Puerto Real, Esperanza, Vieques
Position: 18:05.51N 65:28.50W
Date: Wednesday 19th March 2014
On Tuesday night in Ensenada Honda we spent one of the most peaceful nights at anchor than I can remember. The boat moved less than it often does even when tied to a dock in a marina. When we came to lift the anchor it was stuck firmly in thick hard mud, quite fantastic holding. We managed to haul it up, but cleaning off the ooze took some time.
We sailed the short distance to the main town (really no more than a village) on Vieques called Esperanza and anchored in the bay in front of it called Puerto Real. It was a pleasant little town with some low key tourism and a few restaurants along the Malecon. I promised Eileen a meal out but there was only one place that looked suitable, a tad pricey but better than the alternatives which seemed to only offer variations on burgers and chips. It was called el Quenepo.
We booked a table and returned early evening to dine. They had two greeters, both young, one male and one female, who showed us to our table. The male could probably best be described as ‘rather sweet’. After we had chosen our food Eileen’s back started to play up. The chairs were particularly unforgiving for a back sufferer being made of iron with an awkward sloping back. But from our table we could see, just outside the entrance, a long wooden bench on which were placed a number of very prettily sewn and carefully arranged cushions. They had been made so that they were all of slightly different sizes and arranged in a gentle cascade of sloping drapery, just like you see in interior design magazines. I sometimes come across similar arrangements on the beds in hotel rooms and one of the first things to be done is to sweep them on to the floor so that you can actually lie down.
I went over and took one of the cushions placing it behind Eileen’s back. Almost immediately the male greeter minced over to us, waving his arms in a strange fluttering motion. ‘Oh’ he said ‘you can’t use the pillows’. Why did he call them pillows? Anyway we explained Eileen’s predicament and he promised to fetch something else for her to use. He returned with a couple of table cloths folded into a small rectangle, which she tried to use but they offered no help.
We called back the greeter and told him the problem, but by now Eileen was quite uncomfortable and getting a little exasperated. He said ‘I’m sorry but I’m not allowed to get you a pillow’. Eileen, not prepared to put up with any more nonsense told him ’Well in that case I won’t ask you to get one for me, I’ll just take one myself’ and at the same time stood up, marched out to the bench, took a pillow and returned to her chair. The poor guy didn’t know what to do. He just slowly slunk back into the restaurant muttering almost imperceptibly ‘Oh you are so rude’. It was all I could do not to just burst out laughing.
The rest of the evening passed without incident, but I’m afraid that the food turned out to be modelled on the décor. It looked good, and was described in the most incredible detail with no opportunity for using an extra noun or adjective wasted. But the thing it lacked most of all was taste. It was all rather bland.