I Wish Everyday was Like Today

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Every Saturday we have an excursion planned, but out leader was unable to take us anywhere, so we decided to plan the day ourselves! Our first stop was 27 Charcos--a beautiful collection of 27 waterfalls nestled away in the mountains behind sugar-cane fields. We took a gua gua, a public transportation bus, for 60 pesos, which is less than $2. On the way there, I was sitting across the aisle from a guy, who was probably about 27, who would not stop telling me how beautiful American girls are and how badly he wanted an American girlfriend. After I made it clear to him that I had a boyfriend, he asked me if all the girls in our group had a boyfriend. I then tried to explain to him that if he wanted an American girlfriend so badly, he would have to just go the US.  Luckily my stop was shortly after this.

The gua gua dropped us of off next to a dirt road that lined a sugar-cane field and ran into lush green mountains. Chad and Andrew pulled a stalk of sugar-cane, which looks kind of like bamboo, broke it into smaller pieces, and passed it around. Not really knowing how to eat it, I just took a bit out of it, and it was sweet and juicy--and was soo good! Eating it made me feel like I was indigenous. :]
After a short walk down the road, we come to the entrance. It cost 250 pesos, about $7, to see seven waterfalls, 310 pesos, about $9, to see 12 waterfalls, and 460 pesos, about $13, to see all 27 waterfalls. We originally thought it was going to cost a lot less, and we would be able to to how ever many waterfalls we wanted, so many of us did not have enough money. A lot of us borrowed money from each other, and we were all able to go to the seven. After we paid, we were given helmets and life vests, and started our on journey!

A guide leaded us over a bridge, and through the river, about thigh high, and onto trial into the lush green tropical forest. We were all so excited. This, by far, had been the most adventurous thing we had done here. The trail took us through the river several times, which was a bit cooler than the beaches, but very refreshing.

When we arrived at the first charco, there was a guy there that would watch our stuff while ventured up the waterfalls. It was absolutely stunning. We had two guides help hoist us up from one to the other, and good thing, because it would have been almost impossible without them. The current was very strong, and climbing up waterfalls isn't exactly an easy task. I was definitely bummed when we reached the 7th one because I wanted to keep going, but we still had the way down :] Slipping and sliding was great, and we were able to jump off the last one.

Everyone wants to go back to see all 27, and I'm definitely going to buy a water proof camera so I can capture all of its beauty! If you come to the Dominican Republic, this is a must see. Just make sure to bring tennies that can get wet, and board shorts are always better than a bikini.

We followed the trial back into the forest, through the river and over the bridge. We took a pit stop for lunch and decided we wanted to go to Puerto Plata, a beach not too far away. After hiking back up the dirt road, we waiting for another gua gua to come by.

While waiting, a red flat bed truck pulled over to the side of the road. I don't know who ran over first, but everyone followed! We all climbed up and got comfortable. It was our first bola, or ride, and it was pretty exciting :] The kind man who picked us up took us straight to another gua gua, where we climbed aboard. For 30 pesos, about $1, we got dropped off in Puerto Plata. The walk to the beach was a little further than we had expected, but it was well worth it. The Amber Coast was gorgeous.

After enjoying the warm waters, much-needed sun rays, and friendly dogs, we headed back. Not looking forward to the walk back, we hitched a second bola to the main road where we got on the gua gua for Santiago. This adventurous fun was just what everyone needed. We were missing the fun and exciting part of studying abroad because all we were really doing was our daily routines of going to school, doing homework, eating with the family and going to bed. Today was a blast, to say the least, and I wish everyday was like today.

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