Every time there is a gentle zephyr in Britain and Ireland tired headline writers trot out the old banner: ‘batten down the hatches’.

But any storm here pales into insignificance compared with the annual worries Caribbean islanders have to go through.

Maria variously conjures up images of The Sound of Music, West Side Story or a Blondie song.

But there was nothing joyful about this Maria’s visit to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in 2017.

Hurricane Maria made her presence known with winds of 155mph which ripped roofs off houses, deprived the island of electricity.

And caused nearly $100bn worth of destruction.

But worst of all nearly 3,000 people dead.

Future is bright. Photo by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty on Pexels.com

That Puerto Ricans have rebuilt their island is credit to their indefatigable spirit.

And I was lucky to meet them first hand and hear about their island when I attended the American Travel Fair (IPW) in Anaheim in June.

Yes, Puerto Rico, is a US Territory. Of that much I already knew and that there was a large population in the States.

But while Americans are familiar with its many charms we as Europeans are less so, apart perhaps from Spaniards who know its Hispanic history.

For Puerto Rico boasts a rich culture with Caribbean and Spanish fusion food and music and dance at its heart.

It also has the only rainforest in the US forest system, El Yunque and three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays.

Rainforest: Photo by Molly Champion on Pexels.com

This year is a special one in the Puerto Rico calendar with the 500th anniversary of the capital San Juan.

While this autumn, or Fall, there is the opening of District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district.

We can help

Puerto Rico has identified tourism as a key driver in its economy.

And it should be on the list of any fan of the Caribbean.

I checked out http://www.kayak.ie and found a return flight package with Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.ie and JetBlue http://www.jetblue.ie with a layover in Newark on the way out and JFK on the way back.

Indomitable spirit. Photo by J. Rodriguez on Pexels.com

For the sample dates of September 23-30, it costs £605.96 (€670).

Visit http://www.DiscoverPuertoRico.com for more on Puerto Rico. And dip your toe in the Caribbean with these thoughts on Barbados… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/22/rumba-in-barbados/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/.

And as Dorian blows through the Caribbean let’s all say a silent prayer that she is not as angry as Maria.

Published by funtime65

Lets dance! I’ve waltzed with Judy Murray, partied with Brian Lara, manned the barricades with Civil Rights leader Myrlie Evers and even unmasked The Donald as a mariachi fan. Join me (and my bandana) on a madcap tour of the world with the people who make it all possible, our wonderful travel providers.

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