Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More Sightseeing in the DR

Sunday after our tour of the countryside we headed into the tiny marina for lunch. On Sundays they have a BBQ for a good price. We sat down and had forgotten that this Sunday Bruce Van Sant, the writer of Gentlemans Guide to Passages South was going to be having lunch here. Van Sant, for family and friends not familiar with cruising the islands has cruised the islands and finally settled in Luperon when he fell in love with the island and the people. He has since moved to Puerto Plata from what I understand but comes back fairly often and seems to enjoy the company of cruisers. We bought his book so many years ago that it is tattered and dog eared very badly from reading it and referring to it over and over again. He has lots of useful information and explains how Island lees work, why one should move along at night here rather than daytime. Good info on lots of topics, especially how to work your way through the Dreaded Mona Passage to get to Puerto Rico. We enjoyed a nice chat with him when we realized he was sitting at the Rat Packs table before having lunch ourselves and returning back to Renegade for the evening.

Dirk & I with Van Sant
Chatting about boats
We also wanted to do the 27 Waterfalls that we had read about and heard about so much. Since the rat pack was ahead of us they had all done it and told us it was a must do. Since we couldnt find enough people to get an organized by Papo trip done we had to go it alone. We hired a taxi for the morning and Nino came promptly at 9am to pick us up at the marina. He then drove us the half hour or so to the outskits of Puerto Plata and walked us in to make sure we got set before leaving us. He spoke very good english and gave us rundowns on the areas and answered so many questions we had about the country and its people. We checked in, paid our 500 pesos a person plus decided to do the buffet they offer afterwards for an additional 250 pesos. We got our lifevest and helmet and met our guide. We were lucky as we were the only two so we had our own guide for the trip. We started out on an easy walk over a long suspension bridge then a small path that soon started an upward trend. You can choose to do say 7, 12, or all 27 waterfalls. We wanted to do all so we got to the 12 mark and took a nice rest downing plenty of water and seeing if I could put my lungs back in my chest after carrying them the last 20 minutes. Geeeeze, Im outta shape. Every time you would ask how much further the guide would reply 5 more minutes. Hummmmm 45 minutes to an hour later we finally made it up to the top fall. The first jump was not really a fall but a leap into a deep pit. Im guessing it might have been a test to the guide to make sure you could swim and take care of yourself. The water was a bit cold and took your breath away but felt refreshing after that long hike. As the day progressed it felt downright great. Some of the falls you jumped from others you slid down. The limestone is carved smooth from the water and surprising slick. We jumped and slid our way down to the biggest one which was about a 25 foot jump. I was hesitant at first but I figured you only live once and this wasnt too bad of a place to die. Actually it wasnt that bad, the guide told you exactly where to stand and where to jump. Our guide even took my camera from me and videoed and snapped photos for us the whole way down. What a great bonus. They do have the people you hire to record your trip but ours did it for us. We finally reached the end which I thought might be close to the starting point but I was sadly mistaken and we had a bit more of a hike to get us back. We turned in our gear tipped our guide and went and had a so so lunch. I know those chickens that were wandering around us were probably on the menu and clucking about getting their last meal. One thing seems certain, all the meat we ate while here has got to be organic and free range. Even Dirk thought the meat tasted a bit gamy. Oh well, its gotta be better for us then what we eat in the states. Below see a couple photos from the day.
On the suspension bridge
Neat areas to explore

Will post more pics and maybe a video when we get better internet. When we got finished with lunch we walked outside and there was Nino waiting for us. We got the backpack from the car, yea I could see again. I had to leave my glasses in the car, we changed and then headed back. Nino was gonna take us to the cheese factory and anywhere else we wanted to go but we were pooped and just wanted to head back to Luperon and the boat. We basically sat in silence the whole way back as I think we were tired, very tired. The ride back although only about 30 minutes felt like a lot more. Nino dropped us off, we paid and tipped him. For the taxi, the waterfalls, the guide, the food and tips we spent a mere $75.00 give or take. What great fun were having, stay tuned for more.

No comments: