A COUPLE of weeks ago your humble servant went the ecotourist way to Old San Juan, a pretty old city, one of the first down this continent. It was a terrible mistake. Here is why.
For some reason, explained by extreme boredom, thousands, or even
hundred of islanders go for the sucker's spin. It consists of driving in a slow jam starting in el Condado through Ashford Ave, making a right after the temporary bridge (7 years in construction), perhaps six hundred meters long, to continue to the former walled city.
We parked about half a mile from the city, knowing that the traffic moves
as quickly as a quadriplegic turtle. The we is not for effect, I was not alone. The smoke, noise, heat, was like a Nordic fog. Hundreds of tourists from one of the many cruisers that stop by were strolling with that peculiar speed that people show when lacking stamina and little time to see as much as possible in a hurry. Like a matter of life or death.
Now imagine narrow streets, some with cobble stones, with cars parked on one side, cars trying to move on the right, in the tight space, beeping of horns, people in groups trying to maneuver in the four feet wide sidewalks, spilling into the gutters..A real trip that would make the socially dysfunctional get some cosmic nausea.
As one get closer to the US CUSTOMS pink building, where the ships anchor, the street vendors of everything imaginable, snacks, hats, pinha coladas, cotton candy, you name it, making the small room to maneuver even smaller, plus the noise, smoke and heat ever present. Why people
think this is any way fun, you tell me. Now after this intro...what matters to me...
The first famous liner the Titanic, sank on the maiden voyage on 14 April
1912. Of the total passengers 2,223, 1517 died. In 30 May 1914, the Aquitannia made its debut.. The day before, The Empress of Ireland sank,
with 1,000 dead. Where am I going? Not the dead or sinking but pollution. Imagine all the pollution that ocean liners cruising has created
since...That is why these ships are mentioned.
When I see the modern liners as floating buildings a certain fright comes
to mind. I am not a water salty or not, fan, particularly water sports. But
what I am getting into is that cruise ships and their passengers/large crews generate more than the average amounts of sewage, greywater and solid waste. Do you think of it, at all?
A polluting industry for the entertainment of mostly bored, fat, old people. I know a couple that go traveling along the surrounding darkies
islands, on their return, it never fails, their conversation is only about food, eating with no end. That seems the goal of cruise lovers.
Now to finish these post on cattle, lets mention the pollution by those
oil tankers like endemismo, spanning the globe. They spill bilge and ballast water anywhere, without much remorse..
The USA is really worried about the consequence of ballast water in their
territory. The Asian carp is about tho reach the Great Lakes. The fear is so real that plans to close the Mississippi river connection to the lakes are being discussed. That is not the only problem. Mussels are clogging the pipes in the region thanks to this ballast water....If interested in the subject, start in Wikipedia,
under, 'cruise ship pollution'. IF planing to go cruising, ask your travel agent if the water is treated, or just thrown up to three miles from shores, as international law allows them to do.
If you cruise, cruise responsibly. And that is that, time to go...