No speaky the spanish!!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I arrived in the zona colonial of santo domingo by airport taxi, i've said it before but i still think it's unfair that the taxi drivers get the monopoly over the way travellers get into the city..) i'm sure the top dogs between the airport and taxi rank have some corrupt agreement going on.. Anyway my first 3 nights was in hotel freeman, which is not bad but i've since found a place up at the other end of 'Úl conde' (the main street

which has kitchen facilities for the same price which i'll be checking into a couple of days before i leave here. The town reminds me of havana, just a little bit more well kept.. but not too much. One whole day was spent looking for a guidebook soley for the dominican republic and hopefully the little lonely planet phrasebook that has got me through french, portugese and spanish countries before. I walked down the very very long road, maybe called 'indepencia ave.' it must have taken over an hour and there is nothing interesting the whole way,

i managed to find the abraham lincoln road that i was heading for just before i was going to turn around and admit defeat.. i walked up the hill a bit and found the bookstore i came for, after finishing up an ice cold snapple and realising they don't stock any guidebooks for the DR, i followed another road back to the zona colonial where i'm staying empty handed.

I've met 2 travellers here, an american and a dutch guy, who both had the latest LP guide to the dom. rep. Luckily for me the americans time here was up the next day and i bought him a couple of beers in exchange for the guidebook.

I read through and found out about the Santo domingos nearest beach and decided to tackle the gua-gua's, which are the local but privatly owned buses to get there, i knew i had to 1st get on one of the banged up in-town buses, and when i say beanged up i mean every panel is rusted and dented, a lot are missing windows and many don't have the sliding door to enter any more. Anyway i was told to stand on the street corner and yell "gua gua boca chica" to any passing bus, the 1st one came along he shouted some spanish at me that i didn't understand so i just shouted back louded "gua gua boca chica".. he replied with the same sentance with a "sie" on the end so i jumped in.. the terminal for the main boca chica express gua guas is a little is in a much poorer area of santo domingo, with hundreds of street vendors and passengers jumping on a of with freshly bought vegetables and live chickens.

The conductor guy who got me the 1st bus was great and looked after me, fighting his way through the overcrowed bus to drag me off and dumped me straight on the next ride, the fee was 10 pesos but i yold him to keep the change from the 20 peso bill, which is only a 30 pence tip but was appreciated.

I arrived in Boca chica, checked in then headed for the beach which is rimmed in by some coral or stones a couple of hundred metres out, it creates a lagoon the is waist deep all over, very calm and with light blue water. This town now reminds me of Pattaya in thailand, It's very common to see fat over 50's with fit 20yearold girls walking the beach and streets.. On the beach it's been quite sad to see the haitan families that have fled their homeland to send out their 8year old children 7 days a week selling some corn bread stuff, i see the smae girls walking up and down, up and down whilst looking at the other kids the same age playing in the shallow warm waters. I would like to buy and day off for the kid to have fun for once, i'm sure it would be cheap to do but it wouldn't solve anything in the long run.

The grown up haitan ladies come round offering massages, pedicures and manicure.. there is no point in me getting a manicure as i bite my nails but i've been getting regular massages on my sun lounger and i'm thinking off going into feet modeling after my pedicure.

I'm leaving tommorow back to santo domingo to get a bus either to las terranas which is on the samana penisula or maybe i'll head to sosua.. where there is a spanish language school which i think will be very handy to complete on my travels. Also i might have to take a break from the caribbean and head back to london for a couple of weeks to sort out some finaces as my brother has gone awol, which i'm not really surprised has happened but i was relying on him to help me out..
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