Monday, March 16, 2009
We awoke early at our hotel, The Duque de Wellington. This place cost about $55 dollars and was marginally nicer than our hotel in Santiago, the Hotel Platino. Our guide does not stay in hotels and I think was not current on the better places to stay for similar pesos, we should have checked with the local cruisers for up to date info.
We grabbed a take away breakfast at the bakery next store (we had dinner at the related restaurant last evening and it was good, not great). Off to Tres Ojos, with underground Indian lagoons where Rob promised incredible luminescent caves. An incredible attraction completing with glowing turtles and a Dominican Johnny Unitas all set to dive from the cave walls for only ten US dollars. We passed.
We returned to the Colonial City and walked around in search of a doll for my granddaughter’s collection. (I think my companions are growing weary of my obsession with Willow whom I miss more than you can imagine.) Then, off to the Alcazar, Columbus’ son Diego’s former residence, a walk along the oldest street in the Americas, and a tour of the oldest Cathedral.
Then the fun part: driving around in circles for 2 ½ hours trying to get out of the city to begin the long ride home. I thought my mellow husband was going to kill our guide, who, not being a driver, does not understand that you can’t make a right turn while in the left lane of a 4 lane highway (remember also while dodging street vendors and guys hanging out of guaguas), nor any of the street locations since she travels only by bus. Our goal had been to get back to Luperon by nightfall to avoid the unlit dirt roads filled with motoconchos and the occasional goat. Oh well.
Since we had already missed the sunset deadline we decided to stop at one of the famous box stores in Santiago. Here you can buy groceries, liquor, clothing, appliances, textiles, stationery products, you name it. With a loaded car we headed home to dodge farm animals and maniacs. Arrived safely.