Last week we spent a few days in the municipality of Guánica, that's on the South coast of the island, like a half an hour drive from Ponce. We stayed in the Copamarina hotel; courtesy of Abuelo and Abu.
The idea was for me and Janice to take a couple of days for ourselves, leaving the kids in Ponce, but once we got there and saw the beach and the pools we couldn't resist and went back to Ponce and picked them up because we knew they would enjoy all those things.
Beside spending countless hours in the pool, the highlight of the trip for the kids (and me!)was going to the dry forest. Guánica's Dry Forest declared a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 1981 is a very warm ecosystem in which less that 40 inches of rain fall each year. Is an amazing place which is totally the opposite to what we see in El Yunque, which is the most recognized (rain) forest in Puerto Rico.
When we got to the end of Road 333, which borders the forest through the South, we found that the area where you leave the cars was closed. Park rangers limit the access to cars every year because it is the breeding and nesting ground for many species of birds and amphibians. So we left the car on the side of the road. We started walking and immediately Eduardo was ready to jump in the water, but I wanted him to see something before doing that. After a couple of minutes walking we found a small lagoon, more like a big puddle. These are seasonal ponds that form every year and many species use to reproduce and as a source of food. Swimming in it there were thousands of TADPOLES ready to metamorphosize into frogs. I just want to point out that these tadpoles aren't from the endangered Sapo Concho which is a protected species, making playing with these creatures illegal.
Claudia and Edu were so excited when they saw the animals they didn't know what to do. Immediately I captured a couple of tadpoles for them and they were static, observing them and feeling them...I knew they would react like that. You see, those two are like me. When I go to the beach or a forest or the backyard for that matter, they don't simply relax and enjoy the sun. They start looking for things and investigating what's moving over there or flying above you. Since Eduardo saw the beach in Guánica, he started asking - "cuando vamos a la playa a buscar cobitos"- those are hermit crabs. Although he likes the water and sandy beaches, he really enjoys going to places where there are rock and things he can lift to see what's hiding underneath. So after playing for a while with the tadpoles we went to the beach nearby that is full of rocks and dead corals and all sort of small, living wildlife...Edu's paradise. And Claudia no se queda atrás, they both grabbed a plastic cup and started collecting all sort of organisms, tiny crabs, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and even a brittle starfish. They had a lot of fun. They nice thing is that they are used to release the animals without any complaints after observing and "playing" with them.