I was supposed to get in the house this week to start clearing up but unfortunately the guy looking after our house has been a bit slow in re-homing the 5 dogs that we inherited when we bought the house. I went around on Friday and they were gone… it was sad though as he said he could only find a home for 2 of them so he had the others put down. I felt really bad as I didn’t want them killed but he had been trying to find homes for them for 2 months and no luck so he made the decision.
So on Monday I will be in there with my shovel, brush and crow bar clearing the place out. It hasn’t actually felt like my house yet as I haven’t spent much time in there – I am sure after a week of clearing it will feel like home. We also get the plans in a couple of days so we can finally apply for these permits! I cannot wait to get the ball rolling.
I decided to go up to Santiago for the weekend to see my friend Fabio that I met in the states back in 2009. I have decided that I haven’t seen enough of this amazing country so I am going to try and go somewhere new every month. Santiago doesn’t really fall in this category as I have been there before but Fabio was telling me about this waterfall we could go to so that counted as somewhere new. I also decided to try and do the trip on a budget. As I was going alone this would mean having to leave the car at home and get a bus – it made sense as its about $2500 DOP in gas for the round trip in the jeep compared to $560 DOP on the bus. So about 2 and a half hours later I was in Santiago. When I got there we decided to go and see a Baseball game. Santiago ‘Aguilas’ were playing Estrella and I have never been to a proper baseball game before so thought it would be good to try and get interested in the national sport of the Dominican Republic.
What made it even better was that we didn’t even have to pay to get in! Fabio is a student and apparently it was free for students that night. I have to say I really enjoyed it – ok it goes on for ages but I can see why people like it – I think it’s just an excuse for Dominican’s to dance drink and be crazy as it was a party atmosphere inside the stadium. We had to leave by the 7th inning (3 hours later!) as we were heading out. Now one of my favourite things about life here is liquor stores! Sad i know but it makes for a cheap night – I tell people back in the UK that we are going to drink at a liquor store and they think we crazy. The fact is though you can have a good night on about $7 USD each and in Santiago the liquor stores are really nice and have nice outdoor seating areas.
So I woke up in the morning with the kind of hangover that only a bottle of rum can give you. We were supposed to go to the waterfall at 8am to miss the crowds but we didn’t get going until 11ish. The waterfall was good – does not quite compare to the ’27 Waterfalls’ on the way up to Puerto Plata but it was nice and refreshing. It was about a 30-minute trek to get there – we went to the second waterfall – which was pretty cool. The water was freezing which was awesome as you work up quite a sweat getting there. We did try and go up river a bit further as we heard there were four more waterfalls up the river but we were on the way when Fabio’s friend who was in front started running back – there was a hornets nest on the path and he got stung twice. Preferring not be stung we thought it would be best just to hang around at the second waterfall.
So it was a really good weekend and it makes me want to explore this country even more. I was online the other day and read a blog belonging to an expat living on the north coast here and he documented the trips he has done around the island on his motorbike. I don’t know why I didn’t think about that before to be honest – I did a 6-week trip through Vietnam on a motorbike a couple of years ago and loved it. So I have started to look for a cheap bike, won’t be anything to big although will try and get a 250cc enduro bike so I can go on the rough roads on my trips. It will also save us having to get another car when Katherine starts work, not to mention it will be cheap on gas.
Katherine has decided to open a beauty salon specializing in hair extensions so she has been busy planning everything and we have found a good location for it so it’s looking like by 1st December she will be ready to open which is awesome. So this week on top of clearing the house I have to start designing the logos and advertising along with making her a website – it’s nice to be busy again! So although things are moving slower than expected with the property it will be good to get one business going before Christmas.