The Road to Happiness

Our first Airbnb when we get to Rincon is a little casa on the hill, on Cam Carretas 413. The locals call Carr. 413 “The Road to Happiness”.

Here are some pictures of the vista we’ll have:

Aaaah.

The most special thing about this house is that if we like it, the owner has offered it to us for the entire 6 months that we’re there, for $1,500/month – all bills paid. We have it rented through Airbnb for 10 days, and we’ll look around and make our decision during that time.

So, in one week, we will arrive in Aguadilla at 3:30 am, and pick up our rental car – a minivan of some sort, then head straight to the Rincon house. We will need the minivan for our 6 checked suitcases, 4 carryon bags, 3 backpacks and one guitar – er, we’re bringing a lot of crap, and we’ll never fit it all into a car or SUV. The drive from the Rafael Hernández International Airport to our house is 26 kilometers (whatever that means), and typically takes 35 minutes with no traffic. So, after picking up the rental van, we should be at the house by 4:45 am or so, and then – straight to bed! It will have been a very long day of traveling with the kids, and with all that damn luggage, and for the fact that it’ll be the middle of the night, I imagine the end of the trip will be the most exhausting. By the way – there is a 2 hour time difference between Rincon and Austin – so when we land it’ll be 1:30 am in our minds, 2:45-ish by the time we get home, etc.

We keep the minivan for 2 days, then trade up for an economy rental car (to save some $). Once we have our little carrita, we’ll be looking to purchase a vehicle. Word on the island is that it’s better to buy a cheap $2,500-$3000 car, and then sell it back in 6 months when you leave, rather than to try to rent a car monthly. Truly, the cheapest monthly vehicle rental I have been able to find is an economy car for $350/month from Ace in Rincon. If we buy a car for 3k, then sell it for 1.5K, we will have spent $250/month for 6 months. There is a company called Rincon Car Finders that helps non-locals find/negotiate/vet/buy cars on the island. The owner, Jennifer, gave me some insights: it’s hard to find something reliable for $2,500, but $3k is do-able; SUV’s have a higher resale value than cars; we leave during low-season (July), which means the tourists with money will be gone and according to her – the locals will be broke, so it’ll be harder to get a good resale value then; getting 1/2 what you paid back after 6 months is a reasonable hope. All good things to know, going in.

We’ll have some things to figure out, but . . . when you’re living on The Road To Happiness, in the hills of the Isle of Enchantment, problems probably solve themselves, 😉

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