Vieques: Getting Used to Island Life
I know I say this about a lot of things, but I love Vieques. I’ve been to other beach destinations before and felt like a week was too long. So when I booked our trip to Vieques, I kept it to 3 days. I was worried I would get sick of it if I stayed for too long.
Boy was I wrong!
What makes Vieques so different? The
beach beaches! Nothing beats the Caribbean waters, and this is all it takes to keep me occupied for days on end.We arrived at the tiny, deserted Vieques airport with no one in sight. Although Maritza’s, our car rental company, said we could either pick up our car at the airport or they would have someone pick us up, we were told on arrival to take a cab to them. Really!?!? Why did I pay to rent a car from them when I had to take a taxi to get my car? That’s bull, but when you are on an island, and there aren’t many choices, you have to take what you get.
Rental cars are expensive here ($60 to $80+ per day,) but you really do need a car to enjoy the island. Like many businesses in Mexico, many in Vieques don’t have websites either. You have to call and actually have a conversation with a human to reserve your car, something we rarely do these days. The pleasant surprise: Vieques is part of the American Virgin Islands, and you can use your cell phone to call free– well, at least with Sprint. (Did I hear iphone on Sprint in October?) And you don’t have to fear that the person on the other end of the line won’t speak English. We couldn’t get people to speak to us in Spanish anywhere in Puerto Rico. Anyway, our experience with Maritza’s overall was okay. The car worked out well though customer service was lacking. With island life, you just have to go with the flow.
We finally got our car, and headed up to the condo. What a deal! 2 bedrooms for $85 per night. With these views to the north……and these to the south……I knew we had found the perfect Happy Hour spot. Unfortunately, the kitchen was pretty nasty. Since there was no dish soap, I was a little germophobic about using the glasses. I even collected a plastic cup from the restaurants each day, so I didn’t have to use their glasses. Some might say neurotic, some might say ingenious– fine, I’ll admit it was neurotic and ingenious. We did rent the apartment for the spectacular patio, so any deficiencies were forgotten the minute we stepped out to enjoy the view. Unlike other VRBO condos we have rented, this one came without soap, shampoo, paper towels, etc. They did bring a bar of soap when we asked, but that was it. The condo owners usually have lists of recommended restaurants, grocery stores, and things to do, but this was also lacking these nice touches. Kitchen and small details aside, the place was still decent.
In the end, none of those silly details mattered, because I was really there for the beaches… and Vieques did not disappoint.