Monday 8 Apr, Puerto Rico day 4: Tour of outboard shops followed by tour of cloths shops to balance the scale!
The start of a new working week. And we begin by calling all the outboard motor dealers to check availability of any 20HP 4 stroke engines. Took us a while to get through to all of them and the outcome was that no 20hp motor exists in stock at any of them. Some 15HP or 25HP, but no 20.
We don’t want less power and neither want any extra weight, so a replacement purchased in Puerto Rico is out of the question. The 20HP replacement will have to wait till we get to USA.
So the only other option we have as of this morning is to look for a small outboard which we will keep as a backup. We realize now that if we lose our outboard mid-Pacific we are in trouble. So a backup would be wise.
The good news is that although we only sent in the insurance claim to Pantaenius last evening, we woke this morning to an email already settling the claim. Pantaenius maybe expensive but they certainly don’t mess around when you need them. Same as on the previous two occasions we had claims, Pantaenius was very fast to react.
Once the admin on phone and emails is done, we head off to continue our road trip.
Driving on a country road along the coast takes us to Punta Santiago Beach, which is an impressive long beach backed with hundreds of palm trees. Wild waves are rolling in and crashing into the beach, wild vegetation under the palms and not a soul about on a Monday morning. Beautiful. And as we continue driving east we realize just how long it is, kilometer after kilometer.
Here and there there are restaurants on the side of the road, and we imagine this must have been a completely different scene during the weekend.
At the end of the beach we come to a village which has a surprisingly nice promenade along the sea.
And further along we pass the abandoned wind mill farm which we have seen from Vieques. It must have 20 windmills but all have sustained damage to a certain extent by Irma or Maria in 2017. Most with all blades broken off. This is the reason not to take advantage of the wonderful trade winds to generate electricity. It’s a sad sight. And no sign of any repairs going on, even 18 months after the hurricanes. Another abandoned project maybe.
From here we go on a trail of outboard shops. First stop Suzuki in Puerto Del Ray. They have a 6HP on stock and we note the price.
Next stop was supposed to be Tommy’s Marine Outlet store but we find it has long been shut down. So it’s on towards San Juan to visit Honda and Yamaha shops. The conclusion of which is that we buy a Suzuki 6HP from Puerto Del Rey and survive with that till we get to USA, where both availability and price are much more easy to digest.
On the way to San Juan we stop at Luquillo where Los Kioskos is. Meaning a long strip of kiosks eating places behind a lovely beach. The kiosks are a bit grubby to say the least, and today very quiet compared to when we passed the place on Saturday.
But the beach itself is quite stunning. Lovely calm turquoise water, golden sand and backed all along by palms. Just spoilt by over commercialism behind the beach and the usual wankers who park the cars on the beach, and play ridiculously loud music from equally ridiculously large speakers as if everyone wants to hear it! These people are beyond annoying. We really can’t work out why there seems to be a whole generation of local people in Caribbean who seem hell bent on everyone else hearing their music, at full volume???
After our tour of the outboard shops we then spend a few hours in the Plaza Americas. Basically an enormous mall, American style and American shops. Oana has a nice time hunting for clothes and I follow along. Can’t complain … I had my turn in all the outboard shops! But as opposed to me, she finds nothing to buy!
We are back to our home again by 9pm and relax for the rest of the evening.