A pleasant surprise
Not knowing much about the Dominican Republic (DR,) we’ve been quite happy in this place. As DR is en route to the Virgin Islands and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (our charter destinations for the next 12 months,) it made sense to stop and rest here. After the flat landform of the Bahamas & Turks & Caicos, it is a lovely sight to come upon DR with the highest peak in all the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, at 3,098 m!
It is beautiful here: landform, lush vegetation, waterfalls & birds. What a nice change to wake up with birds singing! Although the Bahamas are scarcely populated with people, unfortunately, the wildlife appears sparse, too.
Another bonus, the price is right! Come on down! We had a lovely meal at Las Velas Restaurante of grilled lobster, cheeseburger, side of veggies, 2 rum punch and 1 large Presidente beer for $1460 pesos. Currently, the exchange rate is about 50 pesos = 1 US dollar, so our very nice meal cost us about $30 dollars!
Luperon is the first “town” (gridded layout, paved streets, shops selling a wide variety of goods,) that we’ve seen since Nassau. We found the Supermercado Payero, a well-stocked and possibly the cleanest supermarket I have ever seen. Family owned and operated, the staff was friendly and prices more than reasonable (lb. ground espresso coffee < $5 dollars.)
Today, we drove with our new friends, a Canadian sailing family who live aboard the SV Serena I, to hike the 27 waterfalls. Unfortunately, because we had rain, the park was closed- too muddy and dangerous. Next time!
Another bonus on DR is the abundance of local fruit and vegetables, actually grown here.
I went to the “Farmers Market” at Puerto Blanco Marina for a nice selection of fresh local produce, such as pineapple, cabbage, celery, cilantro, eggplant and more!
We’ll make a few more stops in DR as we head East this week with a good weather window on the way to the Virgin Islands via Puerto Rico through the Mona Passage!