Transportation, Dominican style

One of the maddest things in this country is the roads.  Or rather, the variety of vehicles and the (very) novel uses to which they are put.

Here’s just a selection, all taken within 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Visiting friends but the car’s broken down.  Not a problem – we’ll go by scooter.

I think the girl on the back might just be doing her eyes.

Four people on a scooter is a pretty common site.  Babies too small to stand/sit are carried in arms or papooses.

Helmets are a rare sight.  One local joke goes something like “Q: why is he carrying a helmet on his handlebars?  A: they’ll need something to put his brains in when they scrape them off the road”

A family outing to visit the in-laws, Dominican-style






Out of gas and need a new bottle but it’s just too late for the delivery service.  Not a problem – that’s what the footwell is for….

This is a really common sight.  The idea of carrying something as dangerous (flammable, explosive) on the back of a scooter just leaves us, well, for dead.



Need to get your jetski home but don’t have a trailer.  Not a problem – just chuck it in the back






Value your modesty more than your skull?  Not a problem – just go side-saddle.

At the start of most journeys the driver says a short prayer – along the lines of ‘God protect this car and all it’s passengers’.  We’d rather they trusted in maintenance, helmets and a driving-licence, but then we’re sooooo Gringo


Is it a truck?  is it a bus?  Is it a removal van?

At least they’re having fun.




Cars, motorbikes and …. horses.

This is actually a pretty busy junction (the first horse is turning left).  It’s traffic-light controlled and, yes, the lights were on red.




Is it a van or a mobile loudspeaker?

This one is very tame compared to many we see.  Our record so far is 12 massive stadium-sized speakers (think def leppard at full tilt) on the back of a lorry.  You could feel your insides vibrating as it passed.







Is it a motorbike?  Or a car?  Or a small marquee?  Words fail me on this one.

I’ve set up a new gallery with more photos of transportation madness.  You’ll find it here.


  1. Bruce W says:

    What a brilliant set of pictures. I’m the head of a primary school on the south coast of England. I read about you when my Year 4 teacher posted this wonderful adventure of yours on our Year 4 class blog. ( It would be great if you could leave a comment on the page they have set up for your blog.
    I’m really looking forward to read and sharing in your adventures and I hope that the children in the school will also take an active interest in what your family is experiencing.
    I wish you well and keep blogging.

    • Al says:

      Thank you so much for your enthusiasm kind Headteacher. We really appreciate it! It’s the support from home that keeps us going when the going gets tough! We will keep posting on your blog and involve the yr4 children in our project as much as we can. Hope you find the boys’ piece on the differences between English schools and our school here interesing. Am not sure it’s possible to really capture the massive differences in words, pictures and songs alone but I think they have done a great job. The illustrations are still a work in progress but will be with you soon. Thank you again – it’s great to be in touch.
      Alison – MAdventure Mum

  2. Bruce W says:

    And I must say that I really love the look and feel of this site. Is it done using WordPress?

  3. Ian Wilmot says:

    Makes our Uni efforts seem rather tame in comparison. Once again fantastic story… Dicky regretting the toolkit incident now. Look at all that tinkering that could be done. Let’s see if we can Skype some time. Perhaps off the back of scooters for a real challenge….Cheers. Ian W x

  4. Azlin Bloor says:

    Reminds me of my few years growing up in Malaysia (minus the horses!) . Pretty sure sure it’s still the same out of the main towns! x

  5. Nicola says:

    You see, I knew that ‘word would get around’ that this wonderful family have set about making a change in their lives … so glad that others are benefitting from your marvellous blog!! Just to say, Bruce W, headteacher of the school here on the South Coast of England, you couldn’t meet a nicer family, more inspirational people than Richard and Alison … and their children, twins Ben and Matthew, plus Katie and Zach, are fantastic children.
    Well done guys, keep educating us!! We are in awe of you all … fabulous postings, the most interesting stories with video and photos too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! XX

  6. Ted & Liz says:

    These remind us of our holiday in Bali, hope you never come across an accident which do occur because they are not very nice.
    Liz & Ted.

  7. Nana says:

    pretty amazing pictures rich can’t get my breath . they are a race of loonies thats for sure.

  8. caroline britton says:

    Great pictures and like the storytelling – think you’ve found your calling!
    Caroline x

  9. Al says:

    Fantastic picture story Rich – the new career you have been searching for maybe? It’s a pity there was no camera when we saw the guy carrying a washing machine on the back of a scooter, that is still my number one in our top ten list of bonkers things we have seen on the roads here!

  10. Beth says:

    LOVE THIS!!! MY friend sent me an email of a panda one like this,I’ll send it to you!! But this one is awesome!! Looks dangerous but maybye a little fun??? I woudnt risk it mind you i’d still rather that than any of my scary episodes!!! I think the side saddle lady might like one of thoose horses dont you??!!
    Catchup soon,
    Beth :)

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