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One of my first views of the Isla Verde beach.

The next morning, I was determined to see the entirety of the city.  This time hopping the eastbound T-5, I was on the route that Robert had recommended for a grand tour of the city toward Isla Verde.  I rode it all the way to the outer terminal, where a woman had to tell me that I had to get off because it wasn’t looping around like I thought.

During the ride, a curious figure got on the bus, couldn’t pay, but ignored the driver and came to sit in the back of the bus near me anyway.  He cracked open a Medalla Light can and proceeded to ask me why I was here, told me not to look so lost, and if I wanted to buy “Party Favors” from him.  I decided to avoid the area he got off at for a while.

The cock-fighting area from the bus window.

There was also a legitimate cock-fighting venue along the bus’s path.  Despite the blatant viciousness of the act, I wouldn’t have minded stopping to see what a venue like that was actually like.  Unfortunately, time ultimately prohibited that.

I got off pretty much as soon as the second bus got near Isla Grande Road.  I wandered down a side street to the beach and followed that about a kilometer east past several beach hotels to a fenced off public beach, where I got a pina colada and sat for a while.

Afterward, I went out to the street, apparently now in a city named Carolina, and walked back past the front of the hotels toward Isla Verde, coming curiously upon a road kill iguana on the way.

Dead iguana

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A few of the numerous Isla Verde high-rises.

Once back on Isla Verde Road, there is a several kilometer strip of almost nonstop high-rise condos/apartments, and many are sorely lacking on their upkeep.  I popped back onto the beach every now and then and stopped at a beachside café for a Medalla.

I continued down the road to the western area of Isla Verde where Man vs. Food visited at El Churry.  When I got there (to a food card/truck), around 4, two employees were there, but they wouldn’t open until 5:30.

A very relaxing beach cafe.

This area played host to some roads completely torn apart and a lot worse decay on the high rises.

One of worse-off buildings for sale, apparently?

An example of the decay on many of the buildings.

So I wandered that immediate area for a little but longer and eventually went into another restaurant which claimed to be “el rey del charisco” to see what they had.  On a whim, I got a Caldo Plantano, a cream of plantain soup, which is still one of the best things I have had on the trip.

I spent another 20 minutes or so waiting for El Churry to open at a table on their lot.  Finally when they did, I got the same tripleta (ketchup, mayo, shoestring potatoes, chick and beef) with no tomato.  It was really good, but the best part was how soft the bread was.

Trying to find another bus back was my next chore, so I kept walking back west toward the city in an attempt to find another T-5 stop.   I didn’t a kept walking until I began to come to the Condado beaches.  Since I didn’t come to any buses, I just decided to continue along the beach and came to a fenced off area that had some amazingly beautiful houses.

The sunset from one of the beaches that day.

I started feeling a little uneasy when it was getting dark and I didn’t actually know how far away the hostel was, plus my iPhone battery was almost gone.  I ended up asking a cop if the buses were still running, and he said not that late, as it was a Saturday.  So I just started heading south to eventually run into Ponce de Leon road.  Luckily, when I did reach it, I was in a familiar spot next to the Chicago Uno and Denny’s.

I got back and just sat there for a while in front of the fan to cool off, doing the math on my GPS; I figured out that I walked about 12 KM that day.

Benjamin Williams

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 11 years, I’ve been living and travelling between Asia, Europe, and North America, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at

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