Cayamo A Journey Through Song
Miami & Cayamo 2009
Samana DR, St. Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI & Nassau
Monday, March 3 Part I
Up for breakfast and then we caught a tender to Samana for our expedition. On the tender trip over to Samana we sat next to a couple to said not to miss Beth Wood. This was one of the neat aspects of Cayamo. Everyone on board is there for the same reason, to enjoy music, see their favorite musicians and discover new ones. Conversations are easily started since we all have this in common. The most popular starting line is "who brought you on board?"
We scheduled a tour off the ship called the Safari Adventure - basically an open air jitney that held our group. We traveled up into the hills on a blacktop road and into a valley on a dirt road. We passed by homes and construction.
Our guide was wonderful and very proud of her country. Even though her native language is Spanish, she did quite well with English. She made it very clear that many people in the Dominican Republic are poor yet they are happy and there is much food available. She provided information on Dominican life and culture as well as pointing out areas of interest. One of the area she pointed out the construction of a water filtration plant and a dam.
All along the way many of the people and children we saw would stop and wave. Before our trip Mark and I purchased pencils, sharpeners and small pads of papers to give to children along the way. However, as we were heading to our destination we stopped in front of a school. The children were playing along the dirt road and I asked one young girl to come take my bag from me. She ran calling to the teacher. He came out of the schoolhouse, took the items and smiled and waved. I'm glad we had made that short stop at the school but I wish I had kept just a few of each for kids later.
Water filtration plant construction and dam construction site & a photo of an area built to perform shows for tourists from the hotels
The billboards have a photo of the Dominican Republics President, Lionel Fernandez.
Scenes along the way including a couple guys unloading coconuts from a mule and a pasture with cattle.
More photos taken from the bus along the way.
Our first adventure was to take a short hike along Loma de la Pina Trail to La Cascada El Valle a waterfall.
At the beginning a few children join the tourists and ask to take your hand to help you over the rocks, roots and sometimes slick ground. You can just say no or allow them to hold your hand. I had a little guy walk me up the trail. I think he was just learning the ropes and really wasn't big enough to do anything if I slipped, although I helped him from tripping a couple times. They really are very nice children and hope to get a tip at the end when you come back to the trail beginning. Some of the older children will jump off the high branch of the tree for tips. The younger children jump from the falls into the pool below. Tourists are welcome to swim.
After the hike we wandered through the plantation or as it is called in the tour description "a typical Dominican farm" featuring native fruits, coconut, coffee and chocolate. Our guide held up each item and explained how it was used and or cooked. Samples were offered of many items. Afterwards there was the opportunity to purchase items such as vanilla, cigars, rum, jewelry, and other items.
Next was the beach stop of Playa El Valle, a white-sand beach fringed with palm trees.
Our bus parked near a small shack restaurant that served rice and fish or chicken (fried) and drinks of either beer or a fresh made pina-colada. Mark and I shared a large Presidente beer.
More photos taken along the way on the dirt road. A school during the mid-day break and a clinic. Our guide told us that schools operate in two shifts and that they are free. The clinic was also free but was not open daily.
Sights along the way including a baseball field.
Vistas with our cruise ship and of another ship near an island.
Back to the tender pier to head back to the NCL Dawn at nearly 3:00 p.m. Time to get a late lunch and get ready for great music that night.
Next - Mon, March 2 continued: The best night of all
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lrboard @ boardmanweb.com