Wednesday was the day all of us could agree on, being total geeks. Arecibo! The huge radio telescope built in a hole in the ground!
As we headed out, we had what was pretty much becoming the traditional weather...
I couldn't get a really good shot of this, but the name of the business was too cool for the internet to not be here.
Ferreteria?? O rly??
For those of you who don't know Spanish, this is a store that specializes in selling ferrets and ferret accessories.
From here on in, different shots were taken by different people, so if it's a shot of Karen's or Michelle's there
will be a (K) or (M) before the shot. For example... (M)
We've arrived! There was a huge hike up to the telescope so Karen got a ride up and one
person got to accompany her. Luckily (?) I was the most out of shape, so I got to ride to the top, too. Martin's got
a t-shirt with that logo, btw, of which he is inordinately proud.
Here's a mural they had inside, which was pretty cool. The actual museum was quite small, as was the gift shop, so there
aren't a lot of photos of the inside.
And here's Martin, Karen and Michelle in front of a giant radio telescope! TOLD you we were there! =P
And a much nicer shot of the center. (M)
...and here's Michelle, Karen and me in front of the telescope!
A little better shot of the big ol' hole in the ground.
Here's a nice one that captures not only the dish portion and one of the huge pylons to keep
it all from falling apart, but the green landscape surrounding it. (M)
It was all really too big to fit into any one shot. I took a movie, though, panning from the pylon
through to the dish
to let y'all have a better idea what it was like there. It's a tad under 16 meg, but I
still think it's worth it or I wouldn't be posting it. (I did NOT post every movie I took 0_o)
A bit of interest with a shot of the shoes they need to wear when they're out
walking on the thing... (K)
Every single one of us got a shot of the huge pylons that help the center of the telescope up.
None of the pictures really got across how huge these things were, but let me draw your attention
to the ladder on the side, for scale.
A nice informational plate they had outside to educate people with. Notice it's covered in
Karen and the Landmark plaque. I like this one. Technically this is from Karen's camera,
but Martin took it. (K)
Martin got a shot of me checking out the telescope...
...and back inside the museum. If you take the space you see here and add the same on a floor below
that's pretty much the size of the place.
Despite the fact that this sort of thing doesn't translate well into photos I wanted SOME shots
of the things they had in museum.
Speaking of shots of things in the museum, CLOUD POOL MOVIE! Six meg. You could totally play
with the thing and I totally did.
This is a scale model of the radio telescope that did something very cool. I have no idea
what anymore. This is why I shouldn't procrastinate on making these pages. But trust me,
it was cool.
Next we hit the gift shop. I don't think there was a single gift shop in all of
Puerto Rico that any of us liked more. I don't have any shots of it, but all of
us bought a LOT. There was also a lot of "Oooo, look at this! Hey, c'mere, you gotta
check this out!" We spent a LOT of time in the gift shop. Both Karen and I got a plastic
mug that when you put drinks in it changes color. They also had a coffee mug
in my favorite color, which is hard enough to find much less find with Arecibo all over
it. Martin also secretly picked me up a prism and glow in the dark polar bears (because nothing
says advanced science in the rain forests of the Caribbean like glow in the dark polar bears ^_^).
Many souvenirs for friends were snagged, too.
Outside on one of the business buildings, I saw some astronomical toys decorating the building
and I thought it was a cute shot.
On our way back down to the parking lot, I also got a shot of one of the big concrete things
that hold the cables that help the giant pylons stay up.
One of us had heard (Karen?) of a nice restaurant that was right outside the perimeter, so we
decided to give it a shot, and if we hadn't eaten at Salitre,
this would have been my favorite restaurant on the island. The service and food were both fantastic.
You can see Martin, Karen and Michelle at a table on the patio there on the left.
Three pina coladas, and a Medalla Light. I had a couple of Medallas later in the trip. Medalla
is an amusing beer, mainly because there is no such thing as Medalla. There is only the light
version. You can't GET a Medalla regular, they don't exist. This is also the only beer made
on the island. It's made over in Mayaguez, if you recall me mentioning the trip to
Borders in Mayaguez.
I ordered something traditional and delicious, I can't recall just what, some sort of steak I think.
I actually ate nothing but traditional Puerto Rican food anytime we were out. Even at the Sizzler in
One of the cool things about this restaurant, which you can sort of see in the last picture, is there's
an area with little paths leading into the rain forest right by it. Michelle and I tried to behave
but at one point we had to go play (and photograph...)
Michelle, disappearing into the rain forest. I wish this was better quality, I think this is
an awesome shot.
Wild mushrooms growing on a log, and more of the forest.
Some clouds lazily making their way from the telescope to the restaurant. You can just see one of the pylons
to the left.
Greenage! I took this shot specifically because I thought it would make a cool desktop. I made
one for myself, but it's available upon request.
"What? We have to come back now?" Martin and... Juan? Was that our waiter's name? I'm embarrassed
to have forgotten, he was super fantastic to us. He poked around some of the more out of the
way parts of the patio in the hopes of finding a coqui for me and Michelle to look at.
We did hear a bunch all throughout the trip, though.
Flowers, birds and bromeliads. (M)
These trees were everywhere. The red-orange is a lot brighter in real life.
Another flower shot.
When we got back to the house, we learned that the roof had leaked during the rain while
we were gone. Thankfully none of our tech got wet, or we would've had hyper spasms, but Martin
and I had to sweep the inch or so deep water out of the top quarters. We also had to flip the
mattress, get new bedsheets, move the bed so it stopped leaking on it and
put bowls all over the floor, which needed periodic emptying still. We were unpleased. Still,
you can't beat the location.
If you're not bored yet, you can check out what happened Thursday...