In 3 days, La Vuelta encircles the entire island of Puerto Rico. The total distance is 375 miles. The shortest day’s ride is 94 miles. And, while the total elevation gain for the entire ride is only 11,000 feet, the few serious climbs on the route are STEEP. Some of the grades exceeded 15% and go on long enough that they’ve got to hurt. Riders are divided into three pelotons. The fast group rode at 25-30 M.P.H., the middle group at 20-25 M.P.H. and the “slow” group at about 18 M.P.H.
Riders in this year's LaVuelta tour on Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has the three day La Vuelta Lighthouse Tour,
So, I had an arrival today. My guests made the 1:00 boat from town, hooray. Love the downtown boat. I was headed for the dock at 1:40 p.m., and much to my surprise, saw this:
Access to the dock is closed, for what I thought was a steel pan fundraiser. I drove back around, through the round-about, and somehow managed to back up to the dock. THERE WERE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. And me, holding my little sign, and looking for my guests. All of a sudden, a helicopter swooped down, a DEA cigarette boat circled the harbor, the ambulance took off, and some "drunk man" was arrested and handcuffed while trying to board a power boat. Food was being sold in the park, and the steel pans were being set up. They were also doing tours on the Coast Guard cutter, tied up at the dock where the ferries should have been.
I felt like I was hallucinating. And I still could not find my guests. I asked someone at the dock what was going on, and his reply was something along the lines of "Safe Boating Week, and they are doing reenactments". Really? Yup, your tax dollars at work; all of the bells and whistles were out in full force today. I was actually too stunned and befuddled to pull out my camera.
I finally learned that the passenger ferries were diverted to the old barge dock at the creek. Cluster fuck? And that the main ferry dock had been closed since at least 8:00 this morning, according to the car rental agent, and she said departing guests were freaked out. Apologies to my guests who left this morning, I had no idea.
So, welcome to St. John! I don't think Tourism was at the creek to hand out free rum punches. It must have been a very warm welcome to arrive here, after traveling all day, to a harbor filled with every sort of local and federal agency swooping and swarming around. Enjoy your visit!
Well, I guess my fifteen minutes of fame are here. Welcome to my world, and welcome to all of the horsefuckery that occurs on this island. Thanks to "Bronc", my PR guy, for that word, and no, I am not paying you. I am not here to pick on tourists, nor locals; I am just here to lift the veil on this dysfunctional asylum that we call "Paradise". Enjoy it, or move on. I'll be back soon.