A ten minute taxi ride to the north of the Zona Colonia is the National Botanical Gardens of the Dominican Republic.
The gardens are huge and I trade narrow sidewalks to walk freely in a wide open space. This Sunday there is a long wavy line at the admissions gate before opening time and the charge, for me, is just one hundred pesos -fifty cents U.S.
In the front part of the park.,today,there is an orchid sale in progress and customers are loading them into wheelbarrows and transporting them to their vehicles in the parking lots. Orchids are delicate flowers and it is explained to me, by my taxi driver, that they are popular in the Dominican Republic. People hang them in their homes and grow them on their outside balconies, and, in the city, you can look up and see little jungles everywhere in the sky.
The Gardens are a great place to walk, and, for kids, a wonderful excursion with winding pathways, fish ponds, places to run.
My ticket gives me access to the Gardens, an Exposition on orchids, and a train ride around the park in a little chu chu train.
Walking, I can hear the city around me, but can’t see it. Like the Botanical Gardens in Montevideo, this is prime real estate that will, hopefully, never be converted to condos,shopping malls, and parking lots.
Urbanites, like me,need to be reminded that there is more than what I need, what i want, and more than what I demand.
Without nature to balance us, our tricycles tend to fall over.