Puerto Rico By GPS Reaches Australia

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Yesterday I had the unique pleasure of speaking with Mr. Steve Collins, the host of “Radio Roaming”, a 24/7 travel talk show from Australia.  Steve is a seasoned radio professional that promotes travel to western Australia, but when he stumbled onto Puerto Rico By GPS he was intrigued by our Island’s beauty.

The edited version of the interview is 35 minutes long and we talked about a variety of subjects pertaining Puerto Rico as a tourist destination.  But, most importantly, I had the opportunity to reach a public that normally doesn’t hear a lot about Puerto Rico or the Caribbean in general.

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So I would like to thank Steve for a great interview and for allowing us this great opportunity to reach his listeners.

Steve Collins Interview

Enjoy Puerto Rico,

©2014,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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“Puerto Rico For Beach Bums” hits the “virtual bookstands”

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Puerto Rico For Beach Bums

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During the past several months I’ve been a busy beaver.  I’ve been writing my third book for the Amazon Kindle titled: “Puerto Rico For Beach Bums”.  And, as you might imagine, it has to do with the fact that Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

In a few weeks it will be high season.  That means that thousands of tourists, from all over the world, will arrive in Puerto Rico eager to enjoy our wonderful Caribbean climate.

In the mainland they call them snowbirds.  These are the people that live in the northern states and Canada and migrate south (like the birds) during the winter months.  Hence the term “snowbirds”.

Many have vacation properties in Florida, but after a while the amusement parks and gated communities tend to get old.  The more adventurous ones go to the Caribbean where there’s a myriad of things to do and a great climate all year ’round.  And there’s no better place to go than sunny Puerto Rico.

Luquillo Beach

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Puerto Rico has everything!  First of all it’s a U.S. territory.  That means no passports, no visas, no currency exchange, no language barrier and all the protection provided by the U.S. Constitution.

Then there’s the weather.  Average temperatures in Puerto Rico are usually around 80°F.  That’s summer weather all year long.  And where better to enjoy that great summer climate than at the beach?

I could tell you about Old San Juan with its famous Spanish forts, the rum distillery, the Rainforest, the Arecibo Radio telescope, the Camuy River Caverns, the longest zipline in the world and many, many more places.  But if you’re a “beach bum” you’ll only care about one thing: “the beaches”.

Balneario Pico de Piedra

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According to the Cambridge British Dictionary a “beach bum” is someone who spends most of his or her time having a good time at the beach.  Sounds like fun, right?

The Macmillan, Oxford, Collins and Merriam-Webster dictionaries all define this type of person in a similar fashion, basically: “someone who loves to relax on the beach and enjoy life”.  If that sounds like you, then you’re in for a treat, because “Puerto Rico For Beach Bums” is just the book for you.

I wrote this book only for the Amazon Kindle because I wanted it to be within the reach of the largest possible group of people.  At first glance it would seem that a traditional book would have been easier to distribute.  But that’s not true.  It would have been more expensive and harder to place in all the right stores.

Domes Beach

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By putting it in the Kindle store it became instantly available to anyone toting a smartphone (Apple, Android or any other brand), a tablet or a genuine Kindle.  Plus you can even read it on Windows and Macintosh computers.  Why?  Because Amazon makes applications for all those platforms.  And believe me, that’s a lot of devices.

Then there’s the price.  There’s no way I could have printed a book with 22 color photos and sold it for $2.99 a copy.  Believe me.  I know.  I’ve been doing this for 20+ years.  That’s the beauty of electronic publishing.

Mar Chiquita

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Puerto Rico For Beach Bums” starts in San Juan and goes on an imaginary journey around the Island in a clockwise fashion.  Why?  Because San Juan is where most tourists arrive and stay.  If you’re staying somewhere else feel free to start at the closest point to where you’ll be staying.

There are 22 color photos in the book; one for every beach and one of “mua”.  And here’s something you’ll probably like.  Each beach has its own GPS coordinates right below its photo.

Did you know that the same smartphone that you’re probably carrying in your pocket can also double as a portable GPS unit?  That’s right!  Just copy the GPS coordinates from “Puerto Rico For Beach Bums”, punch them into your favorite map application and you’ll arrive at each beach on a dime!

Playa Sucia

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And then there’s the descriptions.  I actually took a dip in each beach.  That way I could write about them with the authority that only experience can provide.

And which beaches did I cover?  Well, I went to the same beaches that most Puerto Ricans love and recommend.  And believe me, they’re here all year round and they know their beaches.

