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Showing posts from January, 2018

Puerto Rico: Post Hurricane Maria

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A Stroll Through Old San Juan 
We took a bus ride uphill past the Puerto Rico Capitol and San Cristobal fortress along the Atlantic Coast before the walking tour. While it was sad to see a few buildings damaged by the hurricane, it was exciting to come over the hill for my glimpse of the ocean. The ocean has incredibly Caribbean and Atlantic blue color. Before starting our walking tour, our guide shared plenty of information about the historical buildings, with details about life in the Old City.  As we walked the broad lawn to the entrance of Castillo del Morro, he continued to describe what we were seeing - from the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzi cemetery by the seaside to the Bacardi Distillery on the other side and the karst from a distance. During the early 16th century, San Juan was the point of departure of Spanish expeditions to the New World. Today, it’s one the busiest ports for cruise ships in the Caribbean. Old San Juan is one of the 3 distinct areas of the metropolitan S…

Eastern Caribbean: Escape from the Freezing Cold

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I always wanted to visit Cuba, but there were specific regulations that must be met to get travel authorization to Cuba. When I learned that participating in group people-to-people program by a sponsoring organization such as Holland America would make me eligible to travel to Cuba, I booked a 14-Day Cruise to Cuba. However, the 14-day cruise turned out to be a two-part cruise. The first segment was to the Eastern Caribbean. And it worked out fine because I also wanted to see the hurricane-ravaged island's recovery progress. Also, the timing of the cruise coincided with the freezing weather in the US. So, sailing to the Eastern Caribbean was a great escape from the freezing cold, so I thought.

Our first port of call was Half Moon Cay. Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by the cruise ship. People pretty much come here to enjoy the beaches. I signed up for the Eco Lagoon Kayak Adventure. We were taken by a tender, but as we reached the island, it started to rain. I took shelte…