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The Gringarican Handbook - stories about moving to Vieques, PR, life in the slow lane and becoming a Gringarican

Relax, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 1983

Finding what you need in Vieques is not easy.  So, we have decided we will need less, not more, and be happy with what we find.  However, it doesn't hurt to know where to find things.
 
Colmado Mambo on Route 997 is a superpacked little gold mine.  When no one else on the island has yogurt or cream, Mambo's got it.  Plus, its on the way home from the beach! 
 
The Green Store in Esperanza has a "gringo aisle" and often goodies from Costco will show up there.
 
El Sombrero Viejo in Isabel (or Kuhns to the locals) carries some excellent wines at excellent prices.
 
Packing for a Vieques vacation is now a breeze.    I have managed to pare my clothing needs down to a carry on.  Perhaps this will help you:
     2 bathing suits
     1 pairo (cover up wrap, doubles as a wrap skirt or strapless dress)
     2 pair of flip flops (1 beach, 1 dress)
     1 short cotton skirt
     1 athletic skort or shorts                        nightgown
     1 pair crop pants                                    dress
     3 sleeveless tops                                     underwear
     2 camisole tops
    Of course, its easier for men than women.
      3-4 shirts
      1 pair dress shorts
      2 pair casual shorts or athletic shorts
      2 bathing suits
      1 short sleeve dress shirt
      1 polo shirt
      underwear
I also make sure I have books, camera, travel scrabble, cocktail napkins and my nutmeg grater.
 
The Vieques Humane Society has become near and dear to our hearts.  It wouldn't be vacation if we didn't stop by to leave a donation and walk some dogs.  We are proud to have been able to assist the VHS by accompanying dogs to our local airports in the Sates where new parents wait for their bundles of joy from Vieques.  Interesting to us is the fact that most Vieques dogs don't like to go in the water, or even get their feet wet!
 
One essential thing that is not always available is gas.  Vieques is an island that is dependent on another island for its deliveries.  So, if the seas are rough, or if the cargo ferry isn't operating, there is not gas.  The two gas stations on the island are both owned by the same company and are right across the street from each other.  If you see a line start to form, and you need gas, get in it!  Beware - there is gas line protocol and they do not take credit cards.  Rule of thumb - never let your car get under half empty.
 

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