Sunburn in Las Terrenas

We are now in Las Terrenas, a small fishing town on the Peninsula of Samaná, in the northwestern part of Hispaniola. The ride here (on sunday) was a grueling, 4 1/2 hour journey thru the rain on a freezing (air conditioned) bus. I mean really, folks, I was cold in a t-shirt in the Dominican Republic. We got dropped of at a small crossroads town called Sanchez at 8:30 pm, and it was raining. Assailed from all sides by guys offering us rides, we finally negotiated a fare in a gua-gua (a simple truck) to Las Terrenas. The fare was 500 pesos, which is about 15 bucks. Our driver was a guy named Henry, who was a devout Christian. So devout in fact, that he had us pay 500 pesos for a ride that we later found out should have cost no more than 30 pesos! Nevertheless, we were desperate to get to the hotel L’aubergine (eggplant in french). We finally got there and CRASHED hard.

The following day was cloudy, with a lot of rain. But we discovered that we were practically on the ocean – not tastelessly as in Florida, where the hotels tower over the shores and mar the natural beauty, but just behind a row of coconut trees. What fun! Oh, to taste the ocean again!

It was the following day that the sun peeked through. We picked up some goggles to see inside the water. The coral reefs are amazing – they reminded us of the rocky landforms seen in Utah. Then there were the fish, tons of brightly colored fish, yellow, purple, blue and silver. We would coast over algae about 2 inches under our bellies, and then be spit out into this vast chamber surrounded by coral reefs. Oh, the treasures this world holds just beneath the surface…

We were also fortunate enough to meet a group of young local kids (ages 2 to 11), who played dominoes with us and spent some time with us. The best way to find out about a culture is through its children – their outlook is uncluttered, and largely immune to the distorted perceptions commonly held by (us) adults.

We’re planning our imminent departure from this beautiful place. We’re pondering the possibilities, and we’ll keep you posted as to our next whereabouts.


Saralé y Roman

Posted: July 30th, 2003
Categories: blog, culture, travel
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