Robert Sietsema
  Village Voice: Counter Culture

Thanks for the photo. Great shot!

Sorry I didn't send the salt cod recipe in time--I'll forward it soon, it's
worth having anyway.

The resort I recommended in Patillas is Playa Caribe. It's really not in
Patillas, but in  Hacienda San Isidro, a tiny hamlet whose main feature is a
spectacular baseball field, brightly lit at night, where the local teams play.
Right across from the field is a tiny roadside restaurant with only outdoor
seating that's owned by the police chief's wife. The food's pretty good. Look
for those plastic bags of snappers hanging from the trees after the fishing
fleet (ha!) comes in around three in the afternoon. The socko farmer's market
is located in the middle of the town, which is on a weird loop that leaves
highway 3 to go through the town, which is spectacularly situated, especially
if you approach from the west. 

Nearer the east  end of the loop there's also a
gringo supermarket that has a wonderful selection of stuff (including frozen
food!) that's patronized by wealthy drug company employees as well as the
locals. It's not your local price chopper, but in a pinch, I've been known to
buy their frozen fish and cook it over the barbecue at Playa Caribe. By the
way, you should try to book ahead, since it's the spring break season and
Playa Caribe is popular with New Yawkers. 

If you wash out at Playa Caribe,
there are a couple of other decent accomodations off of 3 on the way to Punta
Tuna, the southwestermost point of the island. If you need to buy swimsuits,
don't miss the K-Mart in Guyama. Don't miss the road that goes into the
rainforest from Batay Columbia [sic], just before the pleasantly one-horse
town of Maunabo, which has nothing to recommend it to the tourist, which
means, it really rocks!

Thanks for forwarding the treatment. I found it accurate in almost every
detail, and fun to read. Let me know how your Puerto Rico trip goes. If you
take the autopista to Coamo on the weekends, don't miss the outdoor barbecue
at one of the Cayey exits (there are three). I'm not sure which one, but you
can tell by the smoke and the smell!


Copyright 2000
Robert Sietsema
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Last modified Sept 15, 2000