As Chance Would Have It
Rincón, Puerto Rico
On the morning of my first day in Rincón I was awoken by one of my roommates with a surprising note from the office; it read: "Loida will pick you up from Aguadilla at 2:00 today."
The day before Loida, the agent at Hertz that rented me my car, and I were quickly discussing the west coast and how I could get from my car drop at the Aguadilla airport back to Rincón economically. She mentioned her and her 15 year old son Oscar were going to spend the next two days near that side of the island, hoping to visit the large radio telescope south of Arecibo. I expressed interest, and she mentioned that they might be able to swing by if I cared to join them. I did, and we exchanged contact information as I wrapped up the rental paperwork.
It was a pleasant surprise to hear from her the morning after my arrival, and that she'd be willing to come pick me up from the Aguadilla Hertz (saving me from an expensive cab ride back into the outskirts of Rincón). She ended up doing just that, and at dinner later that evening her and Oscar exposed me to a dish called mofongo (garlic infused mashed plantains with meat or seafood)—delicious.
The following day I traveled with them and visited the Arecibo Observatory, the largest single-aperture telescope ever to be constructed. The instrument is truly massive (the main reflector is over 1,000 feet in diameter) and is quite a sight to see. Now all I want to do is watch Golden Eye again.
On the way back Loida and Oscar offered to host me in San Juan for Christmas (and a few days proceeding). I'm pretty sure I'll end up taking them up on their offer. The opportunity to experience San Jan and local life and customs during this holiday is a very attractive notion for me. Naturally, my guard is up, but I think I'd regret it later if I didn't give it a shot.
I'm also exploring the idea of double booking my hostel bed for three nights with the management of the Surf and Board in exchange for a full day surfing lesson (that runs close to $90). It would be great if it works out.