La Terrenas - Cuba Libres, Flip Flops And Sunnies

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Mar 04, 2006

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Saturday, February 18, 2006

Goatgirl and I want to make the most out of our apartment experience here on the beach. After a breakfast of home cooked pancakes, we packed our bags ready to go.... But were we ready to leave? The fridge still has supplies in it, including half a bottle of rum and plenty of Coca Cola.

Even though it is 10.48am, we decide to treat it as if it is lunchtime. The remainders of last night´s pasta is transformed into Pasta Salad. The Cuba Libre´s start to flow. Soon enough we have polished off the lot. Backpacks and a Rum Buzz in the morning. I am sure Goatgirl is tipsy.

We wave au revoir to Dominique and his apartments, giggling as we walk up the street towards the Gua Gua stop. An hour later we are in Samana swapping Gua Guas. There are two forms of Gua Gua transport here - the minibus style and the open utility truck style. Goatgirl is determined to experience life in the back, so we take the open air option in a truck.

The fast right handers are quite dicey. Locals jump in and out on the journey, bringing with them bags of produce or pots full of food. This is the local public transport system at work. An older Dominican lady speaks to us in perfect English as we fly northwest towards the coast, stopping again in El Limon to swap vehicles.

La Terrenas is another Dominican beach town which revolves mostly around tourism. We find a place to stay with a great rooftop terrace that overlooks the water, plus a spa. Not a bad find really. Well, I thought that until such time as we were enjoying the early evening on the roof. On the way downstairs with wet feet, I slipped. Those damp toes went straight from underneath me and I ended up crashed onto my arse, my right foot flying into the barricade.

I immediately had swollen, painful and grape red tootsies.

More Cuba Libre is in order as an aneasthetic, and we are out to eat. La Terrenas is allegedly a dancing town so Goatgirl is excited by the prospect of Latin Dancing. A beer or two, a couple of cocktails in a hip bar with a large group of Expat Italian men and their Dominican breast-enhanced girlfriends, we hit an open air dance bar. My Merengue and Bachata lessons are coming along nicely although I have to step off the floor when the Salsa comes on. Its a little early in my Latin Dancing career to take on Goatgirl in the Salsa stakes because she is an expert. I leave that to her and the locals to handle. Goatgirl insists that I am however doing very nicely thankyou, especially with a swollen set of pinkies on one foot.

By 2am the bar closes and we head up the street to another Dance Bar. This one is more aimed at the locals, although there are some tourists there. A few more Grande Presidente beers in and Goatgirl and I realise that we have been hitting the turps for 18 hours. It is probably time to head on home now, just in time for the local Roosters to start crowing.

The beach is only 40 metres away from our hotel but the water is a little on the silty side. Our beach of choice is a point 15 minutes walk away. The water is blue and deep enough, and kiteboarders surge around the corner. There is not a great deal to do in La Terrenas during the day but then again who would want to with conditions like this.

In the evening we head out again. This time, to the local Carwash....

For some reason here in the DR, Carwash´s started serving beers. Then it seems that the locals realised that there was more money to be made out of serving beer than washing cars, so the Car Wash part of the deal was removed. But they retained their name. Hence if anyone says to you they are ¨going to the Carwash¨, they are actually going out drinking and dancing in the open air.

This is the true Dominican going out experience. The locals bump away, packed into a tiny dancefloor. Cheap beers are served, mostly by underaged girls to adults, who then pass them on to their underaged friends its seems. Security is one guy near the street with what appears to be a Machete. But that isn´t that strange, considering most hotels or businesses here in the DR have a guy with a shotgun standing out front of them at night.

If the Carwash is rocking, don´t bother knocking.

With the Latin music finishing and the Reggaeton kicking in, we head to the same Dance Bar as last night. The Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music finished soon here as well, with heavier Reggaeton pumping out. This means the locals start to truly go a little crazy, where their movements become more simulated public sex than dancing. Goatgirl is approached by a local to dance who then tries to grind a little too close. She´s a tough girl and handles the situation. A local girl who is no more than 17 drags me out to the floor, shaking her underaged booty way too much in front of this 33 year old. Another local, who says he is 18 asks if he can go back to the hotel with Goatgirl. I think it is time we left! It is all rather funny really.

Another day in the Caribbean, another day at the beach. Life is tough here amongst the coconut palms. The beach here in La Terrenas has small wooden bar buildings on its edge brightly painted and serving cold drinks. We stop for a Presidente Grande as the sun sets chewing the fat over travelling life. I am flying home in less than two weeks now. Goatgirl has plans in the future to travel some more. We discuss that ´limbo´ feeling you get prior to heading home, as she has been there before. The thought currently makes me feel queezy.

We find a great Italian place to eat in the evening, right next to the beach, prior to wandering up to another Dance Bar right on the beach side. Monday nights are quiet, even in the Dominican Republic. A few Sugar Daddy couples are at work here - the older non-Dominican men (usually overweight Euros) and their slim Dominican ´girlfriends´ dance a little. At least there are no Sugar Mamma couples here tonight, like there was last night. The space on the dance floor does give us more of an opportunity to check out my skills. Goatgirl is now insisting that I am a good dancer for someone who has only had a few lessons. She teaches me the basics of Salsa - the very very basics.

A few smaller groups of holidaying men arrive. There are clearly 4 local girls here employed simply to dance and flirt. They are dressed to thrill, and to keep the fellas with their hands firmly in their pockets, emptying their wallets at the bar. Goatgirl and I spend some time quietly chuckling at their expense. Guys travelling in groups are funny creatures. They really do look like complete Wallys and it is why I haven´t spent any time on this trip travelling with a group of them.

With Goatgirl having to purchase her third pair of Flip Flop Thongs for this trip alone (she is to Flip Flops, what I am to cheap Sunglasses, as I am currently on pair number six), we face our final tough day here by the beach. We vary the day by walking away from our usual spot, towards Playa Bonita. Once again it is beautiful here. I bought the book ¨Midnight Express¨ in the UK while I was there, and somehow we are both managing to read it at the same time. Travellers who end up in prison from smuggling drugs is almost an obsession for me - I think this is about the fifth book that I have read on the topic. Neither Goatgirl nor I intend to end up in a Turkish prison.

I would like to stress that neither Goatgirl nor I are alcoholics. Almost in time for sun set we head out along the beach once more to grab a couple of Cuba Libre´s under Coconut Palms. Hell we can talk the two of us... Our final meal here in Las Terrenas was at our favourite Pizza joint right above the sands.

Ironically I left my sunglasses on the table. Another $3 investment down the drain, lost forever.
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