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Puerto Rico: From Scuba to Old San Juan---FOODIE ALERT

March 30, 2012

all seasons in one day

Pedro Padilla, our dive master, boat captain, photographer and tour guide had a camera setup that was no joke and he has some amazing photos to prove it! Nyda and Pedro took us out that morning for a couple of dives along “The Wall” which is actually part of the intercontinental shelf that goes down thousands of feet. It was a little bit intimidating since our last dive was about a year ago in the Red Sea but we were up for the challenge. I don’t know if Pedro was just trying to freak us out but after we stopped he yelled “Look, Look a Shark”, followed by ok “Get In”. I don’t know if Ruby knew about this until after the dive but Tony let her jump in first just in case! :)

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Our first dive was at “Efra’s Wall” and involved us diving to a depth of 100ft. We were just amazed at the coral formations. Pedro had a spear and was busy whittling down the Lion Fish population in Puerto Rico (they are pests and out of place in the Caribbean). About 85 feet down, he gutted one of the Lion Fish and tried to feed it to a Giant Moray and when we say giant, we mean GIANT. This had to be the largest eel we’d ever seen, with a head the size of a basketball! We guess the Moray wasn’t hungry because we just caught glimpses of him coming out of his hidey hole out of curiosity :(

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After a short break with snacks and drinks we started our second dive at “Hatches”. This dive was also part of “The Wall” and just as beautiful. Just like the first dive there were huge multicolored coral reef formations including gorgonians, fans and tube corals. We also had the opportunity to swim with a sea turtle which is always a highlight. Afterwards we enjoyed the view of Guainica from the water as we rode back in.

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We arrived back to the guesthouse, and hung out with the owner's funny umbrella cockatoo, took showers and started our long drive up to Old San Juan. Looking at the map you would notice a direct route over the mountains but of course Ruby loves detours so we decided to go visit a lighthouse in Cabo Rojo (taking the long way around the island)! By the way, the views from the lighthouse overlooking white cliffs and beautiful blue water is totally worth the detour! If you do decide to do the Ruby’s EVERYTHING Puerto Rico Tour and end up at the far Southwest corner with only a few hours to get back to San Juan take the inland road through Ponce! There’s not a lot to see on the highway drive going around the coast because it stays pretty far inland. Our long drive did give us time to book a room at The Gallery Inn located in Old San Juan.

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This hotel and its owners are what we would call “eclectic” (or maybe just a little crazy). Everyone was really nice and the location is amazing, at the highest point of this 465 year old neighborhood! Before going out we decided on a quick shower in what looked like something out of The Starship Enterprise. Just for the record, it looked a lot cooler than it was!

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One of the best things about Old San Juan is walking around and exploring. We stumbled onto a church celebration for “Semana de Santas”. A ceremony that was so lavish we thought the Pope was here for a visit! After looking at just about every menu in Old San Juan we decided on Italian food at Cucina del Ivo. YUM!!! The caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella, pesto gnocchi and fried ravioli appetizer were delicious. We highly recommend this place and may be going back tomorrow! :) When we arrived back at the hotel we did some exploring and ended the night with a glass of wine on the roof. This is a pretty long blog post but it was a crazy day!

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 3/30/12 07:37 Archived in Puerto Rico

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Comments

Wow. Had no idea Puerto Rico had such great diving! We just dived for the first time at Gili Islands a few weeks ago. Life changing! Hope all is well with you 2!

8/8/12 by Gerard - GQ trippin

Wow! Congrats to you guys for taking the plunge into scuba diving! We are totally addicted and try to work it into our vacations nowadays :)

Diving in Indonesia is insane!!! We wish we had an underwater camera back then! We did the dive to Manta Point off of Nusa Penida and dove with tons of giant manta rays. . it was surreal. We also did drift diving for the first time there. . . also totally life changing! We heard there were lots of sea turtles and sharks at the Gilis, and they do blast/dynamite fishing there, what did you guys see??? :)

8/10/12 by Tony.Ruby

We saw all the fish and turtles you see in Finding Nemo AND an eagle ray! It was giant and majestic. We dove through a shipwreck also, so cool. We'll probably write about it soon on our blog (which just turned 1 year old!). Check it out if you ever get a chance... www.GQtrippin.com

8/11/12 by Gerard ~ GQ trippin

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