The Samanà peninsula

April 11, 2014

7.22am It wasn’t difficult to wake up at 6.30. Normally at 9.30pm we are so tired that we fall asleep with ease, because for a reason or the other we often wake up early. It’s already hot, this early in the morning; there is so much stuffiness that smog hovers at nose height.

A cavallo verso la cascata di El Limon
On a horse toward El Limon waterfall

We are waiting for a pickup to El Limon, where we are doing a horse tour to see a nice waterfall (I lost the pictures of this place). At this time of the morning many have already done their morning swim and are going back home to start work, in the shop or cooking. What I regret is that we didn’t have time to cross the border between the touristic Las Terrenas and the local one. We crossed it yesterday on the gua-gua, arriving, it would have been nice to go on foot. The most athletic this morning walk with weights on their wrists or carrying plastic bottles full of sand. No kidding here! On the gua-gua coming here there were some very well dressed women, one even had an iphone.

We are already late on our schedule. The German girls told us to leave before 8am because later there are too many tourists at the waterfall.

Passaggio attraverso la spiaggia del resort Grand Paradise per arrivare al nostro campeggio sul monte
Walking by the beach at the Grand Paradise resort to get to our camping on the promontory.

3.15pm EL CABITO

This place! People pay a lot of money (10 euro for an octopus), to have dinner on a stilt house about 50 meters above the ocean. You can even jump, but El Cabito is not responsible for your safety; and there’s a rope to come back up.

Luca non ti buttare!
Luca don’t jump!

We walked for one hour in the heating midday sun (the time we like to spend under the sun, apparently), to save 3 euro of moto concho. It was a nice walk though, we passed by the beautiful beach of the Grand Paradise, the only resort in town.

El Cabito ristorante
The restaurant at El Cabito
View from El Cabito

Tomorrow we are leaving this place, before breakfast (because here it costs 250 RDS per person, and a beer 150! I’ve never had a beer so expensive in the Dominican Republic), because it’s a bit expensive, far from the beach and far from the town. This place is amazing, isolated, and for this reason you have to pay; it’s nice for a night, but we prefer the comfort and prices of the town. Our tiny house is on stilts, with a curtain as door, plus a mosquito net (around the matress, placed on the floor), to protect us from possible attacks. My butts hurt, after this morning ride.

La nostra capannina sull'albero a El Cabito
Our cute tree house in El Cabito

7.30pm CHINOLA, passion fruit. This is delicious! In Las Galeras the main road leaves from the beach and goes perpendicularly toward the mainland. Tonight we walked a bit along this road and we got a bit out of the “town centre” (the crossroad of the only two roads that are in Las Galeras) and we walked a bit further because the place where we normally eat wanted 200 RDS for the chicken, instead of 150 like yesterday. So we tried a new place, with no floor and tables outside under a plastic curtain, and we had our nice chicken for 150 and two juices. Two delicious juices. I must tell my mother that once we are back we won’t have chicken for a long time.

April 12

Relax day in Las Galeras. As soon as we came down from El Cabito we found a room in a nice hotel near the only crossroad in Las Galeras. At the Paradiso Bungalows there are 6 tiny houses, each including one bedroom and one bathroom; we are staying in one of these, in another is the French owner, the others are empty.

Il nostro bungalow a Las Galeras
Our bungalow in Las Galeras

It was 8 am when we arrived, and they hadn’t opened yet. Considering that they have no clients, I’m not surprised. As soon as we put down our bags we went to a cafeteria at the other corner of the crossroad to have pancakes with jam and a lovely coffee. The owners are Americans, a bit hippy. I borrowed a book, “The girl with pear earring”, that I have to read in one day because tomorrow morning we leave town.

After breakfast we went to the supermarket to buy something for lunch (cheese crackers and water) and we went to a nice beach a bit far from the center. We got lost to get there, but it’s really nice. We walked between houses and a bit in the jungle, but you can also get there directly by car. I can’t remember the name of the beach, but everybody knows it in town.

At this beach they also rent sunbeds and there’s a café, but we refuse and lay our towels on the sand in the shade. After a short time next to us come two white elder men with two black girls. They seem to be well established couples, not a flirt. There’s also a lady from Rome that from time to time comes to talk to the men. They are probably spending their retirement here.

We stayed at the beach the whole afternoon, I was reading with no rest. Luca spent his time swimming and watching a pelican flying and diving in front of us.

In the evening after the shower we had dinner in a place at the end of the road, with rice and chicken, the one that a Georgian man last night recommended as the best place in Las Galeras. The food was actually good and it was interesting to look at locals coming for dinner.