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Puerto Rico – Part 2

On our vacation in Puerto Rico, we visited a few interesting sites. The first one was a waterfall in Comerio. The dam has not been taken care of from what I was told.

Comerio Waterfall

Behind the water is a tunnel that leads to houses that are on the left (out of view). I didn’t personally see the tunnel but my Uncle, who lives here, told me about it. That doesn’t sound like my kind of place to live — having to get to your house by going underneath the dam. Eeekkkk!

Looking up and to the right, a house sits on the top of the hill. People on the island don’t seem to be afraid of landslides.

Hilltop house in Puerto Rico

Our next trip took us to Old San Juan to visit El Morro fortress. The morro was designed to protect the entrance to the San Juan Bay. It was named after King Philip II of Spain. The “fort” became a part of the National Park Service in 1961. You can read more of the history by going to the Wikipedia article.

I took lots of pictures here so there will be many posted. It is very interesting to walk through this historic site although it was hard for me to visualize exactly how life was so many years ago.

At the entrance to the site, two pigeons stood together as if they were in love. And — did you know that pigeons mate for life? Just a tidbit I was told by a bird lover. (smile)

Pigeons in love

Okay — back to El Morro. The entrance is very pretty and grassy. The grass is very very green so they keep it up nicely.

El Morro grassy area

Entrance to El Morro

Sculpture above entrance

We went on Martin Luther King Day which was considered a holiday in Puerto Rico so there was no fee for us to get in. Once inside, we were greeted with vivid mustard colors.

Everything seems to be left “as is” to preserve the historicity of the fort — except for the lighthouse which was recently painted and closed to visitors.

El Morro Lighthouse

Stairs led us down to the most beautiful views.

Stairs

View from El Morro

El Morro Observation Post

A long walk leads to one of the posts where soldiers stood guard.

El Morro Sentry Post

It’s a long way up —

… but people (including me) are willing to take the hike.

 These were the ovens that they used “back in the day.”

El Morro Ovens

This is what the tops of them look like. I think I’m too short to reach them.

El Morro Stovetops

I liked taking the circular stairs down. It felt like I was going into a dungeon.

Circular stairs

My imagination just can’t grasp that through this picturesque observation post  …

El Morro Observation Post

… cannonballs were shot!

El Morro Cannon

El Morro Cannonballs

My Uncle told me that in this area there was a leper colony at one time. You can see the building where the lepers were housed (upper left of the picture below). I don’t really know much about leper colonies and only know about lepers because of a story found in the Bible that tells about when Jesus healed a leper.

Old leper colony

Additional pictures I took while walking around …

You have to be short to go under these. I wonder if the Spanish soldiers were all short???

A mask hung on the wall. It looks like some kind of animal.

El Morro Mask

The three flags that fly at El Morro are the United States, Puerto Rico and the Old Spanish flag.

El Morro Flags

This was such a peaceful area that I can’t fathom all the fighting that went on here so many years ago.

El Morro Observation Post

View from El Morro

El Morro Iguana

I was told that iguanas are a delicacy … uh, okay, I don’t think that’s something I want to try though.

Well, back to the top to end our trip here.

El Morro Stairs

As we left, we saw a ship coming in to port. Now we had to skedaddle before thousands of tourists descended on the town.

Princess Serenade of the Seas

Ahhhh … memories of the cruise we were just on.

Unfortunately those memories were short-lived when my Uncle told me that the poorest area in Puerto Rico is located right next to El Morro. They have their own cemetery next to the neighborhood. Since it is prime land, many offers to buy them out have been made but the residents have stood their ground. There is much drug trafficking here also. My Uncle told me “Si no vive alli, no debe visitar” which translated means “If you don’t live there, you shouldn’t visit.”

After leaving, we made our way through the very narrow streets of Old San Juan. Back to the mountains we go.

Narrow Street in Old San Juan

But what a beautiful day it was for this trip. Blue skies, green grass, lots of history —

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