Monday, June 6, 2011

Isla de Vieques - Puerto Rico

I just returned from la boda de mi sobrina (my niece's wedding) and a whirlwind (and very sweaty) tour of Vieques. The temps were 85 and close to 100-percent humidity (hence the sweaty part). Like other parts of the world, Puerto Rico is experiencing climate changes. There was more rain than normal in late May, creating very muggy conditions.

Vieques, also known as Isla Nena - Little Girl Island - is one of the Spanish Virgin Islands that includes the "main island" of Puerto Rico. Just a few miles from the main island, more than half of Vieques is a wildlife reserve. Up until 2003, the Navy used the island for military exercises (read: bombing range). More about that in future posts.

Vieques is home to about 10,000 people and probably another 10,000 Paso Fino horses that roam free throughout the island. There are also many cattle egrets that hang out with cattle and horses which don't seem to mind the birds snapping up flies and other insects.

Vieques has an abundance of birds, lizards, frogs, chickens, dogs, cats, and mongoose. Driving around the island is challenging because all of those creatures cross the roads quite frequently or just hang out on them.

Remember the Rudyard Kipling story about the mongoose Rikki-tikki-tavi? Mongooses were brought to Vieques and other Caribbean islands in the 1800s to manage pests in the sugarcane fields. Now there are an abundance of these animals which look a little like a cross between a ferret and an otter. Not a great shot of one but it was the only one I managed to get.

¡Necesito más cáfe - pronto!


  1. its hot and muggy here too everyday. you get used to it.take lots of showers. lol

  2. You get used to it if you are staying for awhile. We were only there for a couple of days. Back in the cool humidity of the NW now! :-)

  3. Interesting. Our guide on the bay tour said that the horses, which outnumber the people by 2 to 1, are owned by people who can't afford to feed them, so they just let them roam.

    Thank god (and you) that you sent Sean to find my air conditioner. I could not have survived the night otherwise.


    PS Am posting this anonymously cause I can't figure out how to do otherwise.