Earlier this year, our Travel Club went to Dominican Republic (TC consists of my husband and I and three of our friends. The five of us have done a bit of traveling together and always have so much fun together – and we might be bound by this little “time share” thing we all signed up for in Mexico five years ago…).
Anyway, we chose Dominican Republic and decided to stay in a resort in Sosua for a week then rent a car for a few days and drive out to the Samana Peninsula. Normally our vacations involve very little down time, but as I get older, I am really getting to appreciate the art of doing nothing. I’m okay with spending a few days getting into a routine: Mornings at the beach and afternoons poolside, grabbing a cocktail… anytime. Yup, we have, on occasion been that group. That loud, hopefully not too obnoxious group. I’m sorry.
Back to travel and the real adventure. It didn’t start until we got our rental car. It was supposed to be a van but we ended up with a sedan. A very compact sedan. A little cramped for the five of us but it definitely worked out for the best. It was much easier to manuever those chaotic little streets. In our little car, we dodged dogs, chickens, coconuts, mopeds, propane tanks, and kids, yet enjoyed every minute of it.
The towns we stopped in were towns that attracted tourists, many of them with a heavy European influence. The scenery was colorful and beautiful and the people were friendly. But we did have glimpses of the poverty in which some Dominican’s live. We also saw, sadly, how prevalent prostitution is – kind of first hand – as our German neighbor at a beachfront apartment in Cabarete brought a gorgeous Dominican woman back to his room for awhile.
We stayed in fantastic bungalows just steps from the beach and ate very well for very cheap. We laughed and drank Presidente and spent an afternoon on a secluded beach. We smoked cigars and swam and rode horses to a waterfall. We walked in the rain and went deep sea fishing.
But we only saw a small chunk of DR, and that’s the funny thing about travel. The more you do it, the more you crave to see.