Counter Culture

Jungle drive.

One thing blew me away this week. Ive been working alot in the west central mountains of Puerto Rico in the ministry. Its crazy how many north Americans are up here expatriated and enjoying a simple life in the counter culture. The central mountains have an awesome climate if you don’t mind the almost daily rain. It’s cool and very sparsely populated and the soil is great for farming. The places I visited are about an hour and a half from the surfing beaches of Rincón and Aguadilla up winding roads in the mountains a 1000 plus ft above sea level. I have met many people who have left the US in search of a better life more simple and closer to the earth. They are not completely subsistence farmers. In most cases they will head down the mountain twice a week to hit the Econo or Sam’s Club but they are also growing a lot of their own food. We met one couple that lives so far out there that the street is not even on google maps. The road ends and its just mud and gravel. pulling up to the humble dwelling there are no power lines. A bunch of solar panels cover the roof. They are off the grid. The electric they do have comes from the solar panels hooked up to batteries with a converter. They have a generator for the weeks when it’s very cloudy. The water comes from a filtered line attached to a rock with a spring coming out on the highest mountain. The water exits pouring out of a pvc pipe behind the house. It’s pretty cool to see alternative living. Cooking is done with natural gas so no electric there. Even here in Rincón almost everyone heats their water with solar panels. It has been cloudy for days so there is not much hot water for the girls baths. We have a/c in our house but electric is substantially more expensive here in PR so we try not to use it. Only on the hottest of nights. I have many friends here that have absolutely no access to a/c in the house at all. For the most part it is not as hot here as it is in Florida. The breeze is normally pretty constant and it clouds up and rains on a daily basis. BUT when the sun is burning and there is no breeze down here it’s very hot. Just go jump in the ocean.

Rosey making friends with the locals.

La Cordillera Central extends from Aibonito (on the east) to Maricao (on the west). 35 km from the northern coast and 15 to 25 km from the south coast. Its highest peaks are located between Villalba and Adjuntas. These are Cerro La Puntita (4,389 ft) and Los Tres Picachos (3615 ft). Much more rain falls on the northern side of the mountain range as compared to the southern side. The northern side is much steeper than the southern side.

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7 thoughts on “Counter Culture

  1. miket

    Good Fun don’t worry Anthony the Gulf top 10 list is always a secret. the entire east coast is lazy and I-4 is not the answer to a week long flastpell ……………………………..lost

  2. admin Post author

    Sorry for the non-surf related post, got inspired by alternative living. Surf Forecast: WFL stays longer in NE and east flow this week with no end to the flat spell in sight. EC may have some fun waves esp on Monday. Seems down here in PR we are getting the WX. Something I have never experienced before: A Colombia swell! We are actually expecting a very rare, solid SW swell from the low in the Caribbean to push waves up from South America and hit the south and west coast of PR. I will be sure to take some pics. This is going to be a major rain event, hopefully the island does not wash away. We have not seen the sun for days here.

  3. Rob

    Refresh my memory … isn’t the south part of PR (when speaking of surf potential) very “reefy” … as in live exposed reef in a lot of areas? Have not seen too many pics from the south part of the island, but it’s of interest to me – especially when you are getting such a rare event as a south swell … take pics.

    Similar note: just got done watching the latest on that disturbance – still a 30-40% chance for that thing to develop into a closed center and possible named storm. The loop this morning looked promising from the visual aspect alone. Lots of convection associated with it.

    As for me … starting tomorrow, I have 5 days off and am eyeing a coast trip if it looks like there might be something over there.

  4. e.alland

    countdown here – leave Tuesday for SanJose, CR – spend the night there -then make the drive in daylight to Puerto Viejo – staying in small village Cocles – checking out areas as far south as Manazillo. Connected to two local Tico families so I’m stoked and excited for this adventure – SurfGodfather will babysit the critters & hens..I love my surf tribe.

  5. Anthony

    Great post Micah. Be safe. We booked an East coast trip the weekend after school let’s out. I hope there is swell or we will cancel. The kids surf now (8 and 6) and they don’t want to go unless there is waves..lol We went to Bradenton Beach for dinner last night and they were asking if there are waves. Too funny…

  6. brad

    Thanks for the post Micah. It was cool to hear about some people living off the land and off the grid. Jealous. It is really sad how many people have never had the opportunity to farm or garden. Such a cool process to prepare soil, plant it, water it, watch it grow, and then eat it. Very fulfilling and leaves you feeling very grateful. So many people don’t even know where their food comes from, let alone how it grows…

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