Amsterdam by Boat


I am in Amsterdam at the moment for a week’s vacation and having a fantastic time. Everyone is so friendly and warm, I always feel more welcome here than just about any other city I know. Yesterday, my friends Stijn and Alexa invited me for a a little tour of Amsterdam on their boat. I have taken a couple of official boats tours before, but they could really not compare to this. Stijn really knows the inns and outs of the canals having lived here for so long, and we had a lazy day of great conversation, snacks, drinks, sunshine and a little swimming. About halfway through we picked up Huw for lunch and then made our way back to the docks, where we said our goodbyes to Stijn and Alexa and took the tram to the center to check out the Drag Queen Olympics, which are part of the Gay Pride celebrations in Amsterdam this weekend.

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Panoramica to La Parguera


At the lunch counter of the most excellent “Sieglo XX” in old San Juan (where the flan is to die for, btw), we met a lovely young woman who suggested we visit a place called “La Parguera”. We hadn’t heard of it before but are nothing if not adventurous, so we decided to head out the next day, take in part of the famous “Ruta Panorámica“, and head over the the other side of the island for a look see. The Ruta was mostly covered in fog and alas, not very panoramica at all. It was also very twisty and turny. This, combined with Josh’s amphetamine-around-every-corner style of driving made me almost hurl, many times over. I was fortunately mostly recovered by the time we descended into La Parguera. We hadn’t realized before getting there that this was no ordinary beach, but a series of lovely small islands off the coast. So we negotiated a boat ride and spent two hours on one of the loveliest tiny islands I have ever seen. And for most of the time there, we were completely alone. There was literally no one else on the island. It was beautiful and calm and I had a great mediation here. I highly recommend this place.