April 13, 2014
Breakfast and we leave for Saban de la Mer. Let’s just hope the gua-gua won’t leave while I’m having my egg. The guard of the bank, 50 meters away, is also here; you’d think he’s here for a coffee, but he is actually here every time we come to this splace. He’s a bit weird: he sings, speaks Italian, stays here 5 minutes and goes back to work.
Las Galeras is as international as Las Terrenas, but less touristy and less luxurious maybe. In Las Terrenas there’s a long line of restaurants with western menus along the beach. Las Galeras has a few hotels and one resort, a couple of western restaurants and overall it’s quiet. There are many expats, that manage a restaurant, a cafè, teach English or that are simply retired but can’t rest, they come here to take over some sort of business, often real estates. It’s a nice quiet village, probably because it’s at the end of the road, at the furthest end of the Samanà peninsula, it’s not a place that you pass by by chance.
Las Galeras is the first place where at 7am people are still sleeping. There’s someone at the restaurant, but few people. Maybe because it’s Sunday or because they are more relaxed. The area by the sea is dedicated to tourists (with a couple of luxurious hotels and a resort), but just behind this line of buildings there are places for local residents and for poor tourists like us.
Here comes the gua-gua. A lady with a nice perfume is going to Costa Rica. She was talking with another passenger about her blood pressure and cholesterol. They were saying that we should eat less fat food, less salt, drink a lot of water and walk. Mmmm.. I do walk. The rest, I’m very bad at it. We are not living a healthy trip: we eat a lot of fried food (chicken, potatoes, fish, pork, even bananas), we drink little water because we don’t want to carry it around, we have a lot of salt. When we go back home we need to detox.
12.21 HATO MAYOR
From Samanà we took a ferry to cross the gulf; as soon as we got on the other side, in Sabana de la Mer, we took a gua-gua to Hato Mayor, where we’ll have to change and take another one to Higuey and then another to Boca de Yuma. I think we should be there by 3pm. It’s nice to be back on the road.
3.50pm Boca de Yuma, Hotel El Viejo Pirata.
So pretty! There’s a road separating the hotel from the ocean, but the shade of the terrace and the sea breeze make me feel quite comfortable here too. The owner, Sandro, has been here for three days. Before there was another guy, also Italian from Trieste, that for some reason got tired; he still lives here, with the second Dominican wife and a daughter, but it’s now Sandro who manages the hotel. Sandro has a son that manages a resort in Juan Dolio, the place where we are going next. Sandro can ask him to make us a good price, but I doubt it will be cheaper than the hippy hotel mentioned in the Lonely Planet. We only have a thousand pesos left, tomorrow we’ll have to go back to Higuey, at about one hour from here, to look for a bank.