Feb 23 – we said goodbye to Villa la Caleta, and Dario drove us to Las Galeras so we could catch the morning guagua back to Las Terrenas. He seemed surprised to learn we were heading for Río San Juan. Why would anyone ever want to go there?
It was early Sunday morning, so for much of the ride the van was only partially filled. Blessed relief! Back through Samaná and El Limón we went.
When we reached Las Terranas two and a half hours later, there was a lively discussion among the driver and other riders about what should be done with us. It was 11:30 am, and some riders felt we should wait in town until the big bus heading north left at 2pm. The other, equally vocal contingent thought that in the interest of time, we should continue to guagua on to our final destination.
We opted for the guagua, so the driver brought us to the next van, which took us to Sánchez. (We know in retrospect that we should have asked for this route at Samaná, but oh well.) The nice thing about the guagua system is that there are no layovers or downtime. Each driver takes you directly to the next van, and tells the next driver where you are going.
After Sánchez, we headed up into the hills, and it started to rain like crazy. On to Nagua, then finally to Río San Juan, where the final driver actually took us right to our place on the beach.
So we are now in northern D.R., in a very nice apartment with a stove and fridge and everything needed for Jim to whip us up some of his very tasty meals, once the stores open tomorrow. For tonight, we found a shop selling hot ham and cheese empanadas, and that suited us just fine.
Feb 24 – We walked around today and found several grocerias, and stocked up on essentials that included vegetables! We haven’t really had any vegetables since we arrived in country. We found a French patisserie with excellent coffee and crusty fresh bread. We also found an ATM that dispensed more than the equivalent of $20 maximum per day, which has been a challenge in every town here, as hotels and everybody else accept only cash.
Our place has a small pool on the roof, but as we are just one block from the beach, we did our swimming in the Atlantic today. Playa de los Minos has more waves than we encountered in Las Galeras, but the water was warm and the swimming was fine.
The town has a little park with lots of mosaics.
We’re going to like it here!