Having spent some time on the beach, we turned to the jungle. Our friends at Casa 40 had recommended a hike in the area, and we decided to make a night of it and stay at an eco-lodge there. We arrived just in time for dinner, and had a lovely view over the mountains and down to the ocean. In the distance you can see Mount Isabel de Torras, on the other side of which is Puerto Plata.
In the bottom of that shot, you can see the roof of the building we stayed in. It’s much the same as the roof of the next building, which you can see in this shot from the room in the morning:
The reason the view is so good is that there are only three walls!
The bathroom has a similarly excellent view. Gorgeous during the day, but a little unnerving at night, when all you can see is the frame and some assorted lights across the hillsides as you shower.
After a delicious breakfast, we met up with a guide and headed out for a hike. We were skeptical about needing a guide, but the trail was only moderately well marked, and passed through a bunch of locked gates. Plus, he knew the area well, and described a lot of the local flora, all of which I’ve forgotten completely. Ah well.
The hike was maybe a couple of miles, through some jungle, over some lightly treed hills, and back into the jungle along a stream. Here’s the view maybe half way through. Note, we’re deep into a drought, so everything is much more brown than it really ought to be.
The eventual destination? God’s Swimming Pool – at least according to the locals. We had a delightful swim in the cool water, and some of the party skeptically assented to a mask of the local clay.
All in all, delightful.
The hike back felt a little more strenuous, as we were getting into the hottest part of the day, and we were shorter on water than we probably should have been. And, Jazz has a bit of a hip injury, so by the last mile or so, she was holding the joint in place. Trooper!
Still, we got back OK, and hit the lodge’s water supply hard, and then we were back on the road.