content moved to Boano
The people go crazy in Bonao!
They Dance and Drink in the Streets for 1 month CARNAVAL BONAO!!!--The month of February is an especially festive time in the Dominican Republic—it's Carnaval time!—with music and dance celebrations throughout the month. Starting on the last Sunday of January and increasing in frequency and intensity as the 27th approaches, Carnaval is not only a pre-Lenten festival here, it's also a celebration of Dominican independence. The country’s most vibrant celebrations can be found in Bonao and La Vega. And at the end of August/early September, we celebrate the Merengue Festival across the island. There are also nationwide celebrations of Corpus Christi and Semana Santa (Easter Week), not to mention that each of the cities and towns has its own patron saint, who is honored with lively fiestas patronales. All of these fiestas incorporate song and dance along with other traditional rituals. And music and dance are as important to Dominicans as eating or breathing. There's always something to celebrate here in the Dominican Republic!
Great hiking in Bonao
Great hiking in Bonao
I just came back from a great hike took 4 hours,to the Taino cave.
The Taino Indians were the original inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. If you like outdoor adventures this is the best. Take a look at the photos. http://www.worldisround.com/articles/27930/
Great Trekking in the Dominican Republic
Trekking to the Village of the Dam!
The road up to Rio Blanco was full of weird and wonderful distractions, just as well because the grueling two-hour hike made my legs feel like they’d been fed through a rolling machine. Precious little traffic allows me to appreciate the hummingbirds busy at work in the morning shade, and to enjoy the dazzling surroundings.
A conveyor belt of local characters drift past me in all manner of guises and thrift store clothes. A little blonde albino girl cutting guavas with a machete. A pair of wild-eyed identical twins with barely a tooth between them. A skinny gentleman whose dangling pipe and candy striped jacket give him the strange air of an extra from a British seaside movie. It’s all very exhilarating until I’m stopped by a woman with short curly hair and a steady neurotic stare. We exchange a few pleasantries then she starts to play with me. “I had a few problems with a boy once… I smashed him up with a stick….. do you think that’s bad?” “Well…. I don’t really know the reasons why you did it..” “So I could crush him up and drink him like fruit juice” Terrified I bound on trying not to look like I’m running, hoping for some sign of human life around the corner.
For much of the time though it is head down and grit out the steeply zigzagging trail. Around every scenic corner in the road a new waterfall appears giving me refreshment and willpower to plough on. I collapse ungracefully upon finally reaching the center of Blanco, ready to be swept away by the broom of a local housemaid.
In true Dominican style, community life in and around Blanco unfolds out on the street. This gives the strange passing foreigner a rare privilege of seeing and joining in the timeless pastimes of the campo, such as the drying of coffee and cacao out on the doorstep.
The innate friendliness of the locals will soon shine through their initial surprise at seeing a stranger in this little visited area. It is enchanting to see little brown bodies splashing and laughing under roadside waterfalls. Or to receive a wave from beautifully preserved old man rocking away on the porch of his powder blue wooden shack.
The pastel colors of the houses and the vibrant wildflowers perfectly compliment the deep green backdrop. Indeed the landscape appears largely unaffected by the introduction of the dams fifteen years ago. An old timer, Heladio, accompanies me for the final stretch, and explains that before construction began, the road to from here to Bonao was a mere mule trail. A 77 year old farmer, he recalls how the French owned dams have brought more commerce to the region, as well as creating jobs for the local people.
The three dams turn out to be strikingly different in character. Of course it is impressive how such an ambitious project was undertaken in an area of such awkward accessibility. But what surprised me more was the physical beauty of the reservoirs. Standing atop Presa Arroyón and gazing into the emerald waters of the flooded valley, I felt that the view rivaled any of Mother Nature’s work in the Dominican Republic. To arrive here, though jaded and delirious after hours of strenuous walking, was just as rewarding as the journey.
I walked back with Heladio and told him how happy and surprised I was to find the dams to be so picturesque. Whether he thought I was crazy or not, his knowing smile put me at peace. In front of us a small boy was trying with difficulty to shepherd a pair of piglets. A scene of delightful rural serenity. “My great grandson”, murmured Heladio, beaming at the boy. It could easily have been him, seventy years previously, or a moment from countless generations before that. I hitched a ride with a choking truck back to Bonao, although it might as well have been a time machine taking me back into the twenty first century.