I split the trip last week into to parts, because I thought each location deserved its own post. I wanted to explain why we had to get up so early for the Los Haitises portion of the trip. We needed a place to sleep for 2 nights and nothing good was coming up for hotels, so Anna suggested we hit up Turner, who works with a group that runs a kayak tour on Laguna Limon, Turner lives in the region, and I originally met him when it was Evan’s site and tried the tour. He was kind enough to host us, although Trivial Pursuit was still in his mailbox in the capital. But in order to make it to his site on Thursday night, we had to get to Miches by 5:30, and therefore we had to leave Sabana del Mar by 3:30, so we had to pick the 10 am tour over the 2 pm tour.
After the tour, we did travel several more hours to get to Turner’s. There is a nice change in the form of an elevated proper bridge. And they are making a shiny new road from Higuey, so it will be much easier for people to travel there in the future.
But what did Anna, Robin, and I do the next day. First, we got Turner to take us out for a short trip on the lagoon and startled some cows. Then we gathered lunch supplies and grabbed a bus heading towards Miches (coming from Higuey). We got off in Las Minas, where there is a nice sign pointing down the dirt track to the beach. We arranged another moto trip. This trip included the joy of mud holes, luckily it had not rained much lately up there (as opposed to my summer of rain). Turner told me, that if it is too muddy you will have to get off the moto on parts. At the end of a 30 minute ride, we arrived on a gorgeous beach. I was really to fight for the supremacy of Bahia de Las Aguilas visited on the 5th of July, but Playa Esmeralda won with the existence of shade. The water was gentle, the view was gorgeous (you could see the shading of where the Samana Pennisula is), we had cheese and avocado sandwiches with beverages, and the other people were far enough away. Word is the beach will not be as secluded much longer, and that is the way of development. Development is not just benefits of easier access and more goods, it is also the cost of a change in environment and culture. But, I at least got to experience the beach in a pristine manner. Robin and I even went a short walk to see a bit more and came upon a marine who called another to get us some coconuts and open them so we could drink the coconut water (although I don’t love it the way many others do). I took a photo and Robin looks just like a tourism shot, but no it was quite natural.
Around the time we were ready to leave we got a rain shower. After it stopped and we were attached by midges or something, we jumped back on the motos and we on the bus about 4 minutes after we got back to the main road, which was incredible timing. I claimed first shower, and let me tell you you don’t need temperature control or running water for a great shower. Dumping water over my head after our day and the clean feeling that came were incredible. That night we shared the house with some interns for Esperanza (a microcredit organization working in the Dominican Republic and Haiti) who had taken the kayak tour that afternoon. Turner got us tilapia and Robin offered to cook us moro (rice with peas mixed in. For some reason, Robin took the Dominicans recommendation on how much rice, so there was plenty left over in the morning. Why she should not have taken the recommendation was that Dominicans consume a greater quantity of rice than more of us volunteers. After that we went to the colomado, where some danced and some played dominoes,
All and all a very satisfying day, and a fabulous trip. Worth the 6 hours to get back to my site.