GADLING’S TAKE FIVE: Week of March 11

Are you ready for another fantastic Gadling recap of a week that was, um quite fantastic? I reckon so, but before I dig in I must say there were several other highlights to this week not listed here like how to speed through security check points or some new outdoor places in China to use the potty (only for those who aren’t shy) which were recently blogged about, but let’s go back further in the week.

5. Japanese Penis Festival:
Penis, fertility and renewal are all the hype at the Hounen Matsuri festival, known also as the Japanese Penis Festival for those who aren’t as swift with Japanese pronunciation. Sadly, the festival has come and past this year, but go on, read further and beef up your knowledge for next year’s events.

4. New Matt: “Dancing Man” Harding Video:
Honestly, there are parts of me that really can’t take watching the well perfected horrible dance jig-like moves performed by Matt Harding across the world. While I fancy seeing various locations, his dancing is just awful. Yes, I said awful. No matter my thoughts, Matt is the lucky one here and Justin has done us the favor of posting his latest dance outtakes clip and providing fans of Matt with some very tasty news. Check it out!

3. Underground Railroad Bicycle Route:
Hungry for history and cycling around the country? If you have five weeks to do it you can join in on exploring the route of the Underground Railroad with the Adventure Cycling Association or purchase the maps and head out on your own. Either way this is very, very cool.

2. Vieques: A Trip Report:
Having recently toured Vieques, an island off of Puerto Rico, Erik brings us the 411 on what’s going on and why you should get there fast.

1. Round the World in 100 Days: Nassau, Bahamas:
Slowly, but surely Dia Draper is heading around the world in a big floating city of about 900 people. In this dispatch she touches on a place not too, too far from home for most of us (depending on where home is) in Nassau, Bahamas. Which is my saying even if you can’t take off 100 days to cruise the world you might want to look into her notes for planning a smaller trip to the Bahamas, though being ambitious and following in her footsteps might not be so bad either.

Puerto Rico Island Hopping

From the East Coast of the US, Puerto Rico is an easy, short and cheap flight away. If you want to see the real beauty of Puerto Rico, get away from the mainland. The two islands off the east coast of PR–Culebra and Vieques–are both well worth the trip. There are no big hotels and no cruise ships, just chickens on the street and men playing cards.

If you rent a car to get around, you don’t have to drop off your rental car at an office. Just leave it parked on the street somewhere and they’ll find it (no kidding). But best just to walk or bike the islands, though, to enjoy the pace of life. And don’t forget to go swimming at night under their pitch-black skies, to experience the bioluminescent plankton in the water.

Getting there is half the fun, especially if you decide to take the island hopper plane run by Air Flamenco. It only costs about $50 and takes about 30 minutes. Sure, it is a little bumpy and the fact that the pilots look about 18 does not make one feel particularly safe (and don’t mind the red, flashing “STALL” warning light on the dashboard as you’re coming in for a landing), but seeing all the miniature “Robinson Crusoe” islands in the blue Caribbean sea from a bird’s perspective is a much better (and faster) option that taking the ferry. Try it at least one way.