0525 am, an unearthly hour by any standard. Even more so if its a flight one has to catch. And that’s precisely how it went down for me on my first flight in 17-months. A journey that lasted less than an hour, from Burlington, Vermont to JFK. Fleeting as it was, being cocooned with a bunch of strangers – in varying states of mask compliance – within the cramped environs of a regional jet, felt entirely unnatural. Some six flights and a half year later, it still does.Continue reading “2021: The travel year that almost took off”
One year on, quite a bit has changed in Vieques. Cellular service is a shade better. Electric supply is a lot less erratic. Street lights, where they exist, are now in working order. The Malecón has been patched up. Credit card acceptance has gone up considerably. Who would’ve thought, but ferry tickets can now be booked online. And the most prominent group visiting the island these days are young Chinese couples. Other than that, Vieques remains as laid back as ever. El Blok feels like a second home; Mojitos flowing at its ground floor bar, and sunset from its rooftop as remarkable as I can recall. Continue reading “Giving Thanks, in the Spanish Virgin Islands”
The BN-2 Islander is a nifty little aircraft. Probably one of the smallest I’ve flown in. Over five decades in production, its been the light utility aircraft of choice for militaries and police forces alike. In the Caribbean particularly, its found favor amongst civilian operators too. The airstrip at Ceiba, a tiny coastal town on the eastern edge of the Puerto Rican mainland, is home to over a dozen of these, flying regular eight-minute sorties to the little island of Vieques…
A lot of people outside the US still consider Puerto Rico to be a sovereign state. Not surprising, given how removed it is culturally and socially; and if you happen to be in the middle of February, climatically too! It is one of those unique destinations that has all the obvious advantages of being located in the Caribbean, while still allowing easy access form the mainland United States; a relatively short domestic flight for one; and in my case, no need for a visa!
San Juan is its capital, and is well served by all the major carriers, although a lot of people choose to fly into Aguadilla instead. In doing so, however, they miss out on one of the best kept colonial city centers in Latin America!