I'm a simple person. The thought, "Hey, we should climb up these waterfalls right through the river" never popped into my head. But there we were in the Dominican Republic floating in a pool of water staring at a small waterfall that we needed to climb UP!
While my sandals never failed me hiking around and wading through water, they failed miserably when using them to climb up through rushing water. The toe half would invariably come off my foot every time.
We were both having a blast but this was our eighth waterfall and we were exhausted. Perhaps it was the reality of my having come directly from another trip to Aruba and then Venezuela to visit the remote Angel Falls, highest waterfall in the world. Maybe it was that I'd come from tours of Kenya, Tanzania and Dubai even before that trip. It was all adding up. Plus added to that was the fact that Jeanne was still in a wrist brace coming off a break that left her in a cast for weeks only to be taken off just before we left. She can thank me partially for that break but that's another post entirely.
We had two weeks of relaxation and exploration in the Dominican Republic and chose the Northern side of the island near Cabarete. Cabarete is known for its wind surfing. We found that the winds weren't particularly fierce while we were there but compared to the non-existent winds on the South side of the island, they were there. Instead, what we found was a relaxed beach vibe at an economical cost.
|The beach at Cabarete...cheap living and good relaxation|
|Enjoy the dining right on the beach|
Even so, laying around the beach gets old for me. My exclusive sun worshiping days are over; I don't need leathery skin down the road. I wanted some variety. I wanted some excitement. As a result, one of the many interesting things we explored was a river hike.
|Fruity Rum Drinks - One of the primary food groups...|
They call it the "
Not all of the waterfalls are always available for hiking/climbing but when we went there was plenty of water when we were there. This is a gloriously beautiful limestone river with small waterfalls and pools that allow you to climb up and then jump or slide back down as a reward for your hard efforts.
Twenty Seven Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua."
|The narrow limestone canyon provides and adventurous and beautiful playground|
And while we're pretty active and adventurous, the reality is that we'd still be floating in some of the pools unable to proceed upwards without the strength and experience of the guides. Not only did they get our butts up a couple of them but they would keep our cameras safe from water and provide endless comic relief as well.
|Full gear is definitely needed for this adventure|
I would have to say that of all the activities we did during our two weeks in the area which included river rafting, parks, snorkeling and relaxing, this river exploration was the highlight of our trip and very unique in the world.
|A few of the cliffs were just too difficult by rock alone so we had "aids" to get up|
I highly recommend this excursion if you happen to be on the North shore of the island. And if you do go, just tune out your mind trying to argue with you about the logic behind hiking up waterfalls. Sure, it doesn't make any logical sense but it's fun as hell!
|Me taking a serious jump and plunge to the pool below|