Sunday, March 15, 2009

Touring the DR, Continued

We started our day with a hearty Dominican breakfast consisting of eggs, mashed plantains, fried cheese and the renowned Dominican coffee. Feeling like slugs, we headed for a hike up to the waterfalls at Jarabacoa, the home of white water rafting, gorgeous flora, and hippies. This is a beautiful part of the country. We visited a mountain lodge to view wonderful things previously not viewed by me growing lavishly, and, amazingly, fantastic artwork displayed through the common areas. This would be a very cool place to hang out with tons of good books to get away from it all. Totally away.
On the long drive to Santo Domingo we stopped along the way to visit one of millions of roadside stands for some kind of bread made with corn but nothing like corn bread. You can drive for miles viewing these stands, and all vendors selling the same thing congregate along the same stretch of road. It seems odd; these stands are 100 feet apart, and there are no signs announcing “Peaches for Sale Ahead”. Sort of like a new car dealership mall. Items for sale included fruits and vegetables, roasted pig, live chickens for the do-it-your-selfer, bedspreads, bakery stuff, on and on. You take your life into your hands when you pull over to make your purchase.
For lunch we stopped and had zepeto juice smoothies, I cannot describe this fruit but if you get here, try it. It looks like a large sweet potato, sort of; I have one waiting to ripen on the counter.
Peter drove as fast as he could so that we could get to the Lighthouse, which is not a lighthouse at all as we mariners think about it, but the resting place of Christopher Columbus, whose remains were moved here in 1992 upon the completion of the museum. This building was funded by many, many nations whose named appeared carved on the outside of the building which contains exhibits put together by the contributors. Several provided artifacts or replicas, we were especially impressed with the Canadian exhibit which bore only a plaque, the previously donated moon rocks having been recalled. We are delighted now to remind our friends that they are Indian givers. This location is known as the Lighthouse because at night, under certain conditions, the lighting of the building reflects a cross in the sky. While we were there there, however, there we no lights. Nada. We toured the museum in total darkness as the power was off!
We then drove around the very crowded and bustling streets (sic) of Santo Domingo for an hour and a half looking for our hotel. A frustrating end to a very full day. After checking in we walked around the Colonial City and wished we had more time.

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