Page 2: - Dominican Republic - Tropical Motorcycle Adventure /w Pics -Cordillera Septentrional Mountains
I go over all my survival gear with Heidi while getting ready for a solo off-road ride.
- World cell phone: So I can let Heidi know incase I cannot make it back tonight for some reason, or need help ASAP.
- 1.5 L of water: For hydration or cleaning a wound
- Water purification pills: Incase if I run out of drinking water and need some
- Rain jacket: Incase I have an emergencies and need to stay warm
- Emergency space blanket: Can be used as a blanket or emergency shelter
- 50’ of emergency rope: To make a splint, make a shelter, or receive or give a tow
- Water proof stick matches: Incase I have to spend the night and make a fire
- Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline: For making a fire
- Sharp Swiss army knife: For anything
At the last second I grab two sanitary towelettes. Heidi says “Those are our last two!” I reply “I don’t plan to use them, but just incase I need to clean a compound fracture or something” She agrees “Well OK, but only for a compound fracture” We laugh…
Heidi helps me oil the chain by tipping the bike over on its kickstand while I spin the rear tire and squirt 40-weight oil along the chain.
Investigating the entrance to a trail up into the Cordillera Septentrional Mountains a few days ago, my map shows a trail going across the mountains and connecting to a paved road on the other side but it is not clear where it starts. My thought is it starts at the village Bombita. In Bombita I talk with a group of locals who have chairs set up along the trail. They tell me that yes, this trail goes all the way up into the mountains and goes a long way. They are very friendly, I am glad I stopped the bike and took the time to talk. Today on my way out the same group, about a dozen people, are at the same place. I pause to thank them for helping me the other day, every face lights up with a big smile.
Bombita is just a small community with maybe two dozen homes and a colmado or two.
The trail turns from bad to worse in no time.
Soft mud, wet clay, crushed or slick large rock. My rear tire wants to slip from side to side when I goose the throttle on the steep wet rock. I decide to cool it a bit because crashing on a rock would not feel good.
The cows are getting a little excited when so I kill the engine and get way over to the side. The cows all line up on the opposite side before they pass me.
I pass another small home on my way up. There is no electricity up here.
All the piglets rush over to its mother.
The trail improves as I ride further but we had torrential rains all night last night and everywhere is slippery. I meet several small road bikes. Sometimes when they are riding 2-up the passenger hops off in the slick spots.
Today is Sunday so it should be a good day to meet people. Heidi and I worked on my Spanish phrases to hopefully convince people into letting me take a photo of them and to help me not feel like a jerk for doing so. “hola! Buenos dias” (smile and wave) “soy esquitor por sitio de web para viajero aventura. gusto sacar photo personas amable de republica dominicana” This is what I think I said “Hello! Good morning. I am a writer for a website for adventure travelers. I like to take photos of the nice people of the Dominican Republic”
(Anyone who can really speak Spanish, please help me out here so I can get these phrases down better :)
Anyway, no matter what I actually did say it worked. I could have stayed here all day and night and was made to feel totally at home with friends.
I think they are saying that the top of the mountain is two or three clicks up the road.
Another group is sitting on a bridge railing. Here is my standard approach, turn off my engine and take off the helmet. “hola! Buenos dias. soy esquitor por sitio de web para viajero aventura. gusto sacar photo personas amable de republica dominicana” No problem here, these guys are into it.
I pass through another small community with beautiful plants around the homes.
Hurricane Tomas dumped a lot of rain here over the passed few days, although much worse in Haiti.
I made it! I hit the paved road on the other side of the Cordillera Septentrional Mountains, highway 2. To the right, the road leads south to the large inter island city Santiago. To the left, the road leads north, to the north coast Highway 5, and that will bring me back to Cabarete, sweet.
Road block! Change is usually ready in my pocket for such emergencies. Their sigh says something about a school “escuela” but I asked what this was for anyway, just for the fun factor. “?porque’?” Yes, to help the school. After digging into my pocket for the change I ask to take a photo. Big smiles all around, they drop the rope.
Our favorite Dominican restaurant at the intersection of highway 2 and 5, the beef here is tender and packed with flavor.
My boots are caked with so much mud you cannot tell they are black. A shoe shiner asked if he can shine then “yes, but first I need to eat” He takes my photo.
We like to go out of our way to support locals. These people are trying to feed their families, not just get richer like some foreign business owners.
Here is one of the many fruit stands Heidi and I frequent. A huge papaya, $1.05. Heidi sees the photo and says “They have fresh squeezed juice there!” “Vende Jugos NAT” We sell natural juice. We always look for fresh squeezed juice. We will stop back here with our liter jug for some fresh squeezed OJ or passion fruit or guava.
A few blocks from home is a good place to stop and slam some water, not a bad way to end a ride. How did I get so lucky!
Hope you enjoyed this little adventure exploring the back roads of the Dominican Republic near the village Cabarete.
Continued: ---> Page 3 <----