Dominican Republic Day Ten. Sunrise At Boca Chica Beach, A Long Walk Back And , A Negative COVID Test
I was up early on Friday morning, my last full day in the Dominican Republic. I was determined to watch the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea at nearby Boca Chica beach. I say determined since, when, on the previous evening I inquired at the desk about taking a one way taxi to the beach and walk back my request was met with a little surprise. It is five miles to the beach. The folks at the front desk in the morning also didn’t think I should walk back because of the distance and neighborhoods. . They said , for $20, the taxi will wait for me for an hour while I visited the beach. I explained I walk at least five miles a day. As I said ,I was determined so I had the person at the desk explain to the young taxi driver, he spoke no English, that I only wanted one way ride to the beach. He too looked surprised. He didn’t seem to understand, but finally he agreed, and the fee was $10 for the five mile ride.
On the drive I would point to the camera and tried to explain I wanted to photograph the rising sun. He understood and left me at an area of the beach that would provide me with a good view the sunrise. I arrived before the sunrise so I walked around the beach area. It was mostly deserted at this early hour but a few folks were already out about, walking along the shore of the pretty beach. The sun soon rose. I love sunrises and sunsets, especially over the ocean. I have always imagined the folks on the opposite side of this wonderful planet we share, looking at the same sunrise, and reflecting on the sunset they see and the day that just ended. All our lives our circles sunsets, and sunrises.
After watching another sunrise over the Caribbean Sea I began my five mile walk back to the hotel. The first mile I walked along, and explored, the shores of scenic Boca Chica beach. The contrast between the old and new was apparent in this photo, with the small boats, set against the large ship loading dock in the distance.
There were a lot of families along the beach at this early hour. I was thinking they must own, and live near, the many small shops located along the beach. A few children were laughing as they waded in the ocean looking for crabs. I knew they were crab hunting when a young boy caught one and the girls screamed. It is always a nice experience walking on the beach in the early morning sunlight, and especially so a local beach, with shops and cafes, like this one.
In addition to the local folks, there were some other creatures stirring in the early morning sunshine, including some birds, like these green heron. I never saw a green heron stalking prey in the ocean before.
and in the trees further inland the bananaquits were up and singing.
And there were also dogs, many, many dogs, roaming the Boca Chica beach area. They were all very friendly and docile. I think they were waiting for the crowds of people visiting the beach to arrive and survived on handouts or leftover food,
but it looked like the activity along the beach continued through the daylight hours and well into the night. There was a lot of evidence that alcohol was involved in those activities, because pf the many bottles at the small cafes, and the discarded bottles along the ground.
I walked about a mile along the beach when I reached a marina. I tried to enter but the guards refused to let me in. The beach ended here and I had to walk the streets the remaining four miles to my hotel. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my walk along Boca Chica beach. Dominican Republic Day Ten Morning walk beach. October 29 2021.
but the motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic were coming from the side roads that led to a mixed commercial and residential areas. I walked a short distance on a few of these roads but decided I better stay on the main route.
But the main mode of motor transportation was by small motor scooter or motorcycle. They zipped in and out of traffic and pedestrians. Narrowly missing both. I saw many near collisions on my 4 mile walk back to the hotel.
As I continued my hike on the noisy and duty side road small trucks started arriving with local fruits and vegetables. They were some on display on stands along the road and had plenty of customers too.
I came to the airport access road. This was as far I had walked the day before. As I neared the hotel I decided to take a side street and I walked into a residential neighborhood. I was so glad I did.
Here I encountered and elderly woman. I would guess in her 80’s. She smiled and waved, shouting buenos dias and, I think Dios los bendiga, good morning and God Bless. I responded with a buenos dias and good morning and she continued smiling with a most welcoming smile. She was genuinely happy to see me. I would guess a lot of tourists are not seen in her neighborhood. With my very limited Spanish I was still able to know she was asking me were I was from. She was delighted when I said the United States. I asked if I could take a photograph. She smiled and laughed and said no. And she was able to communicate the reason. She pointed to her hair, and her nightgown, and obviously did not want to have her picture taken looking like this. I shouted tu es muy bonita and she smiled and laughed. It was a wonderful exchange. Maybe 80 years old and still proud and concerned about her appearance. We smiled and laughed some more and I continued my walk. God bless that wonderful women. She made my day and trip. This encounter reminded me of a very similar encounter I had in Africa last year. I was walking in a market in Arusha Tanzania and encountered an elderly woman. She agreed to have her photo taken, but only after donning a cloak and stick used to pound some sort of root vegetable. Another proud and friendly woman I was so blessed to meet. Here is a link to that wonderful encounter in Africa. https://wp.me/p5GeDV-E.
I’m sorry for devoting so much time to this experience but it really did move me that day, and again now recalling it. It made me realize, again, how much everyone sharing this planet at this brief moment in time have in common. I continued my walk in the neighborhood, encountering a lot more dogs, and some more friendly local residents who were surprised to see me.
I finished my hike and was back at the hotel by 9 a.m. I was so glad I didn’t listen to the folks at the desk. I really enjoyed my five mile hike back from the Boca Chica beach. Here is a link to another gallery with some more photographs from my walk back from Boca Chica beach. Dominican Republic Morning walk to hotel. October 29 2021.
Upon returning to the hotel I immediately inquired at the front desk about the COVID testing. I was told the nurse wasn’t there yet but would arrive at around 9;30 a.m. I returned to my room, showered and returned to the front desk at 9:30 a.m. No nurse. So I had breakfast and, at around 10:00 a.m. was told the nurse arrived. I was given the COVID test by a pleasant young nurse. I was told the results will be e-mailed in a few hours.
I had an early flight the next morning, 6:00 a.m. I was told to leave the hotel at 3;45 a.m. This seemed early but I set my alarm for 3;30 a.m. I had a quick diner, with some descent vegetable soup and not so good pasta and was in my room by 7 p.m. I retired soon after and was up early and on my way to the airport.
I am glad I followed the advice of the folks at the front desk. I knew that it wasn’t a large airport and thought I’d get through security very quickly. Well there wasn’t a large crowd but there was only one security gate open. I was in line for about 45 minute. After getting through security my plans to last minute souvenir shop were thwarted. There wasn’t a shop open. I didn’t even get myself a hat or shirt on my trip.
Once off the plane I proceeded o customs. I had no checked luggage. This was a first for me. . I usually have all of my camera equipment with me. My new compact Sony RX 10 iv was packed in my carry on luggage. I saw overhead signs indicating a 1/2 delay at customs. However I was delighted to find no lines for those with Trusted Traveler cards, which happily I do. . And they made it even easier. All I had to do was walk up to the kiosk, have a photo taken and I was in! It took two minute!! I walked to the exit where my ride my nieces Bryttani and Brook were waiting.. Bryttani was driving We had a nice ride back to my beloved Northeastern Pennsylvania. I enjoyed my first post COVID travels abroad and look forward to many more. And I was so glad you folks all came along and hope you all join me again.
“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop