While Frank Was Away, I Still Played
A bird’s eye view of Marina Puerto Bahia
While Frank was sailing across the Atlantic between Bermuda and Spain on a different boat, I hung out on Let It Be with Captain in Marina Puerto Bahia, DR. While I enjoy time to myself, three weeks was a bit long and I was super happy when my friend, Anneva, decided to make an impromptu visit.
After picking Anneva up in at the airport on the southern side of the Dominican Republic, we drove back to Samana on the northern shore. After an uneventful flight, Anneva had the chance to experience DR driving. Driving in the DR is interesting because there are so, so many motorcycles and people pass each other without much regard for conventional passing rules. SO you are driving uphill and the road turns so much that you can’t see what is coming…. perfect time to pass!
Thankfully the drive was also uneventful, but I wouldn’t call it relaxed.
Anneva relaxing in the Puerto Bahia pool.
However, we did manage to relax once we returned to the marina. Captain loved having Anneva here because Anneva is really good at morning scratches or afternoon ones or evening ones! Cappy loved all the walks and attention.
The walks are often shady but it is still hot and humid
The first day of Anneva’s stay, we hung out around the marina, took a few walks, chilled by the pool and generally gabbed the day away as we caught up on the many months since we last visited in person.
We spent one day exploring Las Terranas, a town about 30 minutes away with many shops, restaurants and beaches.
How beautiful is this?
Our first stop was the beach above and we decided just to park ourselves here for the day! We were not at all interested in shopping, we had comfy beach chairs and most of the beach to ourselves, so we decided we couldn’t do much better. Plus we had more catching up to do!
Anneva looks like she might take this boat for a spin.
A DR beach day isn’t complete without a vendor or two trying to sell us something. Anneva just couldn’t resist this terra cotta frog which we were told is “an ancient Taino Indian artifact.” The gentleman assured us that he had dug up this frog and showed us the bottom surface which had a circular pattern carved into it. He told us the Tainos would have placed the frog in a fire, then used bottom surface to brand or tattoo. We aren’t sure if he meant brand their animals or tattoo people. Either way, the story was too good to pass up the trinket even if we don’t believe for a minute that it is authentic.
Of course all of this conversation took place in Spanish, so who knows what the real story was and exactly what our vendor was trying to say!
Strolling along the beach.
Our dock neighbors, Andre and Josee, graciously offered to show Anneva and me some of their favorite places, so we took off in our rental car and spent a fabulous day exploring.
I sound like a total ditz but I cannot tell you exactly where these pictures were taken because I was busy driving and watching the motorcycles. (Frank and I have dubbed the motorcycles here “mosquitos” because they are a bit pest-like and numerous.)
First stop was fresh, local bread cooked over this open flame!
Andre knows a lot of great places to buy local fruits or veggies and some great restaurants. We had barely begun driving when he told us to stop at a road side house where we would buy fresh bread. Lloila, the lady in this picture, bakes bread in her home right on the street, over the open flame in the picture. This flat bread was a little sweet and unlike any I have tried before.
Now that we wouldn’t starve, ha, we proceeded to a blow hole along the coast. The contrast between the lush greens, the rock sea wall and the blue water was beautiful.
A low pitched rumble accompanied the gush of water through the blow hole.
We drove along the coast through some very small towns and stopped at pretty beaches just for the views. But it wasn’t too long before Andre and Josee had us stop at a bar/eco center so we could buy a drink and enjoy another view.
We walked past chicken coups and vegetable plants along a shaded walkway.
Until we came to this stunning little bar/cafe!
But we only stayed here long enough to buy water and soak in the beauty because Andre had a special lunch spot in mind.
Choosing fish for our lunch.
We stopped at yet another beach where Andre and Josee assured us the lunch was typical DR and freshly caught. As soon as we arrived, we picked out “our fish” then went to swim in the ocean for 30 or 45 minutes while lunch was prepared.
A little Presidente to complement the fish, rice and plantains.
Neither Anneva nor myself are huge fish eaters and we were a little hesitant when it was served as a complete fish – head, tail, eyes and all! Once we got past having our lunch stare back at us, it was very good.
The remainder of the day was spent moving from one beautiful lookout stop to another. Although Andre did have us drive through some pretty questionable roads where Anneva and I thought the car might disappear into the potholes!
El Monte Azule was closed but we still enjoyed the view.
At one especially narrow and potted road, we decided to park the car and walk up the hill to El Monte Azule which Andre told us had a gorgeous 360 degree view that included both the Atlantic Ocean and Samana Bay. The walk was steep and hot but we were game. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed so we couldn’t see the total 360 view but we still thought what we could see was worth the effort.
Josee and Andre at Monte Azule
After walking back to our car and driving between potholes, we headed back toward Puerto Bahia. We had an excellent day with Josee and Andre and saw many places we would never have found on our own!
Thank you SO much Josee and André for a really wonderful day!
Unfortunately Anneva only had a couple of days to stay in the DR, so the next day we drove back to the southern coast and spent the afternoon in Santa Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. (Here is a post about Santa Domingo.)
I am so thankful that Anneva was willing to fly to the DR and hang out with me. Although her visit went much too quickly, she broke up the isolation of my time alone on LIB and it was absolutely fabulous to spent time with her! Thanks Anneva!!!