Las Galeras and La Playita Beach, Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic

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Las Galeras and La Playita Beach, Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic

Having experienced most forms of Dominican transportation–taxis, buses, boats, catamarans, scooters, natural water slides–it was time for the final frontier: GUA GUA.

The gua gua is a common form of transportation in the Dominican Republic and the cheapest. It is a bus, but that term is used VERY loosely. Most of the gua guas we saw on the Samana peninsula were pickup trucks with a narrow board around the truck bed for passengers. Just stand at the side of the road and within minutes a gua gua will appear–and take you anywhere you want to go!  You definitely get to know the locals because as more people board, you find yourself sharing tight quarters!  It was a great ride–and you must experience it if you’re in the Dominican Republic.

We took the gua gua to a fishing village, Las Galeras. We strolled up and down the small village and stopped for an empanada and our newest passion: fresh passion fruit juice!  It’s so refreshing!  Then we were spotted by one of our new friends, Ariel, who gave us a ride to La Playita beach. We spent the afternoon trolling for sand dollars on this memorable beach where you can walk into the ocean forever.

La Playita Beach

La Playita Beach

Coco gave us a ride to dinner at El Cabota, which is perched on cliffs above the ocean. What a view!  But my favorite memory is riding home on the scooter in the dark. I loved peaking into dimly lit homes where people were making dinner or relaxing, living their lives a world away from the world I’m familiar with. Debbie noticed the smells as we rode along the moonlit drive: the ocean, fires burning, occasional smells of a home cooked meal. It was a heavenly conclusion to our day.

View from El Cabota

View from El Cabota

 

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!

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