Discovering the area around Los Patos, in the Dominican Republic

March 14, 2014

1.25pm

We are in San Rafael. Giordano recommended this place. There are some natural pools created by a stream coming from the mountain, before it gets into the water; they put some stones together to create low walls and here you are five nice small pools with freezing water in the middle of the valley, one over the other. I like them because the ocean is a bit rough for me, but the water is too cold to stay inside for a long time. This place is similar to what should be in Los Patos, but there they are doing some works at the moment. By the pools there are small restaurants/huts and people relaxing.

We had lunch with a cereals arancino with meat and a fish&chips Dominican style, with sliced platano, pressed and fried, in place of the chips; it was good. We eat it quickly because we left our towels on the other side of the pool, at a table that is part of another restaurant; I was afraid they discovered our betrayal and would hide our towels.

Here come schoolchildren on a trip. They must be a hundred. All in denim and white shirt. Some of them to be different wear a hat, a wool scarf, or a gilet.

3pm We were about to leave, because in the sun it’s too hot, but we stopped at a table among the Dominicans drinking rum, take a bath with soap in the pools, move at the merengue rythm, and laugh when some white people find the courage to jump into the cold water.

san rafael

4.05pm We are at a Comedor in Los Patos drinking a very sweet coffee by the road (in the local custom). A gua-gua to Pedernales has just passed by. So tomorrow we know sooner or later there will be a gua-gua taking us there. But we actually knew that already, because on the gua-gua from San Rafael to here, Luca shouted “c’รจ un gua-gua che va a Pedernales?”, just like this, in Italian, without adding any “S” to make it sound more Spanish (this is how we Italians speak Spanish when we don’t know the language). He shouted because he was in the third row and wanted to ask the driver; but he ignored him and other people replied, that soon started to debate about Pedernales being a city or a municipalidad or who knows what.

In front of us, on the other side of the road, some people are gathered around a pile of second-hand clothes, on sale on the sidewalk. Probably clothes coming from Pedernales, where today that is Friday, there is an international market (Haitian-Dominican), where people sell clothes that the UN and NGOs send to Haiti to dress those that have no money and in some ways end up on sale on the streets of the two countries.

6.43pm We are back to the comedor after the shower. They can offer us lambi (local fish) with fried platano. I’m sorry we are not eating at Giordano’s, but we need to save some money. Dinner with sea view.

I’m going miss Los Patos, I like it here. If, as Giordano says, it’s the best area of the Republic, we will have to come back. Luca seems keen on going to Haiti. Because he doesn’t want to go back to Barahona on the same road we came here; or probably to Santo Domingo. Last night Giordano cooked us a fish similar to stone bass, cooked in coconut milk, because I told him I would like to eat local food. And it was delicious.

The lady at the comedor where we are eating has a house along the main road of the town and thought of exploiting the location to transform it into a restaurant. She put two small tables and six chairs out of her door, cooks in her kitchen and offers what they eat. Tonight: lambi with fried platano. But you can choose: lambi normal or with vinagrette. I prefer the normal. It’s actually delicious. And the platano does taste like chips. The lambi normal is cooked with small green peppers, onion and tomatoes. It’s really good. I think I will digest it tomorrow though.

After dinner, the lady kindly told us we could stay a bit longer people-watching. Good, my favorite past-time.