May 14, 2022

Hiking and More Waterfalls, Lucky To Make It Back Alive

5:47 AM (of Sunday, May 15th 2022)

Today is Saturday, May 14th 2022 and it was another fun and adventurous day filled with exploration. In the morning I got notification that the Vegpal app was finally approved for the Google play store so I published that and the Apple App Store versions, since we wanted them to release it at the same time. I also ran a force update to make it so everyone has to update to this latest version, and then I ran some database scripts needed for this update. I told the rest of the team that we just released and that I did these steps, and I would be out for the rest of the day.

Then I took a very quick shower, packed up some basic things, and then headed out to meet up with RadicallyWild at our meeting spot. I had to fill up on gas too. I don’t remember how much it was, but I paid $40 and it only filled up my car like 80% of the way. To fill up gas here, it’s not like in the U.S. where you just put in a card and then fill up the gas until it stops on its own.

Here you park at a gas pump, exit the car, go into the convenient store, and then tell them how much money you want at which pump. You have to give an estimate that gets close to a full tank. I told them $40, and that only filled it up 80%!! You can also give them an overestimation, but it’s annoying because you have to walk back in, stand in line, to get the change. So most just prefer giving a close estimate. I am not sure why the system is like this, but RadicallyWild and I talked about it later and we had our theories.

Anyway I drive to our meeting spot and pick up RadicallyWild there. It’s a two hour drive to where we want to go. Sometimes I get a little annoyed or whatever I guess that I have to drive like an hour to this meeting spot and then I have to do all the driving and all that the rest of the day, and then have to drive an hour back home later, and I pay for everything too like all our food and gas and whatever else if we get anything, but it’s whatever.

So we drive to wherever this first spot is, and of course we chat a bunch on the way there. I just love the conversations with this guy. He tells funny jokes too and it’s hilarious. He makes me laugh out loud so much. That gas station thing was one thing we talked about. We were probably in the car for like 5 hours today and we chat the whole time. Never a dull moment.

Anyway on the way to this first place, we stop by a waterfall on the way there that we’ve been to two times before. There’s this cliff that goes into the water and it’s like a 10 foot drop or higher. Oh yeah, way higher I think. I mean it's probably 10 feet or higher from the lowest level of the cliff, you can climb up higher to jump up from a higher height. Anyway it’s super scary to jump.

The first time I went there I hesitated a bunch and ended up not jumping. The second time we were here was with AJN and no one swam here at all. This third time today that I came here, I jumped, twice!! It was crazy. There's lots of videos online of people jumping from a cliff or something into some waters below, and they make it look so easy. It looks so easy that anyone can do it right? Well it's way harder than it looks, especially when you are peering over the edge of the cliff and survival is not guaranteed. You also expect the big wave of cold water just coming over you instantly, and maybe there are alligators in the water? What if you mis-jump and hit a rock? Lots of fears. It's really not easy.

But I just ignored my fears and took the plunge, and jumped right in. I was in the air for a few seconds, or at least it certainly felt that way as I was falling, and then whooosh! Instant water everywhere. My ears started hurting a little and I swam to the edge of the rocks to climb my way back up. Muscle strength is definitely required to climb up these rocks, like it's serious fun climbing up, it is mountain climbing basically and requires dexterity and strength. My ears hurt and felt that way until night time, there is an event later that made it hurt even more though which is why it continued. It felt infected most of the day.

We play around these waterfalls here for a while. We swim in some of its lower levels too. It's fun. Also I forgot to mention these waterfalls are insanely loud. Very very loud. Like around 100db or more loud. It's a bunch of water falling into more water, it is continuously very loud and we would swim and be right next to these for basically the entirety of the day. My ears hurt the entire day, but again there's some specific event later that was super annoying and made it worse.

I helped RadicallyWild record a bunch of his videos and footage here. He kept making the tiniest complaints like "the camera is too shaky here, I want you to record right here and pan it like this and with timing like this" and he got so bossy. I was getting kinda pissed to be honest because we were here for like 2 or 3 hours, mainly just me recording him taking pictures of him. I mean he would do some crazy stuff like jump in the water or swim right next to the waterfall in the second picture, and this is super dangerous because this waterfall actually falls into another waterfall, and you can get swept along really easily. Like I am not sure if it's visible, but like to my right in the second picture, that's like a 30+ foot drop of another waterfall basically a few few feet away from this strong waterfall, and he swam in that area. I did too. But it's very dangerous to swim there.

He also jumped from a cliff that was like 30 feet high too, on my left, which is also not visible in that second picture, and I recorded it. If he kept this bossy attitude up and kept asking me to record him the whole time, I was gonna tell him in the car that he was being an ass. He probably noticed I was getting pissed because we were here for so long and he stopped being this annoying on his own the rest of the day. He still asked me to record stuff in a certain way and to take pictures in sort of a bossy way, but less so than when we were here. He took pictures of me too where and when I requested it, so I guess it's all fair here. But yeah I was getting super annoyed here.

Then we drive by to the next place, and I do have pictures from there, but none of those are uploaded here. That place was just alright. That is where this annoying event happened though, and there were kids playing there. RW says he used to come here all the time and swim there. We passed by this formerly abandoned building on the way down to the waterfall, and there was a family living that took residence there. RW and that guy chat for a while, that guy says he remembers RW coming here like 5 years ago and cleaning up trash and all that stuff, and they spoke in Spanish the whole time. This guy who took up residency in this abandoned building was also growing his own food and was trying to live on his own without relying on civilization. He gave us a bunch of tamarinds for free, they were delicious.

