This is the Puerto Rican countryside, tucked three hours away from the hectic capital of San Juan on the opposite side of the island. Our plane landed sometime after midnight, so that when we arrived in my baby niece's grandparents' home, my ears were welcomed by the nocturnal chant of the Coqui frogs. (I recorded their sound in my celfone) They are tiny tree frogs found only in Puerto Rico, named such because they croak in the same manner as their name sounds. Only one variety of the Coqui frog is known to exist outside of Puerto Rico, and that's in Hawaii.
Puerto Rico reminded me a lot of the Philippines, only the former is in Espanol and there is a strong Caribbean character embedded in its culture. They have similar histories in that they were both invaded by Spanish coquistadores. That's why it felt like being in the Philippines, only not as long-distanced in terms of flying there.
I was fascinated by how flowers flourished in Puerto Rico. Their hues took on a more vibrant palette. I figured that would be the result of being painted by the Puerto Rican sunshine and rainwater. Our favorite expression during our entire trip there was, "Look at the vegetation!" In fact, look at these orchids!
Speaking of sunshine, there is a region in Puerto Rico known as "Porta del Sol" or "Doorway to the Sun." This consists of the western towns of the island which Aguada is part of. It is interesting to note that the Taino tribes which inhabited Puerto Rico before being discovered by Christopher Columbus were sun-worshippers.
Puerto Ricans' rides were either four-wheeled or four-legged. Cowboys exist in Puerto Rico, too, as I saw with my own eyes. It was therefore not unusual to hear horses' hooves on the road after a car with windows rolled down and Latino music in full force just passed by. It's "Simple Life", Puerto Rican edition.
I wanted to ask if I can hitch a ride on his horse. But we were speeding past him to descend again to sea level.
(More cuentos (stories) to come!)