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|Traveling without destination|
On the northern coast of the Caribbean island La Espanola, in the Dominican Republic part of it, we find ourselves in the city of Puerto Plata. As in the other islands of the Greater Antilles, the weather is magnificent. Not too hot and not too cold all year round. The breeze and the tropical vegetation provide a relaxing surrounding. The music, of the birds or the drums, is heard nonstop.
|Northern coast of the Dominican Republic|
|Picture west of Puerto Plata in the Luperón Bay.|
There is a tourist zone or resort area between Puerto Plata, about four miles away, and the airport serving this city. This resort area is called Playa Dorada (Golden Beach). In this zone there are some beaches, many hotels, restaurants, banks and nightclubs. Some of the hotels provide all inclusive deals. We have stayed at a couple of them and visited some of the others. They go from good to better.
|Loma Isabel de Torres, next to Puerto Plata|
The people of Puerto Plata are happy and pleasing, sometimes too pleasing. They are also excellent musicians, especially for the merengue. For those that do not know this rhythm, well, Puerto Plata is the right place to learn it, or at least have a good time.
South of the city, going inland, there is a rather high elevation. It is the Loma Isabel de Torres (Isabel de Torres Hill). On top of this hill, which to us is more like a mountain, there is a statue of Christ (Cristo Redentor) and a fern forest. Humidity is high up there, apparently the clouds just like to stand there, and the ferns grow to look like palm trees. On a previous trip we made to this city we went up on a cable car (called teleférico), but on this trip of 1998 the cable had snatched and we decided not to go by car.
|Castillo San Felipe over looking the Puerto Plata Bay|
As a rest from the beach we went to town. The Museo del Ámbar (Amber Museum) has interesting resins. In one of the resins there was lizard. The Malecon and the Castillo San Felipe are also good choices to spend some time. A horse ride to the Loma Isabel de Torres is a good nature experience.
We took the road east to Samana. One of the first beaches is at Sosua which is highly developed for the tourism. From then on is the real adventure. Years back we made it all the way to Las Galeras at the end of the road. Along the way there are beaches, rivers, towns, coconut plantations, magnificent views of the valleys, and just about everything we could image that we would see in a tropical island. That trip we started really early in the morning and were back after sunset, a whole day was not enough.
|A street in Puerto Plata|
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