Sunday, September 11, 2011

Home Again!

Luperon, Dominican Republic

Thursday, August 4 – Friday, August Saturday, August 27, 2011

I’m hooooome! It’s great to be back on Pipe Muh Bligh with Rene and Tux. Our lives settled back into the old routine soon after I got back home. We spent a lot of time combing through the piles of stuff I brought back with me, and even longer trying to figure out where to put it all! One new item to welcome me home was the brand new muelle, or dinghy dock. The government finally came through with a reconstruction project, so we’ll save our fund-raising money for future repairs. Finally…no more risking life and limb to get to and from town!

The first packages from home that were put to good use were our Eagles Nest Outfitters nylon hammocks. A few of our friends have them, and we had two shipped to Seattle last month. We brought them with us on a motorcycle ride to a beach west of town, and six of us hung our hammocks under the sea grape trees. There’s something really special about listening to the waves lap on the beach and the wind rustle through the leaves, while you gently rock a few inches above the sand. We had a repeat performance at El Castillo beach a few days later, and knew this was becoming our favorite new habit.

Not to become too lazy, we planned a trip up to the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua. The “waterfalls” are actually a series of natural pools set in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. You take a very long, very hot hike to the top of one of the mountains, carrying your protective gear – a helmet and life jacket – with you. At the top is pool #26, whose cool waters feel heavenly after the hike you’ve just done. If you’re more adventurous, you can use a rope to climb a rock up to #27 and the 10-foot jump into the pool. (By the way, whether the pools are numbered by actual pools or jump-off points is anyone’s guess.) From there, you work your way back down the mountain, swimming, hiking, sliding, and jumping through streams from one pool to the next. It’s an incredible experience, and should be on everyone’s “must-do” list when visiting the DR. If you’re worried about the physical nature of the trip, don’t be. Each group goes with one or two guides who pull you up as needed and show you the safest spots for jumping. These guys are in terrific shape, and are used to taking kids, seniors, and everyone in between. If you’re not up for all 27 falls, there are packages to do only the first seven or twelve falls. Now if you possess a fear of heights, that’s a different story. Many of the jumps are 10-15 feet high, and two are closer to 25-30 feet. Rene loved it, but Stacy needed some serious coaxing for the really high ones. (It was scary!) The trip probably took three hours, and we were more than ready for a cold cerveza when we got back to Luperon!

Friday night, we attended our first dinner dance at Puerto Blanco Marina. The marina recently put in pizza ovens (woo hoo!), and were offering “you call it” pizzas for 400 pesos. We got an “everything but the kitchen sink”, complete with minced habaneros. Yummy! The evening entertainment started with a local Dominican dance troupe, and the cruisers got into the mix after enough adult bevvies were imbibed. We all had a great time, and look forward to the next marina event.

That’s it for now…things could get a bit hectic over the next few days. We have a tropical “wave” brewing in the Caribbean that everyone has their eyes on. More on that next time…

P.S. We have to wish our friend, Larry, a very happy birthday. He threw one heck of a party at a local Luperon hot spot on Aug. 27th, complete with TWO roasted pigs and all the Luperon trimmings. The entire harbor showed up along with some friends from Gringo Hill, and we all had a fantastic time. It doesn't quite fit in with our hurricane blog (following this one), so we've tucked the birthday bash, a.k.a. "Larry-stock", here. Thanks again, Larry!

Waterfall pictures: here

LarryStock pictures: here

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