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Old 11-04-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Dont stop now.....love your great sense of humor and fun!!!
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Old 11-05-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Small boats transferred us to the catamaran waiting for us in the deeper sea and soon we are ready to sail to find our paradise. Bayahibe’s wooden huts become slightly distant when buses disembark tourists who run to catch the next boats.

Bayahibe is a small fish village , known to most of the tourists as the jump of point to isla Saona. But there is also a nice beach 1600 meters surrounded by tall coco palms and amongst the pastel colored local homes there are several tiny coffe-restaurants and several budget hotels. The local people often rent their homes as guest houses while they live in a room at the back of the house. The area is popular to the independent travelers , as the Punta cana resort’s customers book the day trips from inside the resort and pass by the village without paying any special attention. But this part of the island is not only beautiful , but it is also extremely interesting , and if I had more days I would spend a few here.

The boat men go to Saona because this is what tourists ask for , but if you ask they can take you a tour of playa Dominicus or even more distant lagoons where you can be alone for swimming , snorkeling or diving. This is where the' National park del este' begins and includes the whole south-east peninsula of the Dominican Republic , to Boca de Yuma , the other closest town except Bayahibe , and includes the island of Saona , fortunately as this beautiful place has a chance to remain the way i saw it!
Those who love walks in nature will find here a paradise full of tropical birds that live only here , iguanas , mammals , dozens of tropical plants but also abundant caves with pre-Columbian Taino art on the walls .
The beaches we pass by and I saw from the catamaran are accessible only by boat , since in the park there are trails that do not lead down to the beaches. The only creatures wandering on the secluded beaches are several turtle species to lay their eggs. The sea is full of tropical fishes feeding themselves on the rich reef that accompanies the coastline. Dolphins were running behind our catamaran and when we stopped near the mangrove area , the guide said there are many manatees but they are too shy to come out and say hi!

When we came back I wouldn't resist to go for even a nearby walk , as the guide said there are two entrances to the park , one in Bayahibe. The second entrance is in Boca de Yuma , once a live fish village like Bayahibe , but that was before Hurricane Georges transforms it into a ghost town several years ago.. Hotels and local homes were left in ruins and the seafood restaurants upturned in its wake..

On the cat there were a couple of families with their kids and two young couples all Germans and the two women from the USA. Of course loud Dominican music was heard and the rum flowed freely. I found myself with a full glass in hand , no matter if I said no twice to the Dominicans filling continuously our glasses. The two women also offered me a rum , and while I'm not a huge fan of alcohol , now I was holding a rum in each hand. And it was early in the morning. And the sun was burning on our heads helping the rum to act faster..
The whole thing was beautiful , the sun shone over the colorful Bayahibe homes and the tall coco palms swaying like saying goodbye..On the edge of the village I could see the light green roof of ‘Casa del Mar’ hotel. I turned to Mr.go2 to tell him about it but a hand pinned me down and a knife (?) touched my neck. I turned around and I saw a very tanned Jack Sparrow threatening me with the knife while the other Dominicans captured the scenes..

The pirates of the caribbean had attacked us and were taking photos with the tourists. They gave us pirate bandanas and they left for Bayahibe to develop the films.
When we came back to Bayahibe we found bottles of rum half buried into the sand of the beach. On my bottle , the big photo on the label of the bottle , showed Mr.go2 and the pirate in a fencing to death and me smiling between them..

The party had started , I found myself dancing (or I think so) merengue with a Dominican and since all the Dominicans were dancing , Mr.go2 was driving the cat. That was not strange , it's his job , but he's not good in geography , if they let him drive we could go to the Caymans instead of Saona! The most strange was a German next to him talking and laughing. His wife found it strange too and she came to ask me if we speak German. I said not and then she said her husband speaks only German. I said mine speaks only Greek. So in what language do they talk? She wondered. Later I asked Mr.go2 what (and how) they talked about , but he said he doesn't remember anything. So I guess they talked in the rum's language..
We passed by several locations of isla Saona where too many vessels had stopped and the party was going on , on the shore. I didn't like it.. dance and music and party was great for aboard , but the island seemed calm and peaceful. Fortunately the shore we disembarked was remote and away from the parties. And soooo beautiful:

It was that kind of beauty that not my camera either the best author could not describe!
Islet of unbelievable exotic beauty , with an endless beach and a very calm turquoise see dancing around it kindly , being afraid not to disturb the sand on the shore that looked like powder..The sea was so live with all kinds of fish making their presence felt , corals scattered in the shallow water and a fantastic reef in the deeper..
The islet was crowned by a forest of palm trees and rich vegetation inland.
The Dominicans started preparing the beach bbq and others prepared refreshing juices. We had enough time to go and explore or swim and we could come back to have lunch here.
I got a nice juice , we walked away from the rest group and got one of the sunbeds that were scattered at the meeting point of the sea and the palm trees.
The time passed with swimming in the warm water , photos , walk inland – I was so happy to see so many palm trees! The sun , the sea , the incredible landscape , conspire so you can experience an unforgettable unique day , with all your senses paralyzing and your soul finding contentment. Away from it all ...

I realized it was lunch time from the smells of roasted pork and swordfish that stimulated my nose. The food was delicious as if a Spanish and an African mixed their ingredients and techniques and created tastes that I didn't know what to choose from the buffet. I don't know how they made all those specialities on the beach.
On the bbq area there were scattered benches and tables with palapa roofs , nice to have lunch there. The vegetation was thick and you couldn't see the next bench. So there was a feeling you are the only person on the island.
Enough with the lunch , I don't want to miss a second! The ocean beckons me , the warm sea welcomes me , multicolored school of tropical fish swim next to me , looking at me through my mask with curiosity. The island was the perfect refuge and a base by pirate ships in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The pirates of caribean were wandering for years around the islands looking for treasures and I found it in one day!
If this is a dream , don't wake me up! No , it's not time to leave!! Yes...it is..

