DR Touristing: Cabarete

Cabarete is famous for its kite surfing. We didn’t do that. OK, that’s out of the way. 🙂

We piled the Kraken crew into the car again, including our two cats, and drove east along the coast, through Puerto Plata (our usual stop) and Sosua (which we also hear is lovely). Along the way, we finally stopped for the fabled roadside “drinking yogurt that tastes like cheesecake”. Here’s blurry shot of the facade, and a super-flattering photo of me and Don ordering. The verdict? It does actually taste mostly like cheesecake. This will now be a regular stop on our way out of town. A very good use of $0.70.

Captain had mixed feelings about the cramped car, but at least Jazz got a lot of lap time.

We made it to the AirBnB, and managed to take almost no pictures of it aside from the cats eating together, and Captain out staring at their birdcage and studiously ignoring the curious locals.

Oh, and we had some problems with the air conditioner, which was apparently located in the bathroom. Here’s the caretaker thinking about fixes.

We similarly failed to take any pictures of what turned out to be a lovely little beach, where we took our cats out on leashes for a seaside lunch. The kite-surfers are definitely out, and I recommend searching for other peoples’ better pictures.

What we did take pictures of was the food. Like my cat, I’m a strongly food-motivated tourist, and so we tried to have some nice meals while out of our somewhat option-limited hometown. For our first dinner, we failed spectacularly at this: we went to a moderately expensive restaurant with semi-nice music, and for the first time in my life, I sent a dish back to the kitchen, for being inedible. I ordered chicken Marsala, and received… well, not anything that at all. The photo won’t really convey what went wrong here, but at least it conveys something of the level of presentation. Nobody’s food was particularly good, but this dish was an outlier I’ll remember for a long time. The worst part? We asked the waitress to taste it, thinking that surely this was some abberation, that the chef couldn’t possibly think that this was how to make food. And she told us that this is just how it tastes here.

So the next morning, we sought redemption in the local coffee shop slash waffle house, and received perfectly poached eggs and delicious waffles and coffee (including gluten free options!) that deserve a call-out. Thanks, Vagamundo!

For our main day two adventure, we visited El Choco National Park, which boasts several cave systems and blue holes. Professional divers apparently can take a several mile underwater journey through these caves; we opted for the surface-level tour. So we jumped into an underground pool, spelunked our way around some cave-dwelling frogs, and toured someone-or-other’s abandoned jungle bar. All in all, a pretty fun mini-hike. Possibly my favorite picture: we tried to take a creepy picture, and not only were we not at all on the same page about what faces to make, but our the guide turned on the flash.

A couple other random notables. We left the kids behind for a delicious, slightly fancier lunch at the beach-side Tuvá. Fresh and tasty food in a nice ambiance.

And then… there were some things we saw by the side of the road. The tree of power meters, and this surprisingly artful “no hookers” sign outside a hotel. But best of all, I think, is the creepy English admonishment around a doorway: “Jesus you love me too much”. Back off, stalker-Jesus.

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