Tag Archives: Samana

A Farewell to the Beach

Milepost 3-11-16      –at a vacation rental in the Dominican Republic

Our tropical winter hiatus is about to end, so we rented a quad yesterday to visit our favorite remote beach for one more time before heading north for the spring and summer. Playa Rincon is an unspoiled and mostly undiscovered haven for all but the most ambitious adventurers because it takes a lot of effort to get there.  It is thirty miles from the nearest gas pump, and the last few miles of the trail are a disaster waiting to happen for rental vehicles with anything but high clearance and four wheel drive.

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Before leaving the village, we fueled up at the nearest “gas station”. The fuel is delivered from a beer bottle or a bleach bottle, take your pick.

We first discovered this beach 26 years ago when we were in the Dominican Republic while teaching at an international school.  I was looking for a quiet place to get away from the noise of the city and a friend told us about this secluded spot that was as far away as a person can get in this country and still be on land.  With our three daughters, we camped in a coconut grove next to the beach.  Nobody came near us the whole time.

Arriving on the four-wheeler, we found the beach peaceful and serene.
Arriving on the four-wheeler, we found the beach peaceful and beautiful as expected.

This time there was a bit of nostalgia mixed with the crashing waves, the hot sun and the swaying palm trees.  We weren’t sure when we would be returning to this tropical paradise, maybe never.

I had been hoping to get some photos and video of the four-wheeler running through the edge of the waves, but the surf was up today and I chose not to chance it, not wanting to risk sending a rented quad out to sea.

What an amazing place to spend a day... or a winter.
What an amazing place to spend a day… or a winter.

We spent our time walking the beach and soaking up sun until we judged we were about to get burned, then headed down the trail to the beach bar for a cold coke and some native cuisine.

After a couple more runs up and down the beach road with the quad, Kaye invited me back on and we waved a reluctant farewell to the beach and took to the rough road back home.

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It’s possible to open up the throttle on a beach that is 2 miles long when there is nobody in the way as far a the eye can see.

On the way back, we stopped at one of our favorite roadside fruit markets to stock up on produce

Kaye hands her shopping basket to the cashier, as it were, at the local fruit stand.
Kaye hands her shopping basket to the cashier, as it were, at the local fruit stand.
As this fruit market they make their own chocolate syrup directly from the fresh cocoa beans grown out in back.
As this fruit market they make their own chocolate syrup directly from the fresh cocoa beans grown out in back.

So the winter is over and we are leaving soon, heading back to the messy purgatory that is Michigan in the spring.

That will be another beach and another story.  The water in Lake Michigan will reach 80 degrees by about…  the twelfth of never.

Dominican Carnival

Milepost 2-27-13  Okay, I now have almost 300 photos edited from my winter in the Dominican Republic, and I’m about to start compiling the Photo Journal, the coffee table book that has been the object of this cultural project.

  But I need your help.  I feel that I have a working knowledge of the culture from living there for extended periods of time, but I’ve been stumped by a couple of things and would like to have my readers help me gain some background information on these things before I begin on the book.  My goal is to have the book ready by the end of April.

  Here’s one of my puzzles:  While shooting the Carnaval Parade in the town of Samana, I photographed some guys who were covered with oil – at least I think it was oil.  I touched the one guy and sure enough I ended up with a black smudge that I had to stop and clean off before handling my camera any further.

These guys were part of the Carnaval parade in Samana, Dominican Republic.
These guys were part of the Carnaval parade in Samana, Dominican Republic.

  Besides the oily guys in this entourage, there were also a guy with his hands bound in cuffs, a “tyrant” behind them flogging them with a branch, and they were taking donations with a big can and a bag.

  What is the back story on this tradition?  What do these guys represent?  If some of you would do some research and link me to the information, I’d be very thankful.  If you come up with some good stuff, I’ll mention you as a contributing researcher in the book.

  Email me or make a comment here on the blog with the links.  My email is: rasims@juno.com

  Thank you!

Oh, here’s the link to my online-store and photo gallery that has 275 photos from the Dominican Repubic:  http://simsshotsphotography.zenfolio.com/p391431575

Make a donation quick before these guys try to hug you!
Make a donation quick before these guys try to hug you!

 Update:  Okay, folks, I’ve had some people help me out with some great resources.  It turns out that Los Africanos pictured here are representing the original African slaves who were brought to the Dominican Republic and became part of the Dominican heritage.  They take donations from bystanders who don’t want to be hugged by them!

Here are a few more photos from the Carnaval parade in Samana:

Los Tainos, the re-enactment of the original indigenous Indians.
Los Tainos, the re-enactment of the original indigenous Indians.
Los Tainos, the weary warriors after their dance through the streets.
Los Tainos, the weary warriors after their dance through the streets.

See lots more photos at my galleries: http://simsshotsphotography.zenfolio.com/p391431575