I said goodbye to the logs on the sand that someone had carved like tiki statues. The blue sky with just two clouds as necessary accessories to add more charm to the setting , the coco palms plantation , the sugar beach , the turquoise water..
We should keep this day trip for the end of our journey to the Dominican Republic, I said , I don't think we'll find a more beautiful place in our whole trip! Mr.go2 agreed.
But we were both wrong!






Last edited by go2dbeach; 11-05-2011 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 11-05-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Dont stop now.....love your great sense of humor and fun!!!
Thank you so much

Last edited by go2dbeach; 06-18-2013 at 03:01 AM..
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Old 11-11-2011   #19 (permalink)
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To the North..

No,no,no Mr.go2 insists! I’m not going this route, it’s obvious that this way we make a big circle! But , it’s better and safer to go to Santo Domingo and follow the bus route to Samana , I say , as to avoid bad surprises.
Look at the map , it’s the half distance from Boca chica to Sanchez via Monte plata and then to Samana , he insists!
Dear , the shortest route is not always the best , I say , maybe it’s a dirt road – it’s obvious it’s a secondary road - and it's the end of the rainy season...maybe it's a bad idea.
Bayaguana and Monte plata seem to be big villages…plus how bad can a dirt road be? He says and he wins.. we shall go that way.. And if we get lost – that’s my concern – we’ll ask somebody.. There's nothing to worry...before noon he says with a big smile , we’ll be in Sanchez!
We left Boca chica and the road was paved for the first couple of miles and then it turned to a dirt one. That dirt road was good enough although I didn’t like it when I saw it only a few minutes after we left the main road. The other bad sign was the lack of road signs , we had to guess where to go.
We passed by two big villages ( I think they were La Jina and Las Parras) built directly on the dirt road and the locals stared with curiosity at the red rental car which should be the only passing through their village since several days ago , maybe weeks , maybe at all!
At the crossroads tiny coffee shops placed the tables outside , on the road , and all were full of locals playing dominoes with excitement. The women clustered outside the hairdressers with colorful rollers set in their hair , doing whatever they can to straighten them. Though it seemed to me that all the rollers and hair dryers in the world couldn’t do too much with those bushy and curly hair.
All this scenes were always talking place under a cheerful merengue soundtrack.

We made it to Bayaguana , but after this the situation became complicated. We managed to get lost and disoriented and we ended up on a dirt cross road.
Dirt road here , dirt road there , and another one there and which is the right one? Let’s follow the first by luck.. Go up the hill , go down the hill , go around the mountain’s base , cross a shallow river and…we are back at the first crossroad!

Far away we see a Dominican man walking out of a field and probably going to his village! Somewhere near there must be a village!
Let’s ask him where we are! Oh , but in what language?
Let’s say all the words we know in Spanish…good morning , hola , chicken , water.. well , these do not help. How do we say village? It’s pueblo , isn’t it? I ask.
I only know pan y cerveza , Mr.go2 replies.
At least we are having some fun!
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Old 11-13-2011   #20 (permalink)
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go2dbeach - Loving your trip report, keep them coming!
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Old 11-14-2011   #21 (permalink)
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go2dbeach - Loving your trip report, keep them coming!
Muchas gracias
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Old 01-14-2012   #22 (permalink)
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Cayo Levantado is a tiny island in Samana Bay, is surrounded by soft white sand and crystal blue water. Bacardí Beach, one of the island's beaches, owes its name to the commercial for the famous brand of rum that was filmed there.
Thankfully no cruise ships arrived the day we were on the island..this tiny paradise all for ourselves!
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Old 06-18-2013   #23 (permalink)
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Here is my video from the daytrip to Saona island. The singer is Olga Tañón from Puerto Rico and this song makes me smile!
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Old 07-05-2013   #24 (permalink)
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Wow! Your report, videos and the music make me want to go back to the Dominican Republic!!


Ευχαριστώ, so much for posting.

I am hoping to make it to your lovely country in 2014.
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Old 09-09-2013   #25 (permalink)
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Wow! Your report, videos and the music make me want to go back to the Dominican Republic!!
Ευχαριστώ, so much for posting.
I am hoping to make it to your lovely country in 2014.
You are very welcome to Greece! We are having some problems here, but for the visitors is still a nice place for holidays - maybe it's even better now.

As for the Dominican Republic, it is another paradise and i must continue this report somehow..
Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-07-2013   #26 (permalink)
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The northern part of the island is an amazing place! The Samana peninsula is grean and peacefull and remains so, even after ten years of my visit. Here is a video from a boat trip from Las Galeras to playa el Rincon
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Old 10-07-2013   #27 (permalink)
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Such natural beauty everywhere you look!!
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Old 02-13-2014   #28 (permalink)
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At the entrance of Las Terrenas the airstrip of El Portillo is waiting for the next airplane to land. Following the coastal road Calle Principal,you have on one hand the small souvenir shops, cafes, beach bars, and on the other the beautiful sea with white sand, leaning palm trees and a few benches with tatched roofs. Passing by El paseo de la Costanera, the seaside road continues in front of cozy resorts lost in tropical gardens.
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Old 02-13-2014   #29 (permalink)
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Wow! Love the video and the music! I watched it twice....and then I look out my window to temps in the low 20f and over a foot of snow
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Old 02-15-2014   #30 (permalink)
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Wow! Love the video and the music! I watched it twice....and then I look out my window to temps in the low 20f and over a foot of snow
Snow and cold..where are you?
The sun is shinning today in Athens but I'd love to be in that video myself
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