Anyway down in the river was this guy's kids who were playing. There were three kids and they screamed at the top of their lungs the whole time. I mean I get that the waterfall is loud, but wow, the screaming was so much louder. It was so loud. Their constant loud screaming at literally the top of their lungs hurt my ears so much. They were non-stop screaming too, there was not a single second break between each of them screaming. There was one time these kids were running around while we were sitting down they got super close to us, and they just yelled so freaking loud right there, basically in our ears. I told RadicallyWild that my ears were hurting and these kids were way too loud, and he started laughing telling me that he was thinking the same thing, and we both started laughing and making jokes about it.

Yeah, my ears felt infected and they hurt the whole day. They probably had water in them from me jumping into the water earlier, and from the constant loudness of the waterfalls we were visiting and exposed to, and these kids screaming so loud, and the up and down elevation levels we were going through while driving, my ears did not get a break the whole day.

We stopped by some other river and visited there for a bit. There was lots of trash everywhere and RW made a video recording of it. There were also mango trees around that river, it would be so amazing if there were any mangoes.

Then went to this amazing waterfall and pond, which is in my first picture. There was a small hike to get there, including climbing down this very steep hill. It was like an 70 degree up and down, some previous hikers tied a rope to a tree so people could grab it while they hiked down. It was honestly very fun hiking down this hill and also climbing back up.

We spent like 3 hours at this waterfall. RW's phone fell off his backpack at one point and he had to look for it in the plants next to water for a few minutes. I recorded it on video his phone falling out from his backpack. It made this huge THUD right on the rock and then it bounced into the water next to it with plants growing around it. He found a pair of scissors and a bunch of trash in that spot too, and he eventually found his phone. We also went hiking down this river and that's where my sixth photo was taken on top of this giant rock, and we hiked up this waterfall too, that's where my fourth picture is taken.

After that we head to this other place that was nearby which had ore all around its walls and area. That's where this 3rd and 5th image were taken. The walls of this river had some copper or iron or something that gave it an orange brownish color, and it also looked like it was rusting in some parts.

The lucky to make it back alive part was on the drive back home. The GPS lead us to a dead end road which we drove back from. And then it lead us to another road that was what we call a "hell road", this was a different road from the dead end road, the dead end road was at least paved and well maintained, this other one was not, but the GPS still told us to go down this road. There are many roads like this here in Puerto Rico where the GPS takes you through some unknown and basically unused road that is supposed to be a two lane road but is literally only wide enough for just one car, most of it dirt and unpaved, and it goes through crazy places like sides of cliffs and stuff like that where literally one missed turn and you fall off and die. It's a freaking hell road. We have gone through a few of these already, this one we did not continue to the end.

This road is very close to the cliffs the whole time and again one missed turn and you die. It is a single lane road but meant for two cars to drive in. Hell road. There is literally no way to pass by anyone else that was coming by. If you were unfortunate enough to run across someone else traveling the opposite way, someone has to reverse or something until the road gets wider. This is literally thinner than a single lane road by the way. Like it is just barely wide enough to fit a car. That's how thin it is. Did I mention we had no signal this whole time? No signal at all, the entire length of the hell road. There are many places here in Puerto Rico that have no signal at all, including the waterfalls and rivers we just visited.

This road kept taking us up and up, and sometimes the hills and turns were so steep it was almost impossible to make. My car would scrape the bottom of the ground constantly because of how steeply and sharply the roads will be sometimes. Like you could be going up, and then you have to make a sudden sharp nearly impossible turn, and my SUV would literally scrape its bottom doing this turn, and I would have to reverse and turn back again and reverse and turn back until we made the turn. It's a freaking hell road. And there's so many turns like that.

I don't know how far we got in, but I was able to make a U-Turn WITH INSANE DIFFICULTY, to get the heck back out. If we got stranded here, there would be no signal ever. There would be no way to contact anyone for help out of here. And it's a badly maintained road, with sometimes tree branches that fell on the road, and my car crushed those branches. It was a hell road. I can't really write about how dangerous and scary this felt driving through. It's hard to describe in words how terrifying this experience was and we were both glad to have made it out there alive. Like if we got stuck there, there would be no help or signal for days or whatever... I don't know.

What we decided was that instead of listening to the GPS while we were in the mountains, we would just drive to the nearest large city, and then just take the highway there back home. So that's what we did. This took us like 1.5 hours longer but whatever, we got back home.

At the nearby large city, we stopped by a Walgreens to get some food because we only ate 2 bananas each the whole day of hiking. We probably hiked for like 7 hours or something, it was such a fun and tiring day. I bought us each a Clif Bar and a No Cow bar, and a bag of Boom Chika Pop chips, all vegan since we are both vegan. It's great when you hang out with someone else that also realizes the unnecessary and ridiculous actions humans have of torturing and killing animals, force breeding them, enslaving them, causing them to suffer unnecessarily for their flesh and secretions which only harm us in their consumption.

We spend the next hour driving back to RadicallyWild's car and I drop him off there. The entire time on the drive back we are chatting and having a good time. On the drive back home, I just listen to music, and it's like 11 PM by the time I get home. I have a veggie burger and some quinoa that my dad prepared for me earlier. It's cold because he expected me to arrive earlier.

I am very sleepy at this point and didn't plan to go to sleep yet, but I just ended up falling asleep somehow.

Today was a fun and adventurous day. We did a lot, and the time went by so fast. I could have written in a lot more detail, like more on the rock climbing and swimming and stuff that we did. It almost doesn't seem real that we were able to do so much in such a short time period today. I was much faster today, I wore hiking sandals this time so I was able to keep pace and go anywhere. I would even swim in the water with the sandals on just because it got annoying to take off and put on again.

Anyway, that was my day today.

Written by JustMegawatt

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