Saturday 4 May, Dom Rep day 11: Last day in Las Terrenas. 11km beach walk from Punta Poppy to Playa Carolina Portillo, followed by more pool time in Aligio hotel.
We awake to slightly overcast sky today. But still bright and warm. Oddly, while we are having breakfast a snorkeler approaches us then spends several minutes just staring up at Cloudy as he floats passed us. It’s odd because up till now we have not seen even a single swimmer out as far as we are anchored. It almost feels like he is planning something!
Mid morning we head ashore, this time leaving the outboard on the dinghy, but we do cover it with a tatty black bin liner. Let’s hope, as advised, the outboard would be safe here during daylight.
We then set off east down the beach to find the navy office and get our clearance paper for an early departure tomorrow. After 2km we find their lonely outpost in the middle of nowhere next to the coast road. There are 2 young guys who clearly have no clue about what we need, but thankfully an older guy, who is very pleasant, comes out and guides them how to fill in the document that we need. And we are out of there 15 minutes later. No sign of them wanting money or backhanders. Oana had her speech ready, in case they had tried it on, and she is almost disappointed not to have needed it!
We continue our walk along the beach. It goes as far as the eye can see in a series of mini bays, each with a white sand spit point and each very picturesque with their palm backed beach curving around to the next point. The first few bays are pristine and natural, but then we come to the bay containing the Grande Bahia Principe el Portillo all-inclusive resort where the beach is covered in sun beds and masses of rather plump and pink looking “northerners”. Sorry for this observation, but it was just so blatant after everyone we have seen in the smaller boutique hotels nearer to Las Terrenas. Big people in big hotels, small people in small hotels? 🙂
We manage to walk along the beach passed this resort without security stopping us. But they were watching us as we didn’t possess the resort wrist bands.
On the other side of the resort the beach continues and we find lots of locals. Today is the weekend and clearly they love being on the beach too. There is a gang of young boys playing softball half in half out the water. So nice to see young kids playing like this and not glued to tablets, phones or computer games. How refreshing to hear their splashing and laughter. They are clearly very happy.
Finally, after 5km walking, we reach the end of Playa Carolina Portillo, where the beach ends in shallow water and mangroves so we turn around.
On our way back we stop for a cool-off drink in Porto beach restaurant, a very nice if not slightly funky place, right on the beach. We suspect it is part of the Balcones del Atlantico hotel & residences located on the other side the beach road.
Back at the dinghy we consult our iPhone which tells us we just walked 11km! Definitely time for a swim and a beer. So off we go to Aligio apart-hotel again. It’s such a pleasant setting. We enquire about apartments for sale but all seem to be sold. We are quite taken with the penthouse apartments that have a terrace on the roof.
A beer or two again turn into lunch and the rest of the afternoon by and in the pool. The only thing missing is the bartender lady from Alisei yesterday, to concoct us those cocktails again.
Once the sun has gone off the pool and terrace we pay our bill and head back to Cloudy Bay, where we have a cup of tea and watch the sunset over Cabrera headland.
I then find out that Alejandro, a Spanish young guy whom I met when racing in St. Martin, is in Las Terrenas. So we go ashore again to meet him and his friend. He had just spent a few days in Haiti and showed us some photos, which really reflected it as the poorest country in the Americas. In the over populated towns there were mountains of garbage everywhere and raw sewage running down the streets. While rivers and ports were totally covered in plastic and debris. It looked disgusting. But the underpopulated countryside looked green and lush, much like DR. We decide that if we do sail there next season, we won’t be visiting any of the large cities.
By 11:30pm we bid our farewells and head back to Cloudy Bay for the last time in Las Terrenas. We had hoped to have an early night, ready for tomorrow. But as usual we are late to bed.