Published: November 25th 2008November 20th 2008
So yes back to my trip to Samaná, this place was about tour hours away from Santiago where I currently live and was absolutely breathtaking. The water was aqua blue and the sand was incredibly white. And, the part I liked the most was that there weren’t any vendors walking down the beach trying to sell me necklaces, fruit and odd-looking shrimp. It was the epitome of a Caribbean beach.
Samaná was a lovely little town, the type of town a North American couple might retire in. Truly tranquil and serene.
The next week, I made a trip to the mountains with some Dominican friends as well as two friends from my program. The trip to the actual was unreal, we saw the sunset from the mountains, which was like something from a postcard. We stopped and took ridiculous amounts of photos, which will certainly be framed. The house in the mountains was much like a cabin, my friends were quite well off, the average Dominican family would not have such an amenity much like many mid-western families have a cabin or some type of summer getaway. By the time we got there, I explored the property and it was
complete with a pool, hot tube and rather large porch. Unfortunately, the house had to be run on a generator so we made a quick trip to a “colmado” which means a little store or gas station that sells basic household necessities such as milk to diapers. Finally we got the house to be lit at around 11 pm.
The rest of the time at the mountains was filled with dancing salsa even though salsa is not heavily popular in the DR; meringue’s origins being from the DR plays an important role in the entertainment factor of the nightlife. Meringue and Bachata are the two dances that the majority of Dominicans know and love and I have found it a little more difficult to come across salsa dancers. This has disappointed me because I find meringue and bachata very easy to dance but salsa is the thing I really need to practice. Fortunately we have been learning some salsa in my dance class.
The next we went to a dance show at the university, put on by the dance company. Initially, I was highly impressed with the level of skill the dancers had but as they attempted to
execute a typical high school kick routine, I was amazed the incredibly low level of skill. It was very fun to see the different forms of dance they learning, swing, jazz and kick while I was expecting the entire show to be salsa, bachata and meringue.
The following Saturday was one of the best excursions I experienced during my entire trip. We went to a cascade of waterfalls that we had to climb and trek through to get to the following waterfall. In total, there were twenty-seven incredible cascades. Our two tour guides were two huge men that threw you over the waterfalls if you did not have the strength to climb them yourselves which was incredible. They would pick you up and toss you into a pool like you were a child. The tour truly appeared to be man-made; each part of tour was just that detailed.
In the end, you reach the top of all these flowing bodies of water, and you realize the only way to get down is to jump back down every cascade. So, each time we had to jump at least 15 feet to get back down to the bottom of the mountain. There were some that had a deep scare of heights and had to find alternatives to make it to the bottom. In all the trip was amazing; unfortunately we could not take pictures because there was really no way to keep anything dry at all…so I have no pictures to prove my great feat of sixty foot jumps. You will all just have to take my word for it.
This trip was only a day trip so I managed to entertain myself for once in the city that I actually reside it than leaving every weekend to go away on a Caribbean excursion. The city can be rather entertaining but I know I will have much more to explore when I go to the capital next semester.
The next couple of weekends were nothing extremely special, a trip to the beach and a friend’s birthday party that was actually very fun. I could not imagine having a birthday while studying abroad; I don’t think I could enjoy it very much.
The weekend of Halloween, we made a big trip to the Southwest part of the country. The region is much less traveled; the touristy beaches are mostly in the north and the east. The trip was quite the ride, it took eight hours because we had to drive around the mountains so eight hours in a bus with fifteen others was not my idea of a good time. I will have more to add in just a few!!!! must run