Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Turks to the Dominican Republic

After a week or so in the Turks we headed off for the passage to Luperion and the DR. We had a good forecast, 15 knot winds from the NE and mild seas! Also a full moon to boot! Left big sand cay in the Turks at 6 pm so we would arrive at daylight after a expected 25 hr trip.

Had one of those magical night time passages, warm air, full moon and a gentle ride all the way til daybreak. We arrived off shore at luperion at about 6.30 and the smell of cool air, first and the mountians was almost entoxicating!

We could see the 3 thousand ft high peaks in the distance and the Palm tree covered hills surrounding Luperion are spectacular. I was not prepared for the assault on my senses that was the DR!

Our first look at the DR close up

Luperion harbour

Girls waiting outside the immigration building(shack), second from the fight was Gladys, see just sat down and became part of the group, following us to lunch, sitting next to us and was brought a glass by our waiter and ended up drinking some of our beer! Ends up she Aldo showed up as part of the agriculture party and asked for 20 bucks! Learned after the fact that she moonlighted doing more sexy pursuits😫

Waiting on the guys

Discovery on her ball at Luperion harbour

Wendy's was our place to sample presidente and also it had good Wifi

Anita strolling the streets of Luperion.

We took our time negotiating the narrow entrance to the harbour, and once in were surprised how crowded and small the anchorage really is. We eventually took a mooring ball from our boat guy, his name was popi and he was the jack of all trades we had heard about, water taxi, delivery guy, enterpter, rental car, waterfall trips, you name it Popi had his hand in it!

After spending a few hrs with the litany of people coming out to the boat in the clearing in process, or should I say the cleaning out process, as everyone had there hand out! First 93 bucks for immigration, then 20 bucks to the tourist guy, then 20 bucks to the "agricultural" people (at least they took our trash). Then the port authority wants 20 bucks for being in the harbour. After finally filling all the hands with cash it was time to go into luperion and have a beer!

And what kind of beer, El Presidente of course, the national beer of DR! And what a beer it is, first they come in the grande size, approx two reg beers, second they cost only 100 peso, or about 2 bucks American, third they serve their beer at freezing or just above! Many Presidente's were consumed during our stay!

Then there were the two main staples of life, rice and beans and plantains! They have the best rice and beans here, but the plantains are my fav, green, yellow, ripe, smashed, fried, it don't matter I love me some plantains!

The DR was great, the people are poor but happy and friendly. The countryside is spectacular, the sights and sounds are too, on the roads you see people finding ponies, donkeys, they carry metal milk jugs on their donkies, you are likely to see a roadside butchery, fresh vegetables every where and sweet potatos the size of footballs!

The motorcycles, everywhere, loaded with people or stuff, we saw a guy blasting down the road with a bail of hay the size of a refrigerator on the back of a 125cc cycle.
Any trip on a highway in the DR is like a thrill ride, people pass you on the right side, two cars might be traveling abreast on the same side of the highway, motorcycles flit in and out of traffics like Mosquitos! There seem to be no rules of the road in the DR just guidelines like they say I'm the Pirates of the Carribean!

The highlight of Luperion was the trip to the waterfalls. The Cascades! We took a van about 35 miles up into the rainforest and then donned life jackets and helmets and were led up a trail by our two guides to the start of our 12 waterfall adventure. There is a very narrow gourge carved out of the rock in the mountain side by a stream. It had rained the night before do the stream was really a raging mini river! This area had been know to the locals for hundreds of years but recently opened to tourists. The water was cold eventhough it was 80 plus degrees. The initial falls required us to sit and slide down into the pool that forms below the fall, like natures own water slide! The current was so strong that the guide below had to make sure you didn't end up slushed all the way down the mountian. Eventually we came to a fall that we could not sit and slide do we waked out the edge of the gourge and stood and jumped 30 feet down into the pool! You could never do this in the states, there aren't enough release forms in the world to make this work in America ! But it was the most challenging thing I have ever done and so proud Anita did it with me!

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