You can take us out of the states, but it is tough to get the States out of us
Another rainy day in Culebra, so Maria and i decided to take a trip over to the mainland, Fajardo, as we heard rumors of a West Marine and Walmart. the only way to get there is by ferry, with very convenient times of 6:30am, 1pm and 5pm. As we refuse to get up anytime before 8:00 if we don't have to, we opted for the 1pm ferry. Off we went...loaded up our digny, get to the town of Dewy, walk to the ferry terminal, get tickets, wait in the rain until it is time to load up. We knew we were in for a rough ride, as the 150 person ferry was already rocking and rolling just tied up to the loading dock. We boogied up to the upper deck of the ferry so that we could get some seats under cover but still have the outside view and fresh breeze...no way did we want to be down below with the diesel fumes and puking passengers!
The one hour ride there wasn’t so bad as we had about 5 foot following seas. Once on the other side, we got in a publico, a van which stacks as many people as possible and then drops them off at different locations. We made it to West Marine with no incident, and let me tell you, what a West Marine it was! I think they stocked the entire catalog in this store! So, we loaded up our two back packs and also picked up a new grill as ours finally rusted through. At this point, it is pouring rain outside, and we had to walk about 15 minutes, across a highway that is equivalent to the FL Turnpike, with our backpacks and this fairly large grill box. Do you remember the video game Frogger? Well, it was pretty much like that. A little ways into our walk, we spied the great American beacon…the golden arches. Yummm…greasy cheeseburgers! After we got our fix, we kept on trucking until we got to Wallyworld, looking like two drowned rats.
We got some provisions, hit the clearance clothes racks for some dry clothes and realized we only had about an hour to make it back to the ferry terminal, some 20 minutes away. No worries, plenty of time, after all, the nice lady at West Marine had given us 5 different cab drivers’ numbers. So, I walked up to customer service, asked them to dial up a cab and thought I’d be on our way. No answer from any of the drivers. Oh boy. Okay, well, there are a few other stores in this strip mall, so we left, (wearing our fancy new duds), and went to Radio Shack, they are kind of geeky after all and may come up with something. Well, they did try, searching the internet for a precious 10 minutes, and after making a few calls, came up with nothing. It is now 6:30, and I was starting to have visions of trying to find a hotel in downtown Fajardo. Just about at the panic point, Maria says to me, “see that guy over there getting in his car…go ask him if he’ll give us a ride”. Forgetting for a second that I’m off the boat and really don’t have to do EVERYTHING the captain says, I trot over to the green SUV that the gentlemen just got in and was starting to back up, and knock on his window. “Um, I’m having a bit of a problem”, I say to the surprised face, “I’m trying to make it to the ferry dock but can’t get a cab and it leaves in 15 minutes, can you give us a ride?”
“Si claro, no problemo” he replies. I wave Maria and her shopping cart of crap over and we loaded up the back of his truck and hopped in. We were chit chatting with him and we noticed that on his lap were some papers and a bag of the local favorite herb. What do you do for a living, I ask. I’m a lawyer, he replies! Anyway, the very mellow lawyer drops us off at the ferry terminal, we get on, secure our seats at the top, and prepare ourselves for the 1.5 hour beating we are about to undertake, as we could see that the seas had built up a bit. The ferry charged full throttle into the seas, sounding as if it was going to break apart with every hit of the waves. Spray was coming over the top of the metal awning in sheets and passengers were heaving up their dinner all around the rails. What a journey!