecstatic…the picture was even better than I had hoped and I am pleased to post it here in my review of this Caribbean Isle less than a 2 hour flight from Miami.
From San Juan to the magical rain forest and along the winding and scenic beach roads…Puerto Rico has a lot to offer to each and every visitor. The few days and warm breezy nights spent at this small, private and peaceful villa went by much too quickly and again it was time to go…another adventure beckoned. I have nothing but splendid things to say about Mike, his wife and the small piece of heaven they carved from the tropical jungle as it bordered the turquoise waters of the warm and inviting Caribbean Sea. It’s affordable and immensely enjoyable!
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Thank you, Mike, for your warm hospitality and for sharing your intriguing piece of Puerto Rico.
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