Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico with Colorado Traveling Ducks

This is our first full day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.   Our cab took us to Old San Juan, the original walled city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.   Christopher Columbus arrived in San Juan in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World.   For Spain, he claimed all the riches of what is now called Puerto Rico.   This included gold, silver, gems, and spices, in addition to the first deep water port between Europe and the New World.   Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and Old San Juan Historic Site is under the protection of the U.S. National Park Service.   There are two old fortresses, built by the Spanish, here.   The Castillo San Felipe del Morro was to defend against attacks from the sea.   The Castillo San Cristobal, about a 30 minute walk away, was built to defend against attacks from land.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, will show you Castillo San Felipe del Morro today.

Here is the sign. Where is Castillo San Felipe del Morro?

Here is the sign. Where is Castillo San Felipe del Morro?

We can see the lighthouse in the background, and realize we have a long walk ahead of us.   This cemetery was conveniently located on the coast near the Castillo.

Cemetery by the sea

Cemetery by the sea

The city, like many old cities, was protected by a wall.

Looking through the wall

Looking through the wall

Today we have a peaceful view through that wall.   The grass here was incredibly soft in places.

Keep walking ducks

Keep walking ducks

This was once a golf course, but we still must keep walking.   We think this building, built partially underground is interesting.

We like this building

We like this building

Let’s go inside Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

Entrance to Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Entrance to Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Bucket claimed this chair and seems to be enjoying a short rest.

Chair fit for a king. King Bucket?

Chair fit for a king.   King Bucket?

This space, once the living quarters for the commander of El Morro, but later, a place of punishment.

In jail. Looking through bars to the sea

In jail. Looking through bars to the sea

Zeb and Soapy enjoy the view, through the bars, of the sea.  Bucket found another prison cell.

Bucket and Chip--don't go inside that prison cell.

Bucket and Chip–don’t go inside that prison cell.

Don’t go inside there, Bucket and Chip.   We found this canon, now inside a room.

Canon. No longer in use

Canon. No longer in use

But it was not always inside this room.   This path takes us to the former home of the canon.

Where the canons used to be

Where the canons used to be

The canon was pointed through this lookout.

Canon pointed out this space

Canon pointed out this space

We ducks wanted to sit on the ledge, but the humans said it was too windy for us.   But we love to watch the water.   Castillo San Felipe del Morro has six levels and we found the bell on the 6th level.

Bell

Bell

This lighthouse looks pretty new, doesn’t it?

Fourth and newest lighthouse

Fourth and newest lighthouse

It is the fourth lighthouse built here.   This one is 51 feet above the 6th level of El Morro.   The lamp is 182 feet above sea level and this lighthouse and lamp still serve ships every night.   This lighthouse was built in 1908.   Originally made of bricks, it was restored in the 1990s.   We ducks are impressed by this castle.   But we are also impressed and a little frightened by the wind here.   We like the sea, but we don’t want to be blown into it and lost forever.   The humans kept us safe.   More about Old San Juan next time.

More from Rottnest Island with Zeb and Eider Duck

Rottnest Island was discovered by the Dutch in 1696.   The island was named Rottenest which means rat’s nest.   They believed the island to be inhabited by large rats.   However, they were not rats but quokkas.

Quokka

Quokka

Quokkas are marsupials; smaller relatives of the wallaby.   In 1838 Rottnest settlement was established as a prison for the Aborigines from the mainland.

Former prison

Former prison

Of course, the prison no longer exists, but you can wander around the convict built buildings,  such as the Quod.    In the Quod, prison cells have been converted into hotel rooms.   The Lomas Cottage has a large garden area.

Lomas House for warden. Often called Buckingham Palace

Lomas House for warden. Often called Buckingham Palace

It was nicknamed Buckingham Palace during the prison days, as the warden eventually lived here.    The prison guard’s homes are still here, with a different purpose today.

Former guard housing. Now shops

Former guard housing.   Now shops

Walking among the stores in the town area, we saw this peacock.

Rottnest Island peacock

Rottnest Island peacock

Very friendly and not at all nervous with humans.   We also liked these birds with the pink tummies.

Pink and gray galah

Pink and gray galah

Remember we told you the island was inhabited by quokkas, a smaller relative of the wallaby.    This one is about the size of a cat.

Quokka

Quokka

He is very friendly, but we should not feed him.   He does not digest human food very well.   His front feet are rather short and he hops like a wallaby or kangaroo.   This quokka likes the Colorado Traveling Ducks.

The quokka is our new friend

The quokka is our new friend

He hopped right to us, but did not bite us.   We told you many humans ride bikes around Rottnest Island.   We ducks tried it also.

We would like to ride these bikes, but...short legs

We would like to ride these bikes, but…short legs

Zeb and Eider liked the white sand beach.

Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean looks so pretty today.

The Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean

We went to the salt house.

The Salt House

The Salt House

This is now a gallery of island history.   Salt used to be a major source of income for Rottnest Island.   Now it is time for us to leave the island.

Leaving Rottnest Island

Leaving Rottnest Island

On the ferry back to Perth we saw people walking across the Swan River.

Walking across the Swan River

Walking across the Swan River

The tide was low and the sand bar allowed people to walk across.   Many were fishing.   We also saw all these sailboats.

Sailboats are so colorful

Sailboats are so colorful

We really liked the ferry and our day on Rottnest Island.   You would like it also.