Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Samana and familiar faces

My friend Mariange came to visit from home and we went to Samana for a few days. Samana is a gorgeous, idyllic peninsula that juts out in the north east, filled with rolling hills of palm trees, turquoise Caribbean waters, and white/yellow sands- truly breathtaking. We met up with another volunteer in the capital who lives in Samana and headed up to her site for the day.  After getting to her house we got ready to go to the beach in her town, across the road, down a river where locals bathe and wash everything you can think of, and down a dirt road to the beach. The beach is beautiful, and has an enclave of Italian summer (or year round) bungalow dwellers who try to claim one side of the beach is ‘theirs’ with no legal backing whatsoever. So the kids from the town still head down to their beach and enjoy the seaside swimming despite the foreigners protests, as they should.

Kaitlin’s Brigada Verde ('Green Brigade') group came down for Water Day activities, with another volunteer and her brother visiting, my friend and I. We swam in the warm water with a nice crisp breeze upon exiting. While there I got to see the site and the town, and meet my dog Choco’s parents. He kind of looks like his mom, a yellow lab type happy dog that looks like she has gotten in a few fights in her life. And the father is an unlikely match- he looks nothing like the dad, who is short, spotted and well…. lets just say Choco takes after his mom.

That night we got a ride to Samana to head to a resort. Equipped with wrist bands for an all inclusive, we covertly slinked pass the armed guards of the place to mingle amongst the guests of the all inclusive- enjoying an all you can eat buffet and cocktails galore on the house.  A little piece of heaven.

The next morning Mariange and I decided to stay the night in Las Terrenas, a small touristy fishing town about an hour away on the north coast.

Fisherman at Las Terrenas:

After several gua guas (buses), we reached the town and found a reasonably priced place right across the street from the beach. The crystal clear blue waters and white sands make for mouth watering beach enjoyment, with the only downfalls being topless European tourists (not exactly culturally respectful here) and a narrow beach that lines the main road.

There are pleasantly decorated, not too crowded beachfront restaurants, and bars with beanbags right on the sand.  The few bar/discoteques at one end of the town had an interesting crowd, lined on one side with sex workers and the other with awkwardly dancing tourists, waiting for the rum to kick to make some questionable decisions... slightly disturbing.

The next morning after a brief beach stint, we began the 6 hour trek back to my town (4 gua guas and a taxi), with a three hour stop in the capital for groceries and a late lunch. By 9 we were back for the next few days in my town.  The next few days were spent with many rich meals, experimenting nervously with my gas oven, walks with the dog around town, and compartir-ing in many a plastic chairs along the way. Thursday night we had a late night domino match with an older couple that lives next door and then went to the beach at Punto Salinas with them the next afternoon for okay snorkeling, Presidente at the colmado and stopping to try majarete, a sweet corn desert on the way home. And Mariange was off the next day, closing a wonderful week—so nice to have company from home!

Punto Salinas, Caribbean side; Mariange and a starfish; Me and Mariange:

1 comment:

  1. sounds like fun! can't wait to come visit...although not sure when that will be...but it's gonna happen!