Hotel el Marinique
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... the mountainous peninsula to Las Terrenas, the biggest resort town on the peninsula and a little bit of France in the tropics. Well, not really, but the tourists are mostly French and Italian and the resorts and boutique hotels all on a small scale, a nice low-key kind of a place.
The restaurants in Las Terrenas are also mostly Italian and French, so I decided to lunch at the guidebook recommended beachfront La Terrasse on Soup de ...
... but there aren’t many ways to
make even a pretty basic living. The settlements all look a little
hardscrabble, but maybe in a warm climate you don’t need much more to survive
than a roof over your head and enough income to buy food. The peninsula is
actually one of the main growing areas for the D.R.’s significant production of
organic cocoa, but growing agricultural commodities usually doesn’t provide
much income for too many people.
... buggered off and there's no one around. Tonight we are going back to Don Pablo gourmet restaurant as it's our last night. We've got to pack as well because we have to have checked out by 9.30 - our boat for the mainland leaves at 10. It's going to be a very long today tomorrow. We're due back in Manchester on Tuesday morning at 6. I'll add some more photos now. See you soon - we hope the weather gets a bit better in the UK ready for our return. It looks awful! Love Julie and Simon ...
... park. We had to get a boat back to the mainland and take a short coach ride to Samana. Once we were there we met up with some other wallies from different hotels and then we got on our boat. It took about 40 mins to get to the national park. It's a series of protected hills, valleys, rainforests and mangrove swamps and there are loads of different birds who live there. I'll add some photos here so you can see. We explored some caves which had ancient Indian cave drawings ...
... but they came in handy when the driver started demanding $30 for the two mile ride. Turns out they are military personnel who guard the area from logging and who also catch Dominicans fleeing to Puerto Rico. I encountered another young marine the next day out on the beach, a 19 year old named Hairo, who accompanied me to the lagoon. A little bored with the uninhabited beach, I had wandered south to find the lagoon and he offered to escort ...