Here’s the list:

  1. Balneario El Escambrón
  2. La Playita Del Condado
  3. Condado Beach
  4. Balneario de Carolina
  5. Balneario La Monserrate
  6. Seven Seas
  7. Playa del Tamarindo
  8. Playa Sucia
  9. Combate Beach
  10. Boquerón Beach
  11. Buyé Beach
  12. Domes Beach
  13. Balneario Pico de Piedra
  14. Crash Boat
  15. Playa Jobos
  16. Mar Chiquita
  17. Los Tubos
  18. Puerto Nuevo
  19. Cerro Gordo
  20. Sardinera Beach
  21. Punta Salinas

You’ll notice that the beaches in Culebras, Vieques and Caja de Muerto (the smaller islands to our east and south) were not included in the book.  That was not an omission.  In fact, they are mentioned at the end but they weren’t covered.  Why?  Because reaching these islands can be quite challenging.  The ferry service is pathetic, vehicle rental prices are onerous and the average tourist just doesn’t have the time or inclination to put up with mediocrity.

Cerro Gordo Beach

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That being said, the beaches at Culebra, Vieques and Caja De Muerto are among the best in the world!  There’s no doubt about that.  It’s just the getting there that’s a pain.  Maybe I’ll add them in a future edition if conditions improve.

If you own any of the devices mentioned above, and you’re coming to the Island in a near future, you can order your copy of “Puerto Rico For Beach Bums” by clicking on the book title anywhere in this article.

Enjoy Puerto Rico,

©2014,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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Paseo Del Morro, A Beautiful Walk In Old San Juan But…

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It all starts here, at the entrance to San Juan Gate.

It all starts here, at the entrance to San Juan Gate.

Yesterday morning I went for a walk in Old San Juan with my wife and a friend. I had received a press release from the National Park Service announcing the inauguration of the first stretch of the “‘The Paseo Del Morro’, a Nationally Designated Trail, designated in 2001 and internationally recognized, which aims to connect natural, cultural and historic areas of the communities of Old San Juan, La Perla and Puerta de Tierra”.

Thousands of massive boulders protect the wall foundation and serve as the base for the walkway.

Thousands of massive boulders protect the wall foundation and serve as the base for the walkway. Click on image to see it larger.

At 10:00am there was an inaugural ceremony with the Major of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz, National Park Service Superintendent Walter J. Chavez and other state dignitaries. Of course, we weren’t invited to that ceremony, and frankly I didn’t care. All I wanted was to walk the stretch, make some pictures and draw my own conclusions like any regular tourist would.

The “Paseo Del Morro” starts at San Juan Gate and extends to the base of Fort San Felipe Del Morro. According to the National Park Service’s press release the walkway will eventually go all around the old city and end at ‘“La Princesa Bastion at Castillo San Cristobal’ across from the Capitol building’. In its present state the walkway is a little under a mile long. So, according to my calculations, the finished version should be somewhere around 3 miles long.

The “Paseo del Morro” is beautiful and baron.

The “Paseo del Morro” is beautiful and baron. Click on image to see it larger.

So what is exactly the “Paseo Del Morro” and why is it there? Well, when the Spanish colonial government built the city walls their objective was strictly military. The main concern was keeping the enemy out. To that end the walls ended at the water line. However, if they would have remained that way erosion would have destroyed them a long time ago.

To protect the walls the U.S National Park Service has slowly but steadily been depositing thousands of black volcanic boulders adjacent to the wall base that serve both as a breakwater that protects the foundation of the walls from erosion and as the base for the “Paseo Del Morro”. The result has been an ample and beautiful walkway that also assures that the San Juan Walls will actually be there for the enjoyment of future generations.

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From the “Paseo Del Morro” you can see Fort San Juan de La Cruz “El Cañuelo” across the bay and the old leper hospital. Both of these structures are in the municipality of Cataño about 10 miles west of the San Juan Metroplex. And if you really want to see a stunning view of Fort San Felipe del Morro that’s the place to see it from.

Check out the rock formations under the fort.

Check out the rock formations under the fort. Click on image to see it larger.

Another interesting feature is when you arrive at the fort itself. Notice the massive stone upon which the fort is built. These Spanish engineers really knew there stuff.

And here’s a piece of trivia for you. Did you know that the original fort that was going to be commissioned to protect the entrance to San Juan Bay was “La Fortaleza” (presently known as Santa Catalina Palace)? That’s right. But someone dropped the ball and built the place too far in, where it wasn’t effective at all. So I guess you could say that the present governor’s mansion was a mistake from the beginning.

The walk took about 30 minutes at a slow pace. And it was hot… really hot!!! The blistering Caribbean sun, and the fact that there isn’t a single shade along the way, marred what would have otherwise been a wonderful trek. I can’t imagine what walking the entire three miles will be like when the walkway is completed. So my advise —if you’re planning to walk the “Paseo Del Morro”— is to wear light clothes, comfortable shoes and bring lots of water. An umbrella wouldn’t hurt either.

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So, in closing, the “Paseo Del Morro” is a great idea that’s missing just one thing: SHADE!!! If they would only install some umbrellas along the stone benches or plant some trees along the side of the walkway it would be perfect.

Enjoy Puerto Rico,

©2014,Orlando Mergal, MA
____________________

Bilingual Content Creator, Blogger, Podcaster,
Author, Photographer and New Media Expert
Tel. 787-750-0000, Mobile 787-306-1590

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”