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Published: April 25th 2018
Puerto Plata not Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
So today is Cap Cana, Dominican Republic…er…maybe not. We have been told the weather is a problem at Cap Cana and we would not be able to tender everyone in, too rough, so… we’ll be going instead to Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. Fine by us. We have not been to the Dominican Republic and are looking forward to it, no matter the location.
Today is intermittent rain and hot sunshine. Normal. The port areas of Amber Cove are like many in the Caribbean nowadays. It is developed for the cruise ship passengers…clean, safe and a place to spend your money. But, for us, we want to see the countryside, the town and talk to the people.
As we leave the port we see contrasts. Nice cars and old cars, nice shops and old decaying shops, a huge (many acres) “garbage dump” with people sifting through looking for things they can use as well as recyclables.
In about 15 minutes, we arrive at the central park in Puerto Plata which is covered with thousands of grey pigeons. There
are statues to the heroes of the country and, as with many Caribbean islands, Christopher Columbus landed here and thus a statue. There is a huge 2 story gazebo in the square where we are told people were hung as a result of a crime they committed. It is right outside the Catholic Church. The church is cool inside and peaceful, we are happy to get out of the sun and sit in the smooth, wooden mahogany pews. The stained glass is bright and colorful in the windows and there are ladies cleaning the walls and ornaments.
Out on the plaza the town is waking up. Our driver gives us food for the pigeons. Never one to pass up an animal adventure, Jean takes the food in her hand, holds it out and voila, a pigeon alights and begins eating out of her hand. Cope, the ever-present photographer, documents the event 😉
Heading across the street we find coffee at Island Treasures. Lovely Sinthia Estrella, who works there, helps Jean to find the perfect Dominican coffee beans and friendly, smiling Gladys Juliana Peralta takes her credit card and checks her out. Everyone is laughing and Cope with his
camera takes pictures of all of them as they celebrate their new friendship (see photos below).
In the meantime, while Jean shops some more, Cope disappears. Humm… heading outside, Jean finds him coming out of the very modern, but small, Farmacia down the street. He’s acquired a summer cold and needed some medicine. Cope tells me that he couldn’t explain in Spanish what was wrong with him so he just “coughed”. The druggist figured it out. Gesturing and sign language… and now coughing has served us well around the world. Coffee in hand, facebook pages of new friends jotted down, we head back to the ship. 😉 Our stay here is short but its been a lovely day.
Next, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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