Springtime and warm weather always remind me of summer days spent at the beaches in Corpus Christi (my hometown). Some of my best memories from growing up are of days spent at the beach. Living in the Texas Panhandle really makes me miss being near the coast. Since moving to the Panhandle I’ve been able to take two amazing, summertime, beach vacations to Vieques, a small island off the East coast of Puerto Rico. Vieques is an amazing place to visit — it’s on my list of trips to blog about, so I won’t discuss it much here. What I will say is that the people are friendly, the food and weather are great, and the beaches are beautiful and devoid of people.
During our first trip to Vieques, Bryan and I made the hike from one of the main highways down to Playa Negra. Playa Negra gets it’s name from the black particles that get washed down onto the beach during rainstorms, making it appear like a black sand beach. As we exited the jungle and made our way on to the sandy shore, I told Bryan, “The only thing that could make this beach more picture perfect would be if there were some horses on it.” After saying that, I turned around and saw this mare and her colt — what a wonderful surprise! Remembering that conversation always makes me laugh, and it makes this one of my favorite pictures from our first trip to Vieques. I’m definitely ready to go back for a third time!
Paso fino horses roam free all over the island. It’s not unusual to have to stop and wait for them to cross the road or to be forced to drive around them when they refuse to get off the road. Sometimes you’ll see locals (known as Viequenses) riding them bareback or on small, thin saddle pads. The horses are descendants of horses originally brought to the island by European colonizers.