Hopping into a friend’s car, I use the term loosely, it’s off to Guayacanes.
Guayacanes … a quiet unassuming beach used by locals nestled between Juan Dolio and Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic is an idyllic spot. Tranquility is one of the reasons this beach oozes charm. Off the usual tourist radar, this beach breathes “natural.” This is a beach for the “independent” traveler. If you are looking for pristine white sands, waiters with aprons, or the convenience of snapping your fingers and being served, this is not the beach for you. This is rustic.
There are no hotels dotting the landscape, only simple Dominican homes. The beach is shallow and somewhat good for snorkeling. There’s not a lot to see, but you can make some finds. It is quiet during the week but on weekends it’s very active. Vendor stalls dot the shoreline selling food and renting chairs and tables. There is nothing fancy here. Everyday normal Presidente plastic chairs, and plywood tables with their umbrellas run a parallel line to the vendors.
This day was exceptionally quiet. There were fewer than 6 groups of people on the beach including the 4 of us. Tranquility at it’s best. The day before, we had gone up to Los Haitises National Park. The day-trip detoured into a finca that is promoted as a spa. Natural clay lined the shores of the river at the waterfall. Having been given a brick of clay, we had a clay bath at Guayacanes. Jejeje, yes a little devilish fun. We established ourselves at a table, one went off in search of the colmado and a bottle of rum, another hit the water with lightning speed, and the two of us that were left dawned our snorkeling gear. It’s not difficult to convince me to snorkel, but it’s impossible to extract me from the water. My boyfriend (at the time) and I snorkeled for a couple hours not finding much more than a few shells. Tired we came out of the water.
During the week, there are fewer foot vendors here as there are fewer tourists. Today we were fortunate that a seafood vendor with his buckets was strolling through. Looking at his wares in the bucket, you instantly wonder if the are safe to eat. Risking it, we bought a couple plates from him, and yes, I’m still alive to tell the tale. Shrimp and crab for a plate of each is about $5.00 USD. Ask the prices first to avoid the “all you can eat and empty wallet” syndrome. Many people are of the opinion that you shouldn’t risk eating street food. The reality is, yes at times you may encounter problems, but if you think about it, this is what the locals eat and they are very much alive.
My daughters are my best companions. I love traveling with them. A little bit of love and a lot of homesickness. Sand hearts … oh young love! Melancholy love.
Life sized version of shadow puppets? Hey guy! Quit measuring me up!!! You are not that tall yourself…
On an important note, ridiculous as this is going to sound, it is worth mentioning. It’s not often I see a car driving on the beach, but here, that happens on occasion. Look both ways before crossing the beach?
All in all, a successful afternoon was spent entertaining ourselves. Like all good things, it had to end. One day soon, I hope to return, but in life there are no guarantees. And … there are so many many more places to explore!