A weekend in Samana (part 1)

Last weekend we took a fabulous trip around the Samana Peninsula. My parents are here with us for three weeks – and so we splashed out on hiring a car and for three-days visited the sights and sounds of the north-east corner of the island. The weekend is worth breaking into a series of stories – so many new memories do we have. I’ll start with our non-youth Hostel.


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Our Non-youth Hostel

We set off early on Saturday morning. The 90-minute/60km drive to Samana passed without incident, save for the usual cries of ‘are we there yet?’. We passed paddy fields, cut through the mountains, and drove through many ‘me too’ pueblos (after a while they all look the same – single-road villages, traffic calmers either side of the town school, brightly coloured Bancas encouraging the townfolk to gamble their meagre resources on one of the many lotteries).

Arriving in Samana we made sure our reservations were in place for the Humpback Whale Safari the next morning, then we headed to the Bahia View Ho(s)tel and checked-in. The Bahia View is one of the few true bargains we’ve discovered. Very simple – each of our two rooms has a double bed, a single bed, and a simple bathroom. We told the children it was a hostel to manage their expectatoins because there was no pool! Two children in each single bed, the adults in each double. Two rooms for two nights – a total of RD$4,800 (about £80). The Grand Bahiá Principe Cayacoa quoted us £250 per night – per person (only £200 for the children!).

Photos (c) http://www.samanaonline.com – with thanks

The hotel was a bit noisy – our rooms were directly off the reception and the hotel was only just off the main drag – but for the price we were very happy. Free coffee in the morning – fantastic.  And as a true bonus – plentiful hot water in the showers. Bliss.

Las Galeras

After checking in to our non-Youth Hostel, we set off for the beach at Las Galeras.

The Rough Guide flumes that [despite the increasing commercialisation] ‘…the sweeping curve of pure white sand, upon which an almost unbelievably turquoise sea laps gently, remain as beautiful as ever. And beautiful it was, and free from (most) of the hawkers who seem myriad on other beaches. Being true brits, we took our packed lunch with us, and as ever refused the use of the ubiquitous white-plastic sun loungers (especially as the charge was £3 per half day)

Granny & Grandad enjoyed their first proper (post-recuperation) splash in the sea with their grandchildren. In and out they all went, shouting and shrieking like children (and grandparents) who have not seen each other for 6 months.

In one corner of the beach I found the sea-urchin’s graveyard. Dozens of empty sun-bleached shells amidst the rock-pools.

We set off back to Samana at 5pm – anxious not to drive in the dark (too many cars and motorbikes think headlights are optional), and with enough sun on our shoulder for many-a-day

Comments

  1. Nana says:

    Wow Richard after reading your story today i felt almost envious! It sounds like you all had a really super time showing your parents a nicer side of the D.R. as opposed to the downside. How lovely for our darling grandchildren to have granny and granddad visiting; i wish i had witnessed the welcome they received at the airport it must have been amazing. So sorry about the horrible incident you had in the chinese and besides being mortified by Alisons experience witt that dreadful man i so admire her strength and determination at the same time. I had a little weep when iread about it but what a trooper she is for standing by her principles. Its a pity there arent more Alisons! we salute you darling.

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  1. […] weekend in Samana. Written about in a previous series of posts, for example here, I’ll not bore you again with the […]

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