We fell in love with the DR on sight and with every step further into this beautiful country we seemed to fall deeper and harder. Within a week we had already decided that we wanted to spend hurricane season here instead of Grenada. Keith picked out which motorcycle he would buy and I was amassing lists of the places to go. Envisioning a much further place in the future our ears perked up when the cost of land was discussed and we have been diligently practicing our Rosetta Stone Spanish lessons in the morning and trying to learn as fast as we can. If your idea of pretty is manicured, you might not see it, but the towns have a beauty to them and the countryside, well, obviously it is breathtaking. It is the people though, the people, that make us just want to be a part of this place. If I had to pick one description I would say happy. They are happy. And they act happy. They make us happy. No doubt, we caught the DR love bug.
Did you sense a “but” coming on”?
While we love almost everything about Luperon, as the days go on and the rush of love chemicals begin to mellow, we have started to miss water-of all sorts. We are missing clean water to swim in and fish in. The harbor, though pretty, has filthy water. All the street gutters and sewers lead into it and there is almost always a sheen of diesel on the surface from the old fishing boats. We also miss fresh water. Because of the pollution we can not run the water maker so we have to buy bottled water. I miss our water maker very much. We also miss running water-as in plumbing in the town. There seems to be plenty of city water available for the houses, though everyone buys bottles for cooking and drinking, but even so there is a serious lack of sinks and toilets with running water. Even the places selling food more often than not do not have a working sink. If there even is a bathroom it is unlikely that water is plumbed to the toilet. Toilet paper or soap? Not happening. I am just going to throw this out there- If you can’t wash your hands, the person prepping your food can’t either, if the person cooking your food didn’t wash their hands you start to notice that there are also no toilets. Just saying. Even beyond food prep the hand washing thing is exhausting. Keith had someone blow their nose into the street with his fingers and immediately hold out his hand to shake. Unfortunately , the love bug was not the only thing we caught. We’ve both picked up some cruds.. Me gastro, Keith respiratory. Now we are just trying not to swap with each other. After a few days of being feverish and lethargic the lack of hygiene and sanitation all around starts becoming harder to ignore and the desire for clean water more intense.
Yes, we eat just about anything or anywhere. To be honest the street food sometimes feels safer at least it is coming straight off a hot grill or out of a pot of boiling oil. They have been safe so far. It is the sit down places that have pained me. We also eat non-peelable veggies. A no-no. I can’t help it the produce here is gorgeous! It just gets a healthy bleach bath first.
We also learned something else about ourselves that has no reflection on Luperon: We both seemed to have an infinite attention span for blue water, but a finite attention span for green peaks. After only three weeks, I only glance at the beautiful mountains surrounding our anchorage where as I could sit and just watch the tide go in and out all day long everyday when the water is pretty.
With all of that said, we love the DR. But maybe in more of a summer fling kind of way and not a soul-mate kind of way. We will be back, I am sure, but for now I think it is time to head out and there is a good weather window coming up.