We arrived in the Dominican Republic (DR) on the eve of “Natalicio Juan Pablo Duarte,” a DR national holiday celebrating the birthday of the country’s founder. As such, we were treated to local fireworks displays, parades and festivities.
In addition to enjoying the local cultural celebrations, we have all been putting our Rosetta Stone lessons into practice. Earlier this week, Ronan impressed the marina concierge when he communicated, in Spanish, our need for a rental car for the following day. When the car arrived, we headed off to explore the island, first to Puerto Plato, a medium sized metropolitan area, and then to Luperón, which is more rural. We opted not to pull the boat into port in Luperón, however, we used the rental car opportunity to visually survey the port as it is a well known hurricane hole should the need for such protection present itself.
We next headed to Isabel de Torres which is famous for a cable car that takes you to the summit of a 760 meter mountain. In the National Park, atop the mountain, is a 16 meter high Christ the Redeemer statue, similar to the one found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The National Park also has botanical gardens, hiking trails and caves that we all enjoyed exploring.
As is typical in the Dominican Republic, the heat of the day pushes the warm, moist marine layer of air up the mountain slopes where it cools and condenses, creating clouds and rain that enveloped the mountain top. We rode the cable car down the mountainside, through the clouds, and returned to the boat just before the afternoon thundershowers.
The next leg(s) of our journey will have us traversing the north coast of the Dominican Republic eastward towards Puerto Rico. Since there is significant northern exposure, we are continuing to wait for an appropriate weather window that will allow us to continue our journey.