I decided to go to Puerto Rico for a few days for my birthday. I wanted to go by myself so that I could enjoy exploring the island, seeing wildlife, and stopping every 2 minutes to take pictures.
Boy, was that was a dumb idea.
Puerto Rico isn't as rich in wildlife as I had romanticized in my head. Although there are plenty of stray cats and dogs, I hardly saw any other animals during my stay on the island. Except for horses. There are a lot of horses standing on the side of the road.
To be fair, I didn't look very hard. As soon as I arrived, I started asking locals where I could go to find some wild animals. They would just laugh and recommend the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. So after one very long day of being stuck at my hostel with no vehicle, I decided to change my objective to surfing. There was still plenty to see and do, but I gave up on trying to find lions, tigers and bears. Oh my.
I stayed at the Grateful Souls Hostel - which is more of a bed and breakfast than a hostel. Sarah runs the joint, and was extraordinarily welcoming to myself and everyone else staying there. The hostel is situated directly on the beachfront, and has various different types of rooms you can book. Being the poor plebeian that I am, I opted for the shared dorm room which was $35/night. You can also get entire rooms or even sides of the estate to yourself.
I arrived at 3 am and ended up falling asleep on the beach. I was woken up at dawn by soft sunlight peaking through the palm tree leaves, and the gentle purring of a kitten that had curled up next to me.
My first observations were that there was drift wood everywhere. The entire beach was covered in it. I walked up and down the beach a bit to get my bearings, while this little kitten chased my heels. After a few hours of walking around, I was able to drop my gear off and change out of my suit into my bathing suit. I eventually was able to rent a Jeep and a proper surfboard, and then proceeded to spend hours upon hours in the ocean.