Our Stay in Salinas
Oct 12, 2006   Dominican Republic
BLOG: Un-related thoughts and activites of the day . . . .

Walking in the heat past the salt farms to the kiteboarding beach.
Walking in the heat past the salt farms to the kiteboarding beach.
Headed to Dominican Republic so Steve could go kiteboarding. Salinas turned out to be a cool little town.
Old post from my very first travel website!

This little town of Salinas is really great. After about 6 hours on local buses coming from our fancy resort, we made it to Bani and it was too late in the evening for the gua-guas (local buses) to be running to Salinas. Fortunately we met some guys who work on the supply ship near Salinas and we shared a taxi. After being dropped off at the expensive westerner’s hotel ("Está barato? " "Sí " ha!) we walked about 5 minutes into town to find a cheaper place to stay.

After about a block we came upon the heart of the town that is all of about a block long with loud music blasting, people sitting along the street in plastic chairs either just hanging out or drinking and playing dominoes, kids running and playing. What a lively place! The whole population of the town must have been out!
Everyone is out at night on the streets in Salinas.
Everyone is out at night on the streets in Salinas.
We found a room for $20/night above the telephone center. Honestly I think it was the ONLY place to stay. We had no idea what to expect from this town. Turns out there is no bank or ATM so we have to make due with what money we have left. Good thing they take US dollars so we are able to use our ‘emergency money’ to pay for the 4 nights of hotel.

We get dinner and a beer at a local food stall (we’ve never had yucca before, it’s actually pretty good). The next morning we learn to get breakfast at the counter of one of the little stores that is the equivalent of a mini-market/deli/bar. We see a bag of bread rolls sitting out so we do as the locals do and belly up to the counter for a ham or cheese sandwich and an orange juice. Not bad, only about $2.50 for breakfast for the two of us. Later we end up getting cheese sandwiches with Gouda chesse – REAL cheese!

We end up befriending Galvin who works at the store on the corner and that becomes our hang out. We also meet a guy from Florida and some of the other locals that hang out there. It’s hilarious. In the evening you buy your beer or bottle of rum & bottle of soda at the tienda and sit either inside, or out on the curb in plastic chairs drinking and socializing and maybe even dancing. The store supplies you with plastic cups and as much ice as you need. The music is always blaring after dark.

Our main goal for this location is kiteboarding. The first day we walk around the beach and around the salt mine in the sweltering heat trying to find the best spot. The beach is full of hundreds of conch shells and uvas de la playa (beach grapes), which we see some locals eating and try some ourselves (only eat the purple ones). We decide to go out to the point to the ‘tourist beach’ and the first day of kiting is great. The wind is perfect, steady, and it even outlasts Steve! The next day there is nothing, and the third day, well, read Steve’s journal entry for that one. ;) (see A Day in the Life of a Kite Widow and The Making of a Kite Widow (AKA Steve's Castaway Moment))

I hang out atop my perch on the lifeguard stand (one of the few shady places and away from the biting noseeums!). The water is clear and warm but since the sand is rather black, it doesn’t have the turquoise color.
The windy beach Steve chose for kiteboarding. That's my perch up there in that lifeguard tower.
The windy beach Steve chose for kiteboarding. That's my perch up there in that lifeguard tower.
Walking to and from the point (about a mile each way in over 90 degree heat – we certainly don’t mind only having cold water in our shower) we meet some guys building some new fish traps (for the Florida guy’s company). We make friends with Alexander who gives us a ride on his moto (motorbike) to and from the point if he happens to be passing. The three of us along with all of Steve’s kite gear can cram onto one moto. That would never happen in the states. He even gave us the keys one day so we could borrow it! How nice people are here. Turns out he is a sergeant in their local Marines and works on the traps for extra money. We later give him one of Steve’s t-shirts as a gift.

We exchanged phone numbers with a few of the guys in Salinas. Who knows if we’ll keep in touch, but we would like to go back there some day.

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