Ocean World Dominican Republic

Bad storm last night and continuing into today.  I can’t believe how much rain we’ve gotten!  This morning the waves are almost coming over the seawall.  Two boats came in, one a fishing boat, and the other a trawler coming from Cuba.  They said the waves were over 15 feet.  They looked exhausted!  Between rainshowers, we took a walk down to the beach.  The waves were really crashing on the reef.  We just hung around the boat the rest of the day, working on Halloween stories. 

A major mistake on my part.  Tessa’s window was open last night when it rained and her comforter got wet.  When the rain and wind calmed down, I put it on the line, secured with several clothespins.  I kept a good eye on it, and it seemed fine.  Then the wind got up and when I went to check on it……. “Comforter No More!”  I can’t believe it!!  I looked all over the boat for it but it was gone.  I didn’t break the news to Tessa yet.  That is not a conversation I am anxious to have!!!

Puerto Plata

We had a few hours before we had to turn in the rental car so we went shopping in Puerto Plata.  At a big department store I was able to get 2 pairs of very nice jeans for Tessa, a pair of shoes for Tessa, and a pair of sandals for Tristan, all for under $30.00 US dollars.  Tessa’s brand of jeans I know sell for over $30.00 each in the US.  Really nice jeans are cheap here, usually about $10.00.  The problem is that Dominican women are very, very skinny.  Also, they are not very tall.  I consider myself average height, but I feel like an Amazon woman around them sometimes!!  I did get a very cute shirt for 350 pesos, a little more than $10.00.

I needed to put gas in the car before we returned it.  Since the gas station was on the opposite side of the road, divided by a concrete barrier, I had to do a U turn at the stoplight.  I am not sure U turns are entirely legal,  but you hardly ever see policeman here.  So I started my U turn, but had to turn wide then cut back in because of a bus parked there.  As I looked back over my shoulder I was extremely surprised to see a policeman on a motorcycle behind me.  He was thinking I was going straight and nearly ran into the back of me and was struggling to keep his bike upright.  He was not happy.  Through the car windows are eyes met.  My eyes widening in surprise, his narrowing in anger.  I took full advantage of the fact that he was struggling with his motorcycle and kept going, praying that he wasn’t going to follow me.  Tristan put me at ease.  “Don’t worry Mom.  He won’t come after you.  He already has someone on the back of his bike.”  Thank goodness for that!

I made it to the gas station, then decided to stop at the grocery store to pick up some milk.  When we parked, a little boy came up to the car saying he was hungry.  I told him to wait until after I got out of the store.  When we came out he was still there.  Dan reminded me that you can’t give money to kids under the age of 10.  It’s illegal.  He looked so pitiful.  I started to hand him a handful of coins but he looked up and then ran off.  A man came up to the car, very unhappy with me.  He was lecturing me in Spanish.  On one side I have him lecturing me in spanish, and what he is saying I don’t have a clue, and Dan on the other side lecturing me in English saying “I told you.  You can’t give kids money.”  Very helpful Dan!

I had no idea what the guy was saying to me but when he made the motion of hands in handcuffs, I got the picture.  All I could say was “Gracias” and wait for him to stop.  Visions of a third world prison were running through my head.  Finally, he was done.  I nodded my head, said “Gracias” again, and headed off.  My second brush with third world justice in under an hour!!  It was time to go home. 

Santiago Dominican Republic

We are hoping to be out of here in another week, so we rented a car and went back to Santiago for last minute supplies.  It was my turn to drive as Dan’s license expired on his birthday. We were able to get some new shoes for Tristan.  I hope this will put his shoe problems to rest.  We actually found a Payless shoe store here with good prices.  I was hoping to pick up a pair of shoes.  Dominican women wear the best shoes, and the shops are loaded with high heels which are my weakness.  I did manage to pick out my birthday present, but I will have to wait til the actual day.  We ran out of time before I could score the shoes though.  Not to worry, as I have one pair of high heel sandals on board that I wear  with jeans when we go out here.

This time we were determined to find the Taco Bell, that Pablo the dockmaster had told us about.  Pablo’s directions were flawless and we found it.  Very exciting!!  We ordered our usual and rushed to our seat in anticipation of one of our favorite places to eat.  What a disappointment!!!  It had no taste!  More suprisingly, it had no spice.  How is it possible to have bland Taco Bell????  It got us to thinking more about the Dominican Republic and kind of summed up our trip.  The Dominican people are great, very nice, will do anything for you; the island is beautiful, lots of lush green mountains, and the prices are relatively cheap.  But, for a spanish speaking country, it is surprisingly bland in its music and food.  We love spicy and this isn’t the place for it.  The music is merengue, nice, fast, but I wouldn’t call it spicy, like latin music or reggae.  The food, predominantly chicken and rice, good, but not spicy.  Even the Bahamas, though not all the time, usually had spicier food than here.  Such a surprise.   On the boat, we pretty much live on mexican type food, the hotter the better.  And interestingly enough, we eat lots of soup.  (You would think with temperatures inside the boat of 90 plus degrees, soup would be the last thing we would eat.  But strangely enough we do.)   Oh well.  Puerto Rico has better food, and if not, the British Virgin Islands have jerk chicken and they aren’t too far away!

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