We called El Cabito from Samana and were told that they had plenty of room and to come on over. We hopped in a gua gua and an hour and half coastal ride later we were on the sand at the beach at Las Galeras. We had been told that it was about a 45 minute hike to El Cabito, or there were motoconchos (a motorcycle taxi) available to take you there for 100 pesos
. We stood on the beach trying to figure out what we should do for about 10 to 15 minutes. Should we find a motoconcho? Will we have to pay for two? Is it too hot to hike? Which direction would we hike? About that time we noticed a truck parked nearby with the words “El Cabito” artistically emblazoned on the side. How bout that? At that moment a tanned non-Dominican with two children, both blond hair and blue eyed, started to get into the truck. Abby immediately approached him and in Spanish told him that we were going to El Cabito, and asked if he could tell us how to get there. He told us to hop in his truck and after running a few errands he would take us there directly. His name is John, and originally he is originally from Holland. He and his wife Catrin (who is German) opened El Cabito about a year and a half ago. They moved to the Dominican Republic 2 and half years ago with their children, Karianne, age 6, and Nino, age 5. On our truck ride to El Cabito, Abby sat in the back with Karianne and Nino and bonded fondly with them over her iphone. They took a few pictures and played a few games while Abby tried to figure out what their native toungue was.
Arriving at El Cabito, we were stunned. John’s place is absolutely stunning. He built a modest house, and a restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, on a piece of land that was worthless at the time. He and his neighbor had to have the road built that they live on, miles from town
. On their property they have a couple of thatch roofed, open air huts, with hanging mats for sleeping. These are the areas that they rent out for the night at 7 dollars a person. We dropped our things and walked around a little then down the little path leading to the bar/restaurant. The bar is also a modest, open air wooden patio, built on the rocky cliffs that line this part of the shore. After a stiff cocktail at even more stiff prices we headed back to our hammocks to lounge and wait for Micah and Claire.
Almost immediately we were joined by Karianne who promptly asked Abby if they could play with her phone. John had said that they live without a lot of modern conveniences like television and videogames, so Abby told her the battery died. This whole conversation was in Spanish, and Abby asked her if she spoke any other languages. Karianne listed off seven languages right away, but then amended her answer and said that her English and Dutch weren’t so good yet. The three of just passed the time talking while swaying in the hammocks. We even played hide and seek for a minute until we got uncomfortable sneaking around their property. Eventually Karianne convinced Abby to come down to the bar to play a German card game called “Packen Koffer” or something like that, which was similar to memory but also taught you how to pack your suitcase efficiently. About that time Micah and Claire showed up and we all joined Abby at her table and decided to have dinner there
. We were also joined by Nino, who was sharp as a tack and also multilingual. (for more information about Nino, please read John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “The Barefoot Boy”). This pair of polyglots kept us well entertained until dinner arrived. We found out later that Karianne attends a private French school in the area and that Nino flat out refused to go to preschool and instead is being home schooled.
The pictures do not do this place justice at all. The cliffs that the bar rests upon had a makeshift combo of stairs and ladders which almost reached the water. The bottom part of the ladder had washed away, otherwise we would have video of some good cliff diving. Oh well…
After the falls on Monday we parted ways with Alana, Darien, and Kelly, and headed to Las Galeras to meet up with Micah and Claire whom we had met the night before. Micah had made arrangements to stay in Las Galeras at a bed and breakfast called El Cabito. To be fair, what she had said was that you can camp, or rent a hammock for 7 us dollars a night, and breakfast the next day is made to order for 4 more dollars. Since we are on a tight budget, and Micah and Claire were super fun to hang out with, we decided it was in our best interest to inquire about vacancies at El Cabito.