Monday, July 5, 2010

A Long Way Home

Morning Colours

I was the only one who did not suffer last night. It was warm and the mosquitoes were busy. Maya was bitten all over, and had welts all over her face, arms and legs. Hernan, Maria and Gabriel were up all night itching. I slept nine hours -- after I spent some time cowering in fear after I heard what I thought were a series of gunhots. I thought we would be attacked at any moment and I decided there was little I could do other than covering Maya with my body. Maria heard the 'shots' as well and decided they were transformers popping. Evidently we were not attacked, except by insects.

Grey Beach

Frigate Bird

Children on the Beach

It was another miserable day, but that did not stop Maya and Gabriel from enjoying the surf. It was lightly drizzling as we watched the children swim, with Hernan, and then later with Maria. Hernan had decided that we would leave today, and no one objected. We packed up before lunch and headed north to Pedernales. I was hoping we would find a warmer sunnier place to swim, but that was not everyone's plan. We ate wonderful shrimp and langostinos in a seaside restaurant. Children came to beg for money, so we fed them rice and lentils and they told us they had no parents.

El Carmen

El Carmen

We drove to El Carmen and stopped at a mall in Santo Domingo for ice cream and yoghurt with mora and coffee. These towns are not attractive and are not compelling, except that I like the 'costeƱos', who are relaxed and friendly and more open than their serrano neighbours.

The drive home in the dark was long and once again it was better to close my eyes and try to ignore the wild corners and passing trucks. There were few signs and we got lost at least once, having to turn around and ask for directions on more than one occasion. We took the road to Mindo rather than the Santo Domingo route through the mountains, which was longer and more circuitous, but apparently safer in the night and had fewer trucks and buses. I was happy to arrive safely.

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