Day 2, Saturday 1/7/17: 8th and Ocean Beachfront, 2/17/17

Due to the indulgence of celebration and conversing with new amigos, we hadn’t had time to explore the island and the many natural treasures that it held. To begin the day, we went to a hideaway in the rainforest that featured a freshwater river lazily slicing through the trees and other vegetation. After only walking for about five minutes, we came to a beautiful waterfall powerfully cascading down a 50-foot cliff. I was surprised at the amount of force that we could hear and feel when getting close to the waterfall. Naturally, we did the touristy thing and took pictures by the water.

After the waterfall, the four of us, including Carlito, went to a different body of water that is commonly known as the ocean. This hidden beach, called La Posa, was located at a small cove with waves pounding between two massive rocks that created abundant waves for swimmers to enjoy closer to shore. There was also a cliff at La Posa, only this huge rock was at least triple the size of the one located at the waterfall. The view from the cliff was breathtaking, and the expansive ocean created a feeling of how small and insignificant one person can be. This experience alone provided a fresh perspective on things. The fact that we could travel from a freshwater waterfall emerging from a jungle in the river to a private beach with an enormous cliff in under 15 minutes was astounding to me.

Once we arrived to the complex, Rincon Sports Complex, we met the director of the PRIBL, Carlos Nunez, and the pitching coach, Jim Hayes. They gave us some insight about the league, and we followed them to the house where we would be living for the next 30 days. Once we arrived to the house around 5 p.m., we met two of our other four roommates. The two ballplayers who were there were Christian and Devon. They are both 19 year-old college players from Tampa, Florida and had arrived at the house shortly before us.

All five of us who were there walked to the center plaza of Rincon for the town’s Three Kings Day celebration. It was as if the entire city of Rincon was present at the celebration, and there were people celebrating everywhere. The festival was equipped with a speech from the mayor, a live band consisting of about 10 members, a complementary food spread and all of the bars and restaurants were packed. There was an abundance of cervezas apparent throughout the crowd. It was special to be able to take part in the small town’s celebration of one of their most highly coveted holidays.