Monday, January 30, 2012

Cataratas


When they started to fit us with helmets and life jackets we realized we weren’t just viewing some Dominican Republican waterfalls.
Look at all the life jackets - hmmmmmmm
Papo asked us if we wanted to go on an outing.  Only $30 if we could get some other boat people to join us.  So we talked it up among the folks with whom we’ve been travelling and several others jumped in!  We met Kathy from Curiosity who told us that you could walk up to these falls and jump in.  Some of the jumps were quite big but you could find a way around them if you don’t like heights.  Good, said Glen.

My butt has gone to sleep
Off we went – 15 of us in a 12-passenger van that was really designed for 8.  Before we left town the driver had his head out the window, wincing along with the rest of us as we went over the topes (bumps.)  We stopped at the local garage/blacksmith and filled up the tire.  Then – off we went – got to know each other very well – but wait… we have to stop at Handy Andy’s house to get the cooler.  Now where is that going to go?  Behind the driver, under Harry’s (from Vagabond) feet.  So, off we went – but hold on.  We have to stop for beer and rum.  That goes in the cooler so no one else had to lift their feet.
Anyone who has driven in Mexico or China knows what it is like to career crazily down the road with chickens, goats, motorcycles, children running to school and burros carrying their burdens.  The morning beer gave us something else on which to concentrate.
When we weren’t shrieking with terror, we were able to enjoy the scenery – like running into a stampede of local cattle meeting us head on.  The mountain-side is really lush – reminded us of the hills in Maui.  Lots of ranching, sugar cane, mahogany plantings and mixed farming.
After an hour, we arrived at the waterfalls – where we learned that our $30 did not include admission to the park.  Papo must have forgotten to tell us.  So we could do 27 waterfalls for 500 pesos, 12 waterfalls for 280 pesos or 7 waterfalls for 180 pesos.  The cruising community opted for 7 waterfalls.
Swimming buddies


So off we go...

and go...

and go.

We walked upstream for 15 or 20 minutes and then came to an impossible spot with water plunging down from 12 feet.  “Just swim over to me, put your foot in my hands, put your hand on the rock and when I pump your foot up, grab the other guides’ hand. “  Crap – we aren’t going down the waterfalls, we are going up the waterfalls.
We are walking up the waterfall?
Survivors


Here goes Pam

and Glen

Resting between terrors
This went on for an eternity… or maybe an hour.  We finally got to a place that really was impassable and our guide, Gusto said, “Alright – lets go.”  We turned around and flew back down the smooth rocks – one cataratas after another.  The second last was the biggest – maybe 15 feet.  One of the cruisers was more enthusiastic than the rest and let out a blood-curdling scream as she went over.  That would be Pam. 
The Screamer
 After our trek back we gorged at the buffet of bread, salad, rice, spaghetti, chicken, mystery meat and frijoles.  Washed down with ice cold white rum (very good!) and muchos cervesas.  Delicioso.  

The trip back was shorter – because we had beer in our bellies and lots of stories to share.  Glen’s command of Spanish was very limited but impressive, nonetheless.  At least Glen seemed to think so. 
Our guide was able to take plenty of video with our camera.  We will try to stitch it together into a You-Tube video



1 comment:

  1. LOL Oh my Goodness! I soooooo enjoyed reading this posting! I'm still smiling! to you both you courageous crazies!!! Menu looks pretty good too and I'd need those cervezas to climb up and then down... :D
    Patti
    S/V Kolibrie

    ReplyDelete