What an interesting 2 weeks this has been! Jeff and I have been learning the lay of the land in and around DR via a motor concho, hiking, taxi and by motorcycle. I’m rather enjoying sharpening my Spanish and learning more everyday. It’s pretty interesting how people get around these hills and mountains and you can’t be scared or nervous trying to find the best or easiest method even thought they drive a bit crazy. Everyone has a preference and many only have a single option so we feel very lucky to be able to try them all out while we’re here. We’ve rented a taxi but haven’t yet tried the bus yet so there’s still another option to test. Initially we were taking the dingy from the marina over to the government dock and walked all over finding the different stores to see what we could find locally. We tried out the motor concho one day last week which some may know as an auto rickshaw. This is an easy and cheap way to get to town, it only cost 50 pesos per person one way so basically $1 to travel about 5 miles. That was our first “car” ride through the mountains and what a pretty view it was with the mountains and all the big green trees all around it was a nice outing.
Last week was Holy Week here in the Dominican Republic and that consisted of some serious partying for the locals. The whole week is dedicated to beach time with lots of food, drinks and loud music. As soon as people leave work they head over to the beaches with their entire families and spend the remainder of the days eating, drinking and frolicking in the ocean. Jeff and I took in the festivities one afternoon and enjoyed a quick lunch while people watching. Thankful for the smaller and less wild crowds during the day we decided not to go back in the evening for the more serious events to begin and since we were walking we weren’t ready to brave the walk back in the dark. We learned that Good Friday is very respected and they don’t play any music the entire day. Everyone abides to this principle and you won’t hear music until 1 minute past midnight. It was unusually quiet around town because on every other day businesses and cars driving by are trying to outdo the next with their loud blaring music.
Several days a week there is some sort of event going on like a happy hour at one of the restaurants or popcorn & movie night at a local bar. We enjoyed a softball game the other day and were surprised by the turnout. Apparently they really enjoy the sport and one of the teams even has their own percussion band and mascot. We were the lucky ones who got to sit right beside this small but loud band that consisted of 4 to include their funny clown mascot who kept the crowd cheering while he gyrated on the fence from time to time.😳 It was fairly entertaining and these guys can play some serious softball.
We’ve enjoyed hiking to the beaches and finding some really cool little paths and shortcuts. We happened on a sculpture for an expedition that happened here in June 1949. The sculpture has a plane made out of chicken wire and fencing material sticking through a rock structure. We also found a couple more wood carvings and a couple of blow holes. Usually you find out about these types of places by word of mouth or from a tourist book but we were fortunate enough to just stumble on it. Along our hiking we always come across many cows just wondering the streets. They roam all over the place and do like us and just stare as we walk by. They’re all pretty thin and from what we’ve been told it’s because they walk all day long up and down these steep roads so not your typical Texas cow.
Yesterday we rented a cab with two other boats and all 7 of us went into Puerto Plata where one of the “bigger” city’s is. We heard if you couldn’t find something in Luperon you could more than likely find it in Puerto Plata. Wow that place is busy! The traffic was nuts and the drivers even more so. We did find things we hadn’t been able to in Luperon so that was a plus. The majority of the group spent all day at Ocean World which is very similar to a Sea World in Texas so while they did the dog & pony show there Jeff and I walked around the city and did some sightseeing and people watching. It was raining up in the mountains and was a bit ominous looking but we had fun walking the streets and checking out how things work. We still need to figure out a few things like the fuel options and directions but we have plenty of time and everyone has been so helpful so we’re looking forward to what more we’ll see and do.
With all the options for transportation and the fact that we’ll be staying for more than 6 months we started looking for a more permanent method of transportation and decided to rent a motorcycle. We asked around and found a couple who own a B&B here in Luperon and also rent motorcycles. After checking out all that he had we chose a nearly new 2016 Tauro CG200. You can’t find these bikes in the US and we’re renting it through the end of the year for $500! We may not be here through the end of the year but close enough through the end of hurricane season. We opted to rent rather than buy so we wouldn’t have to worry about registering it in our names and deal with that headache once we decide to leave. We are being extremely careful but having fun and in the end will save on fuel and cab fair by having the bike. We’ve only had the bike for a couple of days but loving the sights so far. We’re looking forward to seeing more of the countryside in the coming weeks and months.
We’ve been having a great time meeting people and making new friends. Among our new American friends we’ve met people from Switzerland 🇨🇭 and Germany 🇩🇪. It’s also fun learning about what got them into this lifestyle and what their future plans are.
Jeff will be helping out a friend we met in Florida last year by crewing with him to sail his boat from Punta Cana DR over to Ponce Puerto Rico at the end of the month. They’re hoping to get the trip completed the first week of May – but weather always dictates the schedule. I’ll hang out here with the dogs and the boat and plan to volunteer with the Dogs & Cats of DR organization so we’ll both be a bit busy in the coming weeks. We’re excited about spending the summer here and can already see the savings by our expenses thus far. So until next week, love, hugs and prayers to you all😘💞🌴⛵