Page 8: - Dominican Republic Again - Tropical Adventure /w Pics - From the beginning
Its a perfect day. We need to ride back down to Samana village, than take another road across the middle of the peninsula to Las Terrenas, then on to Playa Bonita.
The road is scenic but in bad shape. It is a fun ride but fatiguing and brutal for Heidi on the back. We rest…
A lot of construction and a few traffic jams.
A stop to look at the map near Samana to make sure we were taking the correct road. These kids help confirm we are going the right way.
The road from Samana to Las Terrenas leads high up into the mountains that run through the center of the Peninsula. The road is steep, good at times and bad at times passing through several small communities.
On the other side of the mountain, the road is scattered with places like this to pull over and chill.
OK, Las Terrenas. Heidi mentions that she would like a little pampering here. I decide to look in Playa Bonita for a hotel in the $60 price range with a pool. Playa Bonita is a beach just a short distance from Las Terrenas. The maps in our guidebook make it seem like it will be easy to find.
Las Terrenas is a busy tourist town with confusing one-way streets everywhere. If we miss a turnoff there is no option but to ride through the entire tourist section of town all over again which also leads through a part of the busy Dominican section of town, which is also a one-way road. We find the way leading to Playa Bonita. It is an extremely rough dirt road along the coast. We bounce, dodge and water cross our way down the road only to find the road leads to a private area and is now blocked-off to traffic. Our only option is to go back into town and try to find the back road leading to Playa Bonita. I am good with maps. I have a visual of where the back way to Playa Bonita is. Into the busy Dominican section of Las Terrenas (again) looking for the road. I find it the road but this road is twice as bad as the other road we were on. Pot holes, large chunks of partial pavement with steep edges and many huge puddles. I dodge around the maze like a pro and was having no problem but my riding partner is taking a beating on the back of the bike, we have been on the road for almost 6 hours by now and we are feeling it. After we ride down this road for miles and are nearly to the end, we pull over for a chat. Playa Bonita (Pretty Beach) is much too far off the beaten path for us, we expected to be able to walk into town from where we were staying. Here, we would be locked in because when we get somewhere, we park it and walk.
Plan-B: We ride back to the crappy road we were on before. Our guidebook has three or four good hotel options listed here, just what we are looking for, a short distance outside of Las Terrenas. We ride back and forth along the torn up dirt road looking for the hotels I have marked. Well of course, it seems that our Rough Guide guidebook publishers did not bother to research this area for their latest addition because the hotels they have listed do not exist or they are no longer open for business. Ouch! I try a couple other hotels but they are over $100 a night and not even on the beach. No Way.
Plan-C: Ride back toward town then out the same way we originally came in and just wing it. Of course there is a funeral on the narrow one-way road in town and the traffic is stopped, except for motorcycles which squeeze between and around cars, trucks and other motorcycles. There is no way to properly describe the motorcycle road rules here in the DR. You just have to experience it first hand. I am getting use to it but this is a first for Heidi in this type of traffic, me going with the flow following the other bikers. Heidi calls it ‘Pinballing’ At times I have to tip the bike sideways to squeeze between trucks and cars. And, if I don’t squeeze past I will be holding up a long line of other motorcycles waiting behind me. Anyway, we make it through, twice. Twice because we take a wrong turn and are forced to do it all over again. Anyway, we had about enough of this. The next hotel we try is $100 a night. After saying “no”, they chase me down and lower the price to $80. Then they ask me how much I will pay. Sorry, not interested.
We are frustrated and Heidi is beat up and had enough of the crazy traffic “I need to find something and soon” The next roadway has several hotels listed in our book, but of course a new load of rocks and gravel is piled up at the entrance of the alley. I tell Heidi “hold-on!” and go for it. The first place is in the guidebook, Hotel Casa Robinson. It is in the $30 price range but this needs to get this done. What a score, a cozy room with an outside patio surrounded by a tropical garden, right across the street from the beach and next to a pizza place and a restaurant that serves breakfast all day. We do three nights and prepare to do Las Terrenas right. Wheew---.
Both our boots need a shine and we know no better way to spend a dollar.
Las Terrenas is a buzz of activity. We enjoy watching it all happen.
Cocktail are mixed in our room before we walk across the street to the beach to catch the sunset.
Two motoconcho dudes ask if we need a ride. We thank them but saw no and take a photo. This will be a cool photo. Big smiles!
A march up the beach in search of one more.
There are many loose dogs here. Often they have a yellow tag pinned to their ear. We think it means they are fixed or maybe have had shots. Through years on the road we have found beach dogs to be some of the nicest and most well behaved dogs ever, and we know dogs.
They seem to all love me. Heidi says I am a dog-whisperer.
Ahhh…. Sunset in Las Terrenas.
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