Today is May 7th, 2018. I am currently traveling through the Dominican Republic as I pursue my goal of world travel.
As I have eluded to before, I normally don’t like recording journal entries on back to back days. However, I am currently sitting through a power outage in the common area of my hotel and have nothing else to do. For what its worth, these types of things are to be expected when traveling throughout the developing world especially in such a small fishing village such as Las Galeras. Despite such issues, the last two days have allowed me to really appreciate my decision to take a trip to the Dominican Republic. Up until yesterday, I had my mind set on visiting Playa Rincon. It is supposedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, something that the locals continued to remind me of. While the experience would be expensive by Dominican standard, costing $800 DPO ($20 USD) just to get there and back, I was originally willing to pay the cost. As I was doing further research online, I felt that Playa Rincon COULD be a “tourist trap”. My definition of a tourist trap is a place where all the tour companies in an area funnel their groups causing a pristine location to be overwhelmed with tourists, gift shops, and expensive restaurants. Yesterday I decided to visit the local beach in Las Galeras known as La Playita. As I was telling the hotel owner my intentions, he made La Playita sound like the slums. Nevertheless, it would only cost me about $100 DPO ($2 USD) to get there which made it worth checking out. The beach turned out to be about 5 minutes outside of the central area. Despite many run-down buildings prior to getting to the entrance, La Playita turned out to be one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen which is a strong statement from someone is that’s lived in Miami, Hawaii, San Diego and has traveled throughout Central America. As luck would have it, since so many people were being steered towards Playa Rincon, there were hardly any tourists on La Playita. I was able to rent a beach chair under an umbrella that was 5 feet from the water for $200 DPO ($4 USD). I also bought a bottle of Sprite for $50 DPO ($1 USD) and lounged out in the sun. For about 3 hours, I rotated between reading my book (Understanding Contemporary Latin America), listening to music, and swimming in the Caribbean ocean. I don’t know what heaven is like but that had to be close.
Ironically, I wanted to still go check out Playa Rincon but because no place in Las Galeras accepts credit cards and it would have cost me another $6 USD to withdraw up to $2000 DPO ($40 USD) at the local ATM, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of throwing most of the cash that I had left to go to a beach that I wasn’t too sure about. I was perfectly content to go back to La Playita for another 3 hours this morning and was able to find a better spot to lounge that turned out to be cheaper. Despite the limited infrastructure (i.e. slow Wi-Fi, no credit card machines, power outages) I enjoyed my time in Las Galeras and understand why people would want to come here to get away from the chaos of modern society. After speaking with the owner of my hotel, I should be able to catch a bus tomorrow morning at 10:30 from the bus station in Samana to my next destination which is Cabarete.