Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shanghaied In the P.R.

Okay - It was a simple plan.....

Sail into Puerto Rico and take some time to look around; grab a bite to eat - snag a drink - and blast on to my next destination!

Simple - Right?

So I took the opportunity to snap a few shots of "El Morro."

It was a beautiful day! Not too hot and not wet, windy, or cold!

"El Morro"-- or Fort San Felipe del Morro —or El Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Spanish— is a sixteenth-century citadel which lies on the northwestern-most point of the islet of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It's an ominous site as you approach San Juan from the sea. The fort was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The fort, also referred to as "promontory", was designed to guard the entrance to San Juan bay, and defend the city of San Juan from seaborne enemies. It performed quite well in this capacity defending and repelling numerous invasion attempts by the Dutch, French, British, and even marauding pirates. The fort last saw action during a naval bombardment in 1898, during the Spanish-American War. It is easily one of the most notorious tourist attractions on Puerto Rico. El Morro rises almost 150 feet in the air and features a number of garitas – dome covered sentry outposts that have become one of the defining icons of the island itself. And you can see all of this up close and personal for a mere $5 U.S. So be sure to do that and don't do what I did...........

I bumped into a gentleman holding a glass of cold beer. I quickly asked him where he got it....

He replied: The "Old Harbor Brewery!" A microbrewery? I queried.
(You know I'm a sap for a cold fresh beer.)

Yes! - the stoic figure replied.

So off I went on my Quest.

It was easy to find. I could literally follow the aroma of fresh hops as I found my way to the entrance.

I walked in and introduced myself as a beer connoisseur. ( A small exaggeration) I was immediately siphoned away and introduced to a young man named - Wolfgang. A.K.A.

" The Brew Master!"

I met and chatted with "Wolfgang" - This guy knows his stuff.

He offered me a sample of his work and I accepted. I love to enjoy a Stout or Porter when I visit a microbrewery but Wolfgang informed me that they didn't have a Porter. He suggested that I try the Stout. I found it to be good - but not exceptional. So on a whim, I decided to taste the seasonal beer. Wow! It went down like a body shot of tequila bathed in salt and showered with lime on a sweltering summer evening.

I was ruined.
The beer was called Taina and it was nearly perfect! Cool, fresh, and smooth!
So good that I had two!
That's when it happened. I was Shanghaied by Two Tainas! That's right! Seduced and held captive and forced to work for my food and water. Tortured in ways you can only imagine. Removed from all modern conveniences including Internet capability! It was horrible.
My only consolation - I was occasionally allowed to visit other exotic Caribbean islands.
It wasn't easy but I eventually found a way to escape from my captors.
That's another exciting post - please come back and read that tale!
Anyway, I'm back! I'm free! And I'm full of stories!
But number one my "to do list" was to discover who/what were these voracious "Tainas" that were able to snatch me from reality and take me deep into a world of fantasy and make believe.
I came home and immediately did research on the meaning of Taina.
From what I could find -
Taíno Indians were thought to be a subgroup of the Arawakan Indians (a group of American Indians in northeastern South America), inhabited the Greater Antilles (comprising Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola [Haiti and the Dominican Republic], and Puerto Rico) in the Caribbean Sea at the time when Christopher Columbus' arrived to the New World. (follow this Link)

The origin of the Taínos was not proven until 1950 when scientists were able to trace them through their unique white-on-red pottery. Their origins are in the Orinoco and Amazon River basins - what is now Venezuela and Guianas. The Taínos began their migration, in waves, through the Caribbean Islands in approximately 900 BC. Their origins have been traced to the Village of Saladero in Venezuela. (follow this Link)

So a Taina is a female Taino.
Legend has it that they still walk the earth today and sometimes they travel in groups of two or more. They have a pack mentality and have great strength in numbers. It's said that they have special powers over men and women traveling alone. They prey on the strong and feed off of their power. They sometimes will sacrifice one Taino to separate a potential victim from the group. Once they are isolated, there's usually no escape. So be careful out there. Stay in your groups!

For some reason I'm feeling a bit thirsty.


Jane Turley said...

Ah ha! So you were ruined eh? You mean the charming, reserved, sophisticated Mr I was sozzled eh? As is in tipsy, half-cut, squiffy, plastered, drunk and very possibly obliterated?? Disgusting, disgusting! And your only respites from these bewitching Tainas were visits to Carribean islands?? Hmmm... I think I'm getting the measure of you now.... now tell us the story of how you were strapped in a chair in a five star resturant and forced to eat haute cusinine whilst being serenaded by dark skinned beauties.....

Ps - It's good to have you back!

Tamera said...

LOL...what an adventure! Glad you made it back safe and sound..well, kinda "sound"..hehe

Chris said...

You are back and with fascinating stories! This is great! :) The world needs more fascinating stories. :)

Gorgeous pictures!!!

dickster1961 said...

I eagerly await hearing more details of your adventure with the Tainas.

Also, if you ever come back this way, I will buy you a stout or porter at DuClaw, a Baltimore based brew pub with a restaurant here in Bowie. If you can get UBM out here with you we could have a grand ole time.

intrepidideas said...

Miss Jane,

No - I wasn't at all sozzled! I was warned that the Alcohol content of the Stout was pretty high. And I forgot to mention the Double Bock (dopplebok) that they also had on tap - that style naturally has a higher content. I navigated away from those... (hicup, hicccupp)! Scuze me.... Burp! Really..

Thanks Tami... I know who my real friends are. :)

Speaking of friends, Chris - You're right! The world needs new creative and imaginative stories.

And Dickster, A friend who Drinks Stout and Porter and offers to buy me one is a true friend.

So Jane.... Wanna offer me some chocolate?

Thanks all. Glad you missed me. I missed reading your blogs as well. I'll be making my way around to see ya'll.

Jane Turley said...

Oh definatley! Forget the Swiss and Belgian chocolates English chocolate is surprisingly delicious. It has an unpredictability about it that flames the interest and taste buds... sweet and creamy one moment, rich and spicy the next... be sure to pop into Harrods next time your here!

(Alternatively, if your pressed for time, you can drop by my house for a 40 cal Options......)

Jane Turley said...

Okay, okay....there might be some other chocolate here as well as the Options.

Well, when I say "might" I mean "there is"......

So what flavour/brand/colour do you want? Or do you wanna stick with the English?

Summer said...

You are FASCINATING! And yes, I yelled that. Wow. Just wow.

Love the pics. It's settled, I'm going to see my travel agent this week.

intrepidideas said...

Jane... (English Chocolate?) I'll bite. Cadbury?

Summer! I like the way you yell. Thanks for the compliment. :)

Jane Turley said...

Well Cadburys is very tasty and the staple diet of any sensible woman but I'm thinking it's not quite exclusive enough for you! Hmm.. I think I will have to visit my friend The Chocolatier who lives down the road for a particlarly scrumptious treat...