Friday, 20 November 2009

Day 11 - Sosua, Dominican Republic

Yesterday I mentioned the noise in Santo Domingo. It is immense. Many of the capital's vehicles are extremely old and battered and so make the noise that old, battered cars do, but there is also the beeping. In the UK you might save a honk to avoid a serious accident, or (god forbid) to say hi to a friend that you pass, but in Dominican Republic they use the horn correctly – to let other people know they are there. It just seems that they feel the need to announce their existence rather frequently. One thing that I missed in my head-down-get-home, walk yesterday was that many of the parping horns were directly down to me. Looking like a tourist (as I do) taxis or buses would regularly slow down and beep in my direction, wondering if I wanted a lift; their slowing would cause the traffic to stop and so more and more beeping. No wonder it felt like the noise was following me around!

This epiphany came to me this morning as I walked to the bus stop to make my way to Sosua. Sosua is a resort on the north of the island of Hispaniola that I've read can be a good place from which to reach Haiti, and so at midday I hopped aboard the (thankfully air-conditioned) bus and began to cross the Island.

Hispaniola is a beautifully green island; once you leave the cities it is lush; there is nothing but trees in all directions for as far as the eye can see - though paradoxically when you see a river. they are clearly very low. I sat for the full four hours with my eyes glued to the window while my fellow passengers – to a man – closed the curtains and slept. I can't imagine they were all that happy with me allowing so much sunlight into the bus, but the views were stunning. Whatever happened to my claims to be a courteous traveller?

Anyway, the bus arrived in Sosua a good mile away from where I had expected it to, which meant a walk to the hotel. Of course I could've got a taxi, but i) I like to walk, and ii) I'm tight. Unfortunately Sosua is home to hundreds of scooter “taxis” who clearly saw me in need of a lift – the beeping was following me all over again! I was accosted over a dozen times in the 20 minute walk to the hotel, every time asking if I needed a lift. In fact, I regretted the multiple “no, gracias” when my legs got tangled in some wire in the long grass and, being unbalanced thanks to my huge rucksack, I went flying onto my face. Argh. Still, just a couple of grazes on my legs, and I was soon at my hotel room.

Sosua is a resort, and not much more. Don't get me wrong, it has some truly beautiful beaches [above] (beautiful, but it's no Silverdale!). But it's a clubbing town - bar after bar after bar, which is great for some holidaymakers, but it's not what I'm after on this trip. I have found the three tour agencies in town (all were closed by the time I arrived today) and will check them out in the morning, but I fear Haiti may not happen. No worry, I will make the most of the time here – even if I *have to* spend one day this weekend lying by the pool reading. :)


No comments:

Post a Comment