27 WATERFALLS

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THE 27 WATERFALLS AT DAMAJAGUA - PUERTO PLATA

                           A vacation from our vacation!

November 28, 2010

It's been a month since we got back from Morocco -- I must admit that it's taken just about this long to completely get back to a regular schedule. 

However, while there's no doubt that adventure travel (on a budget) requires a lot more effort both in terms of planning and the necessary level of physical activity, I believe the extra effort is well worth it.  That's one reason why I prefer to avoid shorter trips (i.e., a week or less).  Paradoxically, they are often even more exhausting physically and mentally than longer trips.   

Having said that, I started thinking that I could use a vacation from our vacation (so to speak), so I booked a week at a resort in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic at the end of January.   Of course, as soon I as got the confirmation, I began to worry that I'd be bored just sitting on a beach and drinking fruity cocktails.  I did a quick Google search but didn't come up with too much - parasailing (which takes all of 15 minutes), renting an ATV for off-roading, bicycling, snorkeling (definitely a possibility) and scuba diving. 

I also came across a YouTube video of the 27 waterfalls, also known as Los 27 Charcos de Damajagua:  Apparently its a series of pools separated by waterfalls. Click here to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqzzf0-Wf68 

Could be interesting!

Fruity cocktails

January 28, 2011

OK, so here we are sitting on the beach in Puerto Plata, sipping fruity cocktails.  Its about 80 degrees and the sky is a cloudless blue.  This resort actually has wireless Internet on the beach, hence this post.  There's not much to do other than eat, sleep and swim, although I signed us up for the 27 waterfalls tomorrow which should be pretty cool!

There are other activities but we've chosen to pass on them -- this is an all-inclusive resort and its kind of like being on a cruise ship without the ship -- you can do as much or as little as you want.

Its very easy to eat too much and drink too much -- there's food and drink service out here on the beach -- burgers, fries, sandwiches, beer, etc.  Yesterday we saw a husband guiding his wife back to their room -- she was staggering like an old drunk!

Last night there was a poolside barbeque, then later we went to a show -- singing, dancing, fancy costumes -- sort of like Las Vegas -- with lots of bouncing butts!

With all this eating and drinking, I'm starting to feel like a giant slug -- sort of like Jabba the Hutt!

The 27 Waterfalls

February 2, 2011

The 27 waterfalls at Damajagua turned out to be pretty impressive! 

We'd signed up with Iguana Mama, an "ecological adventure" touring company (as they call themselves) located in Cabarete, about 30 km. east of Puerta Plata.  They picked us up promptly in front of our resort at 9:15 as promised, in a 15 seat minibus, and we were taken to the nearby town of Imbert, about a half hour drive west, where the falls are located.  We were joined by about a dozen other adventurous souls plus two guides and a videographer to record our folly .  

Apparently we'd all chosen Iguana Mama because of their guarantee to take you all the way to the top, then down through all 27 waterfalls.

They lived up to their promise. 

We mostly swam and hiked through the water up the first dozen or so falls -- this involved some pretty rigorous gymnastics!  As we struggled to climb the rocky outcroppings, the water roared past, and one guide would pull us up, usually with a knotted rope, while the other would stand behind to support us and keep us from being swept back down.

After about the 12th waterfall, we took a circuitous and steep upward hike through the jungle for about 45 minutes, eventually emerging at the top where the falls began. 

For the next two hours, we leapt over steep cliffs, some as high as 25 feet above the churning water, and slid down some well-worn and steep rockfaces, one fall after the other, resting briefly like bobbing apples in the small pond-like enclosure at the bottom of each fall.  We had helmets and life-jackets, but the water was numbingly cold, and our limbs became ever more stiff as we became increasingly chilled.  

When we finally made it back to where we'd started, we were battered, bruised and shivering, but also still charged up with an adrenaline rush.  We enjoyed a light meal of Dominican style beans and barbecued chicken before exchanging farewells with our new soulmates and heading back to our hotels.

Later that day we lazed around on the beach, letting the warmth of the sun take the edge off our bruised and aching bodies, aided by copious amounts of alcohol.

To see the pictures taken by our videographer, click here: http://www.traveladventurejournal.com/cgi-bin/photoalbum/view_album/233134 

All-in-all this was an amazing adventure!!

To find out more about adventures in Puerto Plata click here:  http://www.iguanamama.com/

xx