Holy Week in Samana
Beth and I went into town with our new dock friends Mike and Martha/Heather from s/v Layla. We were all interested in viewing the outdoor market, and obtaining fresh produce. We merrily hopped into the rental car, Mike at the wheel, and away we went, right into downtown Samana. We passed homes with bars on the doors and windows, pigs tied onto hillsides, and more scooters and motorcycles than I have ever seen in my life! As it was in Puerto Plata, it appeared that there we no rules of the road, pass on the right, pass on the left…hell, pass anywhere you feel like it. Three, sometimes four persons on a scooter..the poor ol’ two wheeler just screaming as we would pass by the, some coming…some going. Close your eyes and hope that everyone survives…keep that seatbelt on tight!
Downtown Samana is built on a hill, and you pass a variety of dirt floor stores on your way down to the central part of town. Stop at the bank to hit the ATM, and hey, just park In the street on the inside lane, no problem. Others will get around you the best way they can. We dug some money out of the instant teller at a Scotia Bank..and we were off once again. Down around the harbour area, where the cruise ship patrons come into town…a ton of empty store fronts, a milieu of traffic and people. We did a Michigan left turn and headed back up the hill, and parked the rental on the side of the street not too far from the market.
The market…if you like fresh…or what at least appeared to be fresh chicken, there was an ample supply. Laying on the street on a piece of dirty cardboard, bare open to the hot sun, remember it is 80 plus degrees Fahrenheit, some of it covered with more cardboard, most of it covered with house flies. Oh yeah…same thing for the fresh fish….total gross out….I’m not buying any of that product, and neither is Beth.
The vegetables are not quite as bad, but there are cockroaches and other forms of bug life mulling over the potatoes, carrots and lettuce…oh my goodness, wouldn’t the government agencies back home be freaking out. Little, very old ladies cutting up fresh coconuts, offering shredded coconut, plantain, or other products that I could not identify. What an eye opener…the house flies and cockroaches are still etched vividly in my mind’s eye.
We departed Samana, and headed off to a beach resort town named Los Terranos. Now, remember, this is Holy Week, and everyone, including their dogs, are off on vacation. Traffic up the wazoo, and we are running low on fuel. No problem Mike says, we’ll get some on the side of the road. On the side of the road…really? They have gas vegetables or what? Heck no, everyone and their dog sells gasoline in one quart or one gallon plastic jugs.
Los Terranos is booming….music is pounding from speakers all along the beach, and we stop at a roadside area to check out the beach restaurants. We decide on a restaurant with a wood floor so that the sand fleas would not eat our legs or feet, and placed our orders. The food was pretty good, the beer much better, and the view awesome. There is even a pirate ship replica anchored offshore in front of the restaurant.
Upon completion of our meal, we hop back into the rental car and head into town to the grocery store.
And it is a real grocery store! Aisles of air conditioned products. Meat, canned goods, fresh vegetables, wine, beer…hooray! We attempt to max out our credit card, but just barely fail with the products in the store. I have done minimal re-provisioning of my beer supplies, and at the check out line a lady behind us says…you must be Canadian. Beth and I grin and say, well, yes, we are, how did you know? Her reply was great…..I could tell by the amount of beer you have! LOL! They were from PEI…and we all know they don’t drink much beer out there!<grin>.
Groceries loaded up into the car, and we head home via a circuitous route to Samana.
Beautiful mountains, beaches that ran for miles….and of course check point Charlie where they had their hands out for money so that we could continue…the DR…yup!
Back at the marina, load up the boats with our groceries, and life is good again…for a few more days!
It is only when you get out and travel, and see the things that we have seen, that you really appreciate the food supplies that we are privileged to have. I wish we had more photographs to show you, but what we did see was pretty disgusting, and the views in my mind just won’t go away.