Our discoveries during a recent sightseeing trip on two roads on the eastern side of Puerto Rico took us by surprise. Our journey on Road 966 (beginning on intersection between Route 186 and Road 966 in Municipality of Río Grande) led us to an extraordinary flamboyant route, picturesque landscapes and an amazing view of El Yunque National Forest’s peaks that resemble a particular three-dimensional outstanding figure. Keep reading and you will find out about our findings.
A modest flamboyant tree (Delonix regia) (flamboyán in Spanish) greeted us as we began our exploration while driving on Road 966. Vivid green-color trees and plants with fruits, such as almond, mango, tamarind and noni, accompanied diverse palm trees and flamboyant trees. Huge stones depicting curious figures also resulted in an interesting view.
As we stared at El Yunque National Forest's hills, we saw for the first time a giant sleeping on top of the rainforest—peaks forming a clearly-defined "Asleep Giant" (Gigante Dormido in Spanish). We felt special because the Gigante Dormido peaks that are widely known in Puerto Rico are located on the countryside. We have never heard about an Asleep Giant at El Yunque!
Afterwards, a lovely Queen’s Crape myrtle tree (Lagerstroemia speciosa) (Reina de las Flores in Spanish) caught our attention. Once we made a stop to admire its beautiful lilac flowers, we noticed this tree was guarding the entrance of another road. We sensed a strong positive energy that invited us to explore the cozy way ahead. So we set a new course to keep discovering unknown paths.
While driving on the hidden roadway, we were dazzled by a colorful and well-balanced scenery representing the Caribbean region, Puerto Rico’s gastronomy and the beauty of a tropical island. Coconut palm trees, green banana and yautia plants, breadfruit and soursop trees, royal palm trees, jungle flame plant (Cruz de Malta in Spanish), and African tulip, Casuarina and Queen’s Crape myrtle trees, among others, joined forces with many spectacular flamboyant trees standing along the way to impress any visitor. Also, a peculiar white flower plant known as spider lily (Crinum asiaticum) intrigued us. As we stared at the natural decor, we thought that the nearby community is privileged for residing next to such peaceful and gorgeous surroundings.
After we drove away from the isolated residential road, we continued our trip on Road 966. While we drove to get a closer look of the Asleep Giant, flamboyant trees kept guarding us while assisted by the African tulip and Queen’s Crape myrtle trees. On our way back to our starting point, we admired the view of a river named Río Espíritu Santo
Besides enjoying awesome off-the-beaten-path scenery, we hold dear Mother Earth’s revelation of two great ecotreasures: a flamboyant route and El Yunque's Gigante Dormido.