2015-04-01 - Part III - Arecibo Observatory and La Cueva Del Indio
Arecibo Observatory is the largest full-dish and single-aperture telescope in the world. It is a radio telescope with a 305 meter, 1001 feet dish partly suspended above the ground. It was completed in 1963 inside the depression of a natural karst sinkhole. It was managed by Cornell University until 2011 and now under the care of the SRI International, USRA, and UMET. Some discoveries made through the use of this observatory include the rotation rate of Mercury, the first binary pulsar, and the first millisecond pulsar (spins at 642 times per second). It also was the first to help directly image an asteroid and detect extrasolar planets. The science exhibits are not impressive compared to big city science museums but the actual telescope is a site worth seeing.
La Cuevo Del Indio in Arecibo, Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my life but so few people know about it. It is wild and unmaintained. There are no stores to sell you anything besides the restaurant and parking lot nearby. No fences to prevent you from falling down a hole and breaking your leg or over the cliff and losing your life. Also, there are no warnings about the sharp rocks. Many movies and shows have been shot here and you can still see the foam walls from one of the movies. The cave here also contains the densest amount of petroglyphs in Puerto Rico. Some people were scared of climbing the wooden ladder down and its better to veer on the side of safety in a place like this. It’s a magical place.
A trail to the right led to beautiful sea cliffs, coves, and arches. When I lightly brushed my ankle against the sharp rocks, it left a bloody wound as a reminder of the danger of the place. The sun was setting which bathed the area with a brilliant glow. I ran around with a smile on my face. We found a place to stand to let the giant waves splash us. We did that for quite a while. It is one of the best memories I have of interacting with nature. The way back felt like saying goodbye to a good friend I may never meet again. But I’ll never forget.