Saturday, June 16, 2007

Scott and Sue...Motorcycle Maniacs!

What a great day. Let me just say first off that a motorcycle is THE way to explore this country.

Note: Some of the pictures are links to Picasa Albums. Click and enjoy. Back arrow to come back to the blog

motorcycle pictures
We started out at Puerto Blanca Marina to get the bikes. My friend Kerry is VERY experienced with motorcycles and gave me great lessons. I’ve NEVER ridden a motorcycle before. It’s not that hard. It’s like driving a stick except your left hand is the clutch not your left foot. Your left foot is how you shift gears. Your right hand is the throttle AND the front brake but DON’T USE THAT, and your right foot is not the gas but rather the rear brake. Oh and you use your hands to steer as well. Oh, and look in the rear view mirror on occasion. Got that? Like all ‘sticks’ first gear is the only adventure. Sticking my legs straight out until I got going seemed to help and I looked great doing this. I made a few runs up and back and then again with Sue on the back (she’ll try anything!) and we were off!

Our first order of business was to go through downtown Luperon to get some fuel. Let me just say that every man between the ages of 20 -30 has a motorcycle and they drive them like crazy up and down the main street of Luperon. I was a little nervous but then I realized that by the time I got there I’d have 5 maybe even 10 minutes of experience so what’s to worry? We fueled up and back tracked through town and then headed west along the coast. What a beautiful ride. We could see the ocean often and the DR mountains always. The road was in pretty good shape and not too much traffic.
Well, the main traffic was cattle. (Are cattle really stupid or just shy?)

motorcycle scenary
After about 11 kilometers we came to the beach at Cabo Isabella (Isabella Bay). Columbus named this region for Queen Isabella and established a settlement there in 1494. It lasted about 5 years. The beach is beautiful and, like so many places here, nearly no one there. I was thinking of the time we spent at Clearwater and at Fort Myers and what the traffic looked like on a Saturday. This beach is probably 5 miles along the bay and there is nothing on it.

los americas church
From here we continued on and found the oldest church in the Americas. This is actually a re-build of the original but inside they have stones laid in the floor showing the outline of the original church. There was a gardner or caretaker there and he was gracious (like many Dominicans) and proud to show us around. We didn’t understand much of what he was saying but we smiled and said ‘si, si...ah si’ a lot. (si means yes)

restaurant museum
Now we are ready for lunch and we knew of a place called Miamar that is a restaurant and hotel. After many dead ends on gravel roads (nice way to have a first ride on a motorcycle!) we finally backtracked and found the “main road” to the restaurant. This was two rutted lanes of gravel with washed out parts. Well, we didn’t fall and we did find the restaurant and it is spectacular. It overlooks the ocean and has it’s own pool. It is run by a German couple. The food was so delicious and, as with all German restaurants, the portions were as big as the Sudatenland. This place also is currently housing the grad students from Indiana University who are engaged in an archaeological dig. The restaurant itself has one of the best museums of Taino artifacts in the country. When the couple began building their restaurant they began to uncover many interesting artifacts. So they collected them and made a little museum room for them. They still dabble. All the stuff is at least 500 years old. Once the Spanish came the Taino didn’t last long. They went the way of the Aztecs and the Mayan and the American Indian (not counting the casinos). A great meal and certainly a return trip is in order. Perhaps we’ll spend a night or two in the hotel!

Our ride back was uneventful and just as enjoyable as the outbound trip. We again had to slow way down for a cattle drive. Everyone waves when you ride through a town and the children LOVE to yell, “Hola”! Sometimes they like to try their English and holler “Yankee Pig”...just kidding, they yell, “HELLO”. . . and then giggle. Hell I giggle after I say, “Hola”!

We ended the day with a couple of beers back at Puerto Blanco Marina. A great day and as usual, much fun with Kerry and Kathy!

By the way...It's been two years as of last Tuesday since we began this cruising life. Still good. We had a number of fellow cruisers over for 'corkscrews'. Don't go there! A good time had by all. Sail on.


Anonymous said...

I was just telling some friends recently that it was almost two years ago tht I met you two in Lorain. As you can see...I'm still a faithful reader and this travel show was great. Enjoy the good life! Sally in Ohio

Jake Scruggs said...

I loved the Motorcycle Maniacs photo albums. Congrats on 2 years of adventure and a consistently well written blog. Oh and the Topic of Cancer stuff was cool too.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the motorcycle photos. The country looks beautiful...I live vicariously through your photos. I particularly like the photo of the church with the flowers in the foreground.
Life is Good!
-librarian lisa-

Capt Chuck said...

Scott & Sue
I have to admit I'm so jealous of you two. Hopefully in 5.5 years we will finally be doing the same thing. Your log book is great keep it going.
Your Friends
Chuck & Linda Reed
CLR Marine