Friday, Justin and Shera’s last full day with us, was filled with more fun and adventure. It all began around 9:30 am as we pulled into the Rainforest Zipline Park. For the next couple of hours, we were happily occupied zipping from tower to tower over the treetops of the lower rainforest. Cindy and I had done this a couple of times before, once in Alaska and once, I think, in Costa Rica. But, this was a first for our guests. Fortunately, we all had a blast. I strapped the GoPro to my helmet for the adventure, so I was able to produce a 7-minute video of our forest fun (found below).
After a quick lunch, we drove up into the El Yunque National Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. The highest peak in the forest rises to 3,494 feet above sea level. Over 200 inches of rainfall each year creates a lush, jungle-like setting. We first visited the El Portal Rain Forest Center where we watched a brief movie about El Yunque. From there we stopped by the barely-flowing, but still beautiful, La Coca Falls. We then visited, and all climbed, the Yocahu Tower, enabling us to look out over the beautiful surrounding countryside all the way to Luquillo and the ocean. Lastly, other than a shopping stop or two, we parked near the Big Tree Trail. Cindy and Shera stayed in the air-conditioned car while Justin and I hiked the 2 mile round-trip trail up and down the mountainside to view the much more active La Mina Falls. They have small pools at the base in which quite a few of the visitors splashed and enjoyed themselves. As we hiked, we failed to see the elusive Puerto Rican Parrot, but I did hear the call of the Coqui, a tiny tree frog about one inch long with a distinctive, high-pitched “ko-kee,” song-like call.
Unfortunately, our short time with the Argabrights had come to an end. On Saturday morning, we drove our friends to the Airport in San Juan. They would return to Charleston, and we would return to Beatitude for two or three days before our return to the states.