Dominican Republic Day Two: Santo Domingo A Morning Walk On The Malecon
I awoke early, and still a little tired, my first morning in Santo Domingo. After some coffee, and a cup of excellent expresso, I was soon walking the cobblestone streets of the old city. I wanted to watch the sunrise, which I knew was around 6;40 a.m. , I knew watching it from the Malecon was my best option,
I walked down Calle 19 de Mazo to the Malecon. A malecon is a Spanish word for a stone embankment along a waterfront. I have walked along Malecons in San Juan, Puerto Rico., Havana , Cuba and Guayaquil, Ecuador. I have many pleasant memories from each of these walks, each so much alike, but also so different.
I will have a new memory from my walk on the Malecon in Santo Domingo. I came close to it being my last. When I arrived at the Malecon I came to the a main street Paseo Padre Billini. Traffic was heavy and continuous. There were white crossing lines but no vehicle was slowing down to allow one to cross. I walked up a few blocks and no crossings. I was frustrated. The sun was rising. I saw people walking and running on the Malecon across the busy street. After five minutes I knew the only way to cross, was, as I saw a few other brave folks do, dart across the busy street. I waited for a narrow break in the traffic and ran. An approaching car actually sped up, and come pretty darn close to hitting me! I mean inches! It wouldn’t be the last incident I had with reckless driver in the city and on the Malecon. Having survived, barely, the crossing, I realized I missed the sunrise but still was able to enjoy, and photograph the recently risen sun.
After watching the beauty of the rising sun I proceeded to hike south and east on the Malecon. It wasn’t as busy as the others I visited but there where still many people walking, running, bicycling and exercising their dogs. I enjoy watching the early morning rituals and activity of folks around the world. At home, I never ever miss my morning walk.
The sun continued to rise and quickly raised the cool morning temperatures along the ocean. It was getting hot when I soon saw this Ferris wheel. I investigated the amusement park and watched, what appeared to be, some Dominican army troops taking s morning run.
After about a 2 1/2 mile hike I decided to turn back. I wanted to walk into the city but traffic was now incredibly crazy. I asked some local folks, it took awhile , almost no one spoke English, and they said that you are supposed to be able to cross at the many painted white lines, but that no one stops for pedestrians. ( I learned this earlier, and had also learned some of the reckless young men actually try to get as close to you as they can as they zoom past on their motorcycles, on the Malecon, illegally. One actually brushed my shoulder doing at least 45 miles per hour). The locals told me to be careful, there are serious accidents everyday. However, I did see this police officer and told him I wanted to cross. Thankfully, he spoke English and stopped traffic and let me cross the street of death unscathed. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike on the Malecon. Dominican Republic. Day Two Santo Domingo Malecon October 21 2021.
Here I found the National Museum of Natural History
As I walked, having no clue where I was, I saw the dome of the National Palace and walked up for a photograph. The guards quickly confronted me as I approached the Palace but were friendly when I showed them my camera and encouraged me to take photos.
I walked to 1/2 mile back to the Billini Hotel, where, unfortunately I was served a late, and very paltry breakfast. I was still hungry when I finished. But no time to eat. I edited some photographs and was soon off exploring the city again. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike through the streets of the city. Dominican Republic Day Two Santo Domingo city hike October 21 2021.
“Dare to explore the beautiful places of the world.”