Car Vacation - Arecibo Radio Telescope
26 March 2014 | Arecibo, Puerto Rico
On Wednesday morning we headed to La Cueva del Indio, or Indian Cave. It was on the coast next to the lighthouse in Arecibo. We got there exactly at 10am when it was supposed to open, and you guessed it, it wasn't. We waited for a while and finally someone came and opened the gate. You don’t have to but if you want more information you can pay for a tour guide who will walk you all around the area and give you lots of information, mostly what movies were filmed there. We did get a guide and he was very interesting. We walked through the cave and saw the Indian carvings that are on the wall and are very old. We had brought our caving equipment but luckily, just like the caves we had seen yesterday, no equipment was necessary. It was a beautiful day and the cave and the shoreline were worth the trip.
Once we had our fill of cave and ocean we headed to the Arecibo Radio Telescope Observatory. The roads were almost as terrifying as the roads the day before, but not quite. What was really rough though was the walk from the parking lot to the Visitor Center. It felt like we were going straight up! Finally we got to the top and we got to watch a short film about the telescope. Then you go outside and there it is. The picture above shows the telescope with the bonus of also showing the cable car going up that was taking two people to check it out. We were surprised as to how dirty the telescope is. Apparently they only clean it when the dirt causes enough interference to make a difference.
Finally we were on our way back to the boat! We haven’t ever left it this long on anchor and we were a bit nervous. We were also very hungry and we were hoping to not have to resort to fast food again but there were not a lot of choices on our way home. Finally we ended up in a small shopping center that had a couple of small restaurants. We picked the storefront pizza type shop and I think we caused some excitement. I would say not many non-Spanish speakers end up in there. Somehow they can always tell right away that we can’t really speak the language. All of a sudden the waitress is grabbing a young teenage girl and bringing her to us. It is her parents’ restaurant and I have to say, I think her English is almost better than mine! She was delightful. She definitely made our day. Between her, her grandmother, who could speak some English, and the waitress, who could speak none, we figured out what we would eat. We had a really nice dining experience and were very glad we stopped there.
When we got back to the boat everything was exactly how we left it. Thank goodness! We were very happy to be back but also glad we had taken our Puerto Rican vacation.