Thursday, March 19, 2009

La Romana - Dominican Republic

January 27, 2009 - Dominican Republic

Nothing really planned for today so we relaxed and took our time getting up. The first views of La Romana show a strong contrast to the other places we have been. We check out the view from the deck and see this beautiful rainbow, and then just to the left is some kind of plant that is putting out all kinds of black smoke.

We got off and headed to the taxi stand where we knew we wanted to go to Altos de Chavon and walk around. The taxi ride was $6 per person and the taxi driver tried to talk us into taking a tour with him, but we were not interested. We found him to be rather pushy and there was no way we wanted to use his services.

It cost $5 each to get into the grounds.

The De Chavon River

There were lots of people in period costumes

This is a drain spout, very pretty

There is an archaeological museum there and it was very well done and it is included in the entrance fee.

Very pretty place. There were all kinds of stores and restaurants there and a lovely church. But truthfully the stores were overpriced and it really didn't have anything you couldn't find in town.

Of course I still needed to get my latte.
We came out to the parking lot and our taxi driver was still there and wanted to take us into town but was waiting for the rest of the group. Well we didn't want to go with him and we didn't feel like waiting. We negotiated a price with another driver to take us into town.
The town of La Romana is quite large and busy but people were very nice, a little pushy but no worse than some of the other places we've been to like Jamaica or Mexico, they are just trying to make a living and we are their customers. We handed out pencils to the kids and chatted with the locals.
The town square is a vibrate and very lively place. There were musicians and dancers and lots and lots of vendors. You can even buy a cold beer and just relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

We decided to walk back to the ship, but first we had to cross a very very busy road. The traffic just wouldn't let up, but a traffic cop that is stationed there for the tourists stopped the traffic and let us cross. The walk back is about a half hour and we had to cut thru a baseball diamond (watched the kids play for a bit) but an easy walk. There is also a shuttle bus you can take into town and back for a nominal fee.
Many people said they were disappointed in La Romana, but I have to say I rather enjoyed it, especially the town. Tourism is relatively new to this part of the Dominican Republic, things are just getting set up. The locals are friendly and very helpful but many do not speak English so a few Spanish words can work to your benefit.

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