April 2, 2014

8.45 We are in the street having breakfast. In CABARETE!

Champion’s breakfast: fried egg, fried salami, yuta and some sweet onion. Delicious! At first Luca didn’t want it, he preferred something sweet. But he changed his mind and he’s also having a dish like this now.

We arrived yesterday at about midday, after a rather long journey. The bus that at 6.30 was meant to take us directly to Santiato from Constanza was actually at 5.30am, so we missed it. So we took a camioneta to El Alambico, sitting in the truck because I insisted, to save 75 pesos, and Luca was upset because it was cold and he was all wet from the humidity of the night. With the cold and the air from the fast riding down the mountain, he had some frost on his beard.

Prima dell'alba, sul pick-up da Constanza, un Luca piuttosto incazzato
Before sunrise, on the pick-up from Constanza, Luca was a bit angry

In El Alambico there was a gua-gua to Santiago ready to leave. So different compared to Haiti, where to cover the same distance it took us a whole day! We had already put our backpacks on a gua-gua that was meant to leave from El Alambico and I was enjoying a good dominican coffee made with a moka, waiting for the gua-gua to fill up, when another gua-gua from Santo Domingo arrived and they told us it was going to Puerto Plata, after Santo Domingo, where we should also go. So we quickly jumped on this other gua-gua, dropping the coffee on my t-shirt.

Along the road we picked up some women that didn’t want to come with us, because the gua-gua was going further North and it wouldn’t have taken them to the centre of La Vega where they were going. But the driver promised that he would take them to the centre of the town. “If you don’t take me to San Martin square I won’t pay you”. At the end he does go into town a bit, but not to the square, the ladies get the fare discounted because they have to pay for a moto-taxi to go to the square and after long discussions we can finally leave to Santiago. Because he actually lied to us too, he is not going to Puerto Plata. But he leaves us where we can take the next gua-gua, and considering how big Santiago is and how many “stations” there are, it’s a good thing.

In Santiago I have another coffee hoping to find a bathroom but here comes the bus: I burn my tongue again, to drink the hot coffee quickly. One and a half hour later, on a gua-gua with air-con, we are in Puerto Plata. Last change. Finally I find a bathroom (at the local hospital) and we jump on the last gua-gua, that leaves immediately because it’s super full already. Luca is sitting on a pole that is piercing his butts, legs curled up that after a few minutes they go dumb. One hour and we are in Cabarete. The last part of the journey was not comfortable at all, and we also had to pay an extra for our bags; first time we are asked this.

At the hotel they wanted to give us the 50 USD room, but I said that I asked for the 35 one. At the end they gave us one at 40 (with private bathroom), but breakfast and dinner are not included. Panic. Because this is a very touristic place, will we be able to find a local restaurant with rice and chickent at 150 RDS?

While we wait for our room to be ready, we have a churrasco burger at the hotel restaurant (hotel = a jungle with some houses and a swimming pool in the middle), it was the only thing that cost less than 200 pesos. It was good, but without chips I was hungrier than before. The room is ready. Very nice, large and with a lot of light, the first one we have with real windows (and large) since we left home, colorful and clean. We are too far from the reception for the wifi, but I will survive.

We go out, and a moto driver tells us there’s a comedor further up, in the very centre of the town. We go there, and we do find a plato del dia (chicken or pork with rice) and eat. We feel much better. The street is full with shops and restaurants. It almost looks like Riccione.

We go to the beach. Plenty of kitesurfers and windsurfers. We find a nice spot under some palm trees and we get ready to spend the afternoon doing absolutely nothing. It’s not bad at all. Swim and nap. There are some tall buildings by the beach. Are we really in the Dominican Republic?

All this happened yesterday. Happy with the great and energetic breakfast, we can go for a walk on the beach. I made Luca promise we’ll come back here tomorrow too, for the same delicious breakfast.