Dominican Republic: Day Four: Farewell To Santo Domingo And A Long Ride to Los Haitises National Park
I awoke early again on my last day in Santo Domingo. After a double expresso I was walking the deserted, cobblestone streets down to the Malecon. It was partly cloudy with temperatures in the low 70’s with a refreshing breeze blowing in from the ocean.
After a short distance I discovered there is a pedestrian walkway over the busy street. I wish I knew this on Thursday when I almost lost my life running across the street in continuous morning traffic. The walkway also connects the city to the port. I am sure that Santo Domingo, like many cities with ocean ports, will benefit from the increasing travel on cruise ships.
I crossed over to the other side since a wanted to walk along the outside of Fort Ozma and the massive wall built to protect the city in the 1500’s. Once again my mind wandered, reflecting on the people who came to this strange and unknown land and walked outside the safety it’s walls.
Walking past the old fort I came to a gate and stairway which I followed and discovered led to Calle el Conde and on to Columbus Park. I assume this was the main entrance to the city when Santo Domingo was the richest and most powerful city in the New World.
I saw a van with some high school students who look like they were beginning a tour of Santo Domingo, the Capital of the Dominican Republic. I remember when I visited our Capital, Washington D.C. in eight grade. Once again I realized how much we all have in common, the folks living on this small planet at this time.
I wanted to see if the parrots were still there, and sure enough they were! There were flocks of them flying from tree top to tree top. I tried to capture them in flight but they were fast. I didn’t have the time to get what would have been a great photo.
Before returning to my hotel I found this quaint little pastry and coffee shop, the Corner Cafe. The employees spoke little English, and I no Spanish but that didn’t stop us from communicating in the universal language of smiles and gestures. I got a delicious pecan tart and coffee and returned to my hotel to have breakfast, and then pack.. Here is a link to some more photographs from my last walk on the cobblestone streets of Santo Domingo on this trip. I loved this city and hope to return. Dominican Republic Day Four: Santo Domingo morning walk. October 23 2021.
After breakfast, I packed and inquired at the front desk about the ride I had arranged. There was a little misunderstanding, as to the price, but we worked it out. At 11 a.m. I was off to visit Los Hasitises National Park. I knew it was a three hour ride. I did not check the distance. I had no idea what was in store for me on this three hour drive to my next destination, the Altos de Cano Hondo. resort/lodge.
My driver spoke almost no English but he was a pleasant gentleman and we were off. It was Saturday and traffic was light in the city. We soon made our way out of Santo Domingo and we were cruising along Highway 3, a modern highway, very similar to our interstate highways in the United States.
I was now curious and my y Google map indicated the distance from Santo Domingo to my hotel in Los Haitises National Park was only 85 miles. However as I stated, it would take over three hours to get there. After driving for an hour on these modern highways I didn’t understand how it could take so long.
Then we proceeded into the mountains where the roads were filled with ruts, deep pot holes and were unpaved in many areas. We slowed down considerably and I was starting to understand the reason for the three hour drive. .
It would be my home for the next five days. I loved it. I am sure my driver was glad to drop me off . He had never taken this drive before. And I am sure it was not good on his car, We exchanged numbers in case I need a ride back or on a future stay in the Dominican Republic. And now it was time to explore my new home. Here is a link to a gallery on my website with some more photographs from my drive to my hotel. Dominican Republic Day Four Drive to Altos de Cano October 23 2021.
To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”