On day 6 we were on our bikes by 7 am. We learned our lesson about starting at 11:30. The wind was still from the north east and we were heading north east the entire day. For the first mile I was very worried. My knee felt terrible and I knew we had to climb Maunabo. After a mile or two of easy riding it loosened up and I felt a lot better. We decided to skip the detour to the Punta Tuna lighthouse since we saw it last year, and we hit it a bit too early in the day to be ready to stop. It was too early for breakfast places to be open so we drank redbulls at a gas station to make sure we could make it up the mountain. Maunabo was pretty steep but not THAT tall. It was about 1,000 ft of climbing all in all. The entire day was 2,556 and I’ve never climbed hills into a headwind quite like that before. I think the winds were around 20 mph with gusts up to 30. I tried my best to stay snug in Brian’s draft whenever I could, but it is hard to climb at the same pace.
From here you can see Maunabo in the distance. No way around. Only up and over.
From part way up the climb of Maunabo I spotted the Punta Tuna lighthouse far off in the distance. (It is the tiny white spec out on the point.)
The riding was HARDER than day 5, but it was so beautiful that it made it much easier. We also had a lot of time for breaks since we started so early.
We stopped for lunch at Palmas Bake and Deli which is a place we stopped last time. They have good coffee and amazing, cheap sandwiches. I love the bread in Puerto Rico. They make pressed sandwiches everywhere that are amazing. I ate several Bocadillos over the course of the trip which were really good.
This was my delicious sandwich de pollo from Palmas. Just chicken and cheese on delicious fresh bread.
About 14 miles later we took a break in Naugabo, which is a beautiful area. Coco Frio is a really great way to rehydrate on a bike tour and there are stands on the side of the road everywhere. We also saw roadside stops for tres leches and flan.
As we approached the north east part of the island there were more and more hills. Last year we stayed in Ceiba but this year we went further and out onto the tip. Ceiba is a more residential area and we wanted to stay closer to restaurants. Our AirBnb in Fajardo was right on the coast at Bahia las Cabezas and a short walk to Las Croabas. Las Croabas is a very popular part of the island. There are a lot of resorts and hotels, but you can find plenty of AirBnbs as well.
We originally had a Kayak tour planned for the Bioluminescent bay. We were contacted by the company because the bay was less active than usual. It wasn’t a bad thing. The idea of paddling around in the dark after a long day of biking seemed a bit unnecessary. We enjoyed Las Croabas. The area is densely packed with restaurants, bars, food trucks, and kiosks. For dessert we had some fantastic churros from a food truck as we wandered around.