Glory's Garden

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Visiting the Rain forest

We could not go to Puerto Rico without visiting El Yunque National forest, the only rain forest in the US national park service.

Oh, what a wonderful place it is! Luckily we went on a rainy day...which is pretty easy to do. Know why they call it a rain forest? Yep! Loads of rain!


Justin doesn't usually like hiking in the woods but there were zero bugs which made it endlessly more comfortable to do. The rivers, waterfalls and streams were rushing from all the rain that had fallen the three previous days.
The hillside was spotted with trees abloom with lavender colored flowers. The winding road up to the forest was a bit too twisty-turny for my liking. Not too many people will believe it but El Yunque is a drive through rain forest. You really can see much of it (water falls, plants lovely views on sunny days and the observation towers) by car. Good for those unable to walk great distances and who still would like to see and experience this majestic environment.
Since the last time Tom had been here--probably 5-6 years now-- they actually paved the rain forest! Can you believe that? We were astonished! It can be a bit trecherous going for the un-sure-footed... you know, like me!
Everywhere you turn, there is something pretty to see even if it is through the rampant undergrowth of the forest.

Did I tell you it had rained a bit? Two days later after a "dry" spell, this was barely a trickle. It truly was a great time for us to go.

This is a flower I picked up because it's so darn pretty! Don't have a clue what it's called. I just know it dropped from the very top of a tall tree.
Love a rushing river...to look at only!
The boys found a bit of shelter but we really didn't need it. It's rather amazing how dry you stay in the rain forest even as it pours rain. the leaves of all the trees act like a giant umbrella. Truly awesome!

It was so much cooler in the forest too! Temperatures were about 95℉ down in the valley where the sun was beating down but in the forest it was a good ten degrees cooler. It felt super comfortable for us as we hiked the 10.2 Km long Big Tree trail.
Justin isn't one to like hiking but we told him it was a 'short' walk. at the end of it, he knew we lied. ;-)
I'd go back in a second! If you ever go, consider taking me with you.

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