Wednesday, July 19, 2017


We've sailed by Dominican Republic a couple of times, always in a hurry to get to another destination, but were very happy to arrive to the comforts of Puerto Bahia Marina after two hard days and nights of sailing into the wind with strong currents. I really had no idea how beautiful or how large this island is. We only had a few days, so we rented a car and drove into the lush countryside up to El Limon National Park with the tallest waterfall we've seen at 164 feet. We could have hiked, but decided to ride horses instead. Danielle would have loved it! Our guide was very informative, but instead of riding along with us, he walked beside us the entire way to keep the mule and horse moving at a fast clip. After an enjoyable ride, and swim for Ricky, we returned into the town of Limon for a wonderful lunch of local fare: fried plantains, BBQ chicken, black beans and rice, a hush puppy, and salad. Talk about good! 
After eating, we continued to explore along the coast, stopping to buy fresh produce from several farmers along the roadside: a fresh pineapple, a cocoa bean, passion fruit, avocados, bananas, limes and a large mango. The people were very friendly and we enjoyed speaking our limited Spanish. We stopped to swim at one of the many beautiful beaches, but ended up getting his-and-her massage specials (40 minutes at $30 for both of us!) before ever getting near the water. After sitting on horses for several hours, the massages were wonderful. Then we walked on the beautiful beach...
Puerto Bahia Marina

Lush landscape. Breadfruit tree far left.

Considered the most beautiful waterfall in DR

Our guide offering fresh coconut after we drank the water

Beautiful Javo Beach
I mentioned buying a cocoa bean, and this is it. The cocoa beans are coated in a very sweet white pulp that you can pop in your mouth and enjoy, but don't bite into it as the bean is not good to eat ... yet! I steeped a few beans to make a tea, and scrapped the white flesh coating the inside of the pod that reminds me of coconut flesh. Now I'm going to try my hand at fermenting the remainder of the beans for a few days, then drying them out in the sun for a week to see if I come up with dried cocoa beans that can be grated to make hot chocolate. I'll let you know how my experiment turns out in the next blog!

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