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Surf, Sand, and a Spanish Guitarist

Posted by on January 11, 2012

“But I feel it in the waves

As they crash on over me

Just want to float out here forever

With a six-string in my hand

And my feet buried in the sand

I couldn’t say a dream could get much better” –Barefoot Truth

I had it all on my spring break trip to Puerto Rico: great friends, great weather, a great beach, my hammock, and even a kayak at one point…all except my guitar. For some idiotic reason I had decided to leave it at home. It was something that I almost instantly regretted when I first buried my toes into the Isla Verde sand. Barefoot Truth had it right. There was nothing that could make my situation better than a six string in hand so I set out to find one.

You’d never imagine how difficult it was for me to find a guitar in Puerto Rico. I started my search at the hotel concierge figuring that they’d have a few kicking around the lobby for guests but no dice. I was so desperate that I went to the pool and asked various patrons if they had one that I could borrow for a day. Everyone just looked at me like I was nuts. There was even a point in the day when I contemplated taking the rental car to go shop for a cheap guitar that I could then leave with the concierge upon my departure for future guitar seeking people like me…

I soon became preoccupied with other things (I was in Puerto Rico and it was Spring Break after all) and forgot about my lack of a guitar for a while. This is usually when surprises happen and this was no exception. We were on the ferry back to Old San Juan from a visit to the Casa Bacardi in Catano when I hear some tunes. There he was, an older, local man strumming away on his six string. I just had to ask if I could borrow his guitar so I did. I doubt he understood what I said but he saw the twinkle in my eye and smiled as he handed over the guitar.

It was an awesome experience to sit there on the ferry and play guitar with a man who I had just met. He was so gracious to offer up his guitar and I decided to rock my way through (a rough rendition of) “Hey Soul Sister” by Train. I was more than satisfied and I handed the guitar back over. That’s when the real magic happened. The old man picked up right where I left off only he was much better. He serenaded my friends and I in Spanish to the tune of “Old San Juan” as we cruised into the docks of the capitol that we were about to explore. How perfect!

-Kayak Dave


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