Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lago Enriquillo Excursion

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We were initially undecided about whether or not we would make a day trip to Lago Enriquillo, but decided to contact EcoTour Barahona and see if we could get a discount for booking a second tour and for having such a rough time on our first. They were really nice about it and when they offered us a great deal, we took it and I'm so glad we did. It ended up being a really interesting day with a yummy lunch too!
Lago Enriquillo is the largest lake in the Caribbean (100 square miles), is 130 feet below sea level and is tucked between mountains making it much prettier than Oviedo although it is also a saltwater lake. It is the only place in the DR where you will find crocodiles and there are also many bird species to spot as well. Over the years the water level of the lake has risen dramatically, nearly doubling in size in 8 years, leaving hundreds of dead palm tree trunks sticking out of the water giving the lake a kind of spooky but cool feeling on the side we were exploring. There is also a large island in the lake but visitors are no longer allowed there, so our boat portion was quite a bit shorter than at Oviedo and we were also always pretty close to shore which was a relief ;-).
After our boat tour, where we did spot quite a few crocodiles, the kids had a little fun with all the rhinoceros iguanas on the mainland before we loaded back in the van. After a short drive we stopped for lunch at a weird little hotel where the food was delicious and then to see some more Taino petroglyphs before driving home through sugar cane fields. Oh, we also stopped at another little freshwater swimhole, I almost forgot that part.
I just have to document for myself that the kids were AMAZING this day!!! They were quiet in the car for all the driving, ate their lunches without complaining, were nice to each other and interested in the things we were seeing. It was a miracle and I LOVED it :-). There was a couple from the US on the tour with us this day and I told Mike they probably thought we were amazing parents haha! Thanks for this day kiddos!
We enjoyed our last dinner at Don Manuel's that evening and it was sad as we were walking through the little town knowing it was our last time. In just 5 days we really began to feel a part of the little community there! Also, I stubbed my toe horribly at the Colmado that evening and was certain I broke it. Luckily, I didn't and it happened at an ideal time...in the evening right before going to bed anyway, and a travel day the next day so I didn't have to walk on it a lot. We like to keep things exciting when we travel ;-).
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we had two pit stops on the way to the lake...the first was a lookout point for the valley (picture above) and the second was at this statue of Enqriquillo, a Taino man who was a hero of indigenous resistance to the Spaniards. I was taking a picture of the kids outside of the little gate around the statue when a man hurried over and opened it for me encouraging the kids inside. Then he encouraged them to climb up on the statue for a better picture haha, only in the DR :-)!
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a little baby iguana! the smallest we have ever seen!
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saying goodbye to our favorite little restaurant, for reference the pollo frito at 150 pesos is about $3 US dollars, so cheap!
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sights from the walk back to the hotel after dinner
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the kids got to stay up late that night waiting for Norm's pizzas to bake and he taught Prest this game they had...no idea what it was :-). we wrote in the guest book and and got all packed up for the next morning,,,
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and a random one from Christmas I forgot
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