Thursday, January 19, 2017

We made it to Gorgeous Las Galeras!

We got all reorganized and packed up the night before so in the morning all we had to do is enjoy a last breakfast at the buffet and then meet Luis at reception to start the long drive to Las Galeras. After spending quite a bit of time talking to people and researching online our best options to travel to from Puerto Plata to Las Galeras (which is at the very tip of the Samana peninsula) we decided to splurge on a private driver the whole way. Luis drove us to the ziplines and to the resort from Tubagua so we knew he had a car that could comfortably seat us for the 5 hour drive. It also afforded us the luxury to stop when we wanted and we chose a pit stop about half way there to see the Playa Grande beach. It was Ah-mazing! It seriously looked post-card perfect and I was wishing we were staying near it. Little did I know the best was yet to come! We also passed a lot of rice fields that I didn't know the DR had.
Funny story from the drive...not long after we started our drive with Luis he was told to pull over by a cop standing on the side of the road (because of a registration-type sticker). Preston was sitting in the front seat at the time and the cop said he was not allowed to sit there and made him switch to the back. We complied and as we drove off Luis was saying how ridiculous it was and as he was saying that one of the motor bikes (motores) that zip around every road loaded with people and items went by with 2 kids smooshed between the driver and the mom :-). Luis started laughing and pointing telling us of course this is much safer!
When we pulled up to our new hotel, La Isleta, I was concerned it wasn't RIGHT on the beach like I expected from pictures, but you could see it and it was just a across a little vacant field so it was fine. Although it is larger than at Tubagua, it is also one open space like Tubagua so we will be excited for a little more personal space when we leave after 5 nights ;-). Overall though we are excited for our time here! They are cute and clean and everything we need is in walking distance...restaurants, groceries and most importantly the beach!
The main beach, Playa Galeras, is the one that we are right on. It is the most easily accessible beach in the area and everyone said the least nice, but we were definitely impressed when we saw it! If this is the worst the area has to offer we are in pretty good shape! Why does everyone go to Puerto Plata?! It is sooo ugly compared to this area!
First thing on our agenda was getting lunch (and then stocking up on snacks for a light dinner since it was already pretty late). Once our bellies were full we were anxious to check some beaches off our list so as soon as we got checked in, we were changed into swim suits and off to walk to Playita. The owner of the hotel said it was a 15 minute walk and a good one for kids. Although we had a hard time finding it, it was a nice little adventure especially after being in the car all day. There was no snorkeling there (murky water) but it was nice and calm for kids to play in and the mountains in the distance gave the beach a beautiful and unique look.
That evening we got the kids all ready for bed. It had been a bit of a long day with them (and for them...more frequent city changes means more travel time and more disruption from routine which gets to them, and us, after a bit). Addie had a horrible night and it was the first time in a long time I have seen her lose control of her emotions...it was hard for all of us. It took a long time but eventually she got calmed down and fell asleep. It was perfect timing for us to have a free day to go beach hopping the next day...we all needed some unwind-and-do-what-we-like-to-do time!
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downstairs...
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upstairs...
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a pet cat! The kids couldn't get enough :-)
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this little boy kept telling Ella "Mira! Mira!" and doing tricks...then he wanted her snorkel haha
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