DR Touristing: Santo Domingo (part 1)

As so many times before, we piled the crew of Kraken into the back seat, stacked some cats on top, and headed out for Parts Unknown. Well, maybe more like Parts Known But Not Yet Visited. Honeybadger did most of the driving.

It’s a three and a half hour drive on Dominican roads, so we were a little tired, and decided to have an easy night. So we checked into our AirBnB, picked up some supplies at the grocery store, and spent the rest of the evening hanging out, and enjoying the perks of a big city. Asian food, delivered to your door! After a couple of months of more limited options in Luperon, we were very excited.

The next day, we went out into the colonial sector and walked around a bit. We were trying to go to the cathedral, but the first lady was supposedly there having mass and security was tight, so we end up in a museum around the corner. “Museo de las Casas Realas” showcases a couple of colonial-era government buildings. There’s some neat stuff about the history of the time, like model ships, and some random governor’s esoteric weapon collection. But most importantly, there was a cat!

After the museum and some lunch, we made it back to the cathedral. And it’s kind of neat – your classic high stone arches, stained glass, and graves scattered around the floor. The sides feature about a dozen little chapels, which vary tremendously in design and … we’ll say execution. Some are super ornate, and some are just where they’re storing the nativity scene. None of them had any cats.

To cap off the day, we figured we’d go out for a nice dinner. We picked a place part of the way across town, and piled in the car for a fifteen minute zip across town. We failed, however, to account for was that it was rush hour and raining heavily. Why is traffic so bad? Are there just lots of cars? It’s partly that, and partly the culture around driving here: nobody will give anyone else an inch under any circumstances. If you’re not driving it like it’s a stolen New York City cab, people will be confused and angered. So you have a red light? Why would that possibly make you stop your car? Add to that the level of “engineering” here, and it’s easy to see how our fifteen minute ride took over an hour. Here’s a mini-van with an umbrella sticking out the window, driving through about five inches of water.

But dinner turned out to be more than worth the ride. We went to Okra, where we had the best brisket(!) we’ve ever tasted, and a bunch of other lovely things. We were super confused when we asked about dessert, and the waiter told us they had “Erride”. That’s not a word anyone at the table had heard.. turned out he was saying “RD”, as in Republica Dominicana, and the dessert was a chocolate map of the country accompanied by a bunch of typically Dominican flavors (candied papaya, a mamajuana foam…) Just a lovely way to end the day. I will try not to make this a food blog, but this was unexpectedly next-level. Mixed in there: a picture of Jazz giving me her tolerant “Yes, honey, it’s good food” face.


  1. Great blog to keep us in touch with you! As I was reviewing your latest adventure, I thought of a book you both might enjoy. I’ve read everything Alexandre Dumas has written. His father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, was born in present day Haiti. He has a biography…The Black Count. Side note: His son used him as inspiration for the main character in The Count of Monte Cristo.

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