Getting Around Tour Bus, Santo Domingo

If I were on this tour bus I wouldn’t have been able to take this picture.

There are a myriad of ways to transport yourself on a vacation. This tour bus, as it goes by, shows faces inside glancing at me as the tour driver describes thIs area with a microphone in his hand. Inside a tour bus you can’t stop a moment, poke around, talk to someone, have a bite to eat, try to understand a sign in a foreign language. You are moving quickly and if you are thinking about your security system back home you miss a Presidential Palace, or the church where Columbus attended his son’s wedding, or a great cafe where locals eat.

You can’t know a place by listening to a driver tell you what you are passing after you have already passed it.

I’ll know this place like a tour guide before I leave and take some of it home in postcards and memories.

The tour bus passes me and I can hear the driver talking to the whole block on his microphone, his facts sounding garbled and out of sync.

His words sound, to me, like the clouds in your coffee.

They wouldn’t be words I would use to tell about this place.

 

Albuquerque’s E scooters Albuquerque's newest transportation

Albuquerque has just introduced E-Scooters to the Downtown Civic Plaza, Nob Hill, Old Town, and, eventually, other well frequented locations in the city. These scooters are lined up across from the Albuquerque Museum of Art, chatting up a storm and telling scooter jokes.

Two ladies, I talk too, say the scooters are fun to ride but you need an App on your phone to use them. There are about 750 of them, to start, and a private company, Zagster, has exclusive rights to promote in our city.

The scooters are available from seven in the morning till seven in the evening, have tracking devices installed, go 15 miles per hour, and cost the operator fifty cents a minute, when riding. The rationale is to address climate change, provide other modes of transport the younger generation will like (18 and older), and encourage people to get out and eliminate traffic in high traffic areas.

One of the big concerns of the Albuquerque Police Department is people driving these scooters while intoxicated, something that has already happened.

One of my issues is grasping how large American bodies are going to balance on these small running boards while going fifteen miles per hour with hand brakes?

If the city was serious about climate change they would just make us walk in a transportation free zone.

Riding at your own risk, these days, has to be in all of our plans of the day.

 

Model A “Phaeton” In McDonalds parking lot - Thursday - June 13, 2019

According to Art, this is a Model A, a ” Phaeton.”

He spells p-h-a-e-t-o-n out for me, this morning, when the two of us are conversing at our usual McDonalds, down the street from the Candelaria street McDonalds where I saw this beauty yesterday afternoon.

It’s owner was an older man, a car nut, who drives his dream car to car shows and likes to meet with other gentlemen and talk shop about their pride and joy automobiles, and, of course, their pride and joy wives and/or girlfriends.

This convertible, with its white removable top, immaculate paint job, upholstery that smelled factory new, and sparkling details, stood out for me in the McDonalds parking lot, way too nice to be there. I took photos for my scrapbook and compared her to newer models that didn’t compare to her, half as well.

With all comparisons, there is some prejudice involved.

I tend to like old vehicles, old buildings, and, even some old people. They have character and miles on their odometers that proves they run and have lasting power.

Inside the McDonalds, I complimented the car’s owner and he smiled with pride and nodded his head as he sipped his black coffee with two sugars, now costing a dollar instead of a nickel when his ” Phaeton ” was brand new.

I thought, as I left, that getting compliments is one of the big reasons he drives her to McDonalds.

You don’t want to keep a show horse like this cooped up in the barn.

 

Custom Golf Cart very comfy

Golf carts are standard equipment at most courses. They speed up play,bring revenue to the course, make the course more accessible.

This one is parked by the Paradise Hills Clubhouse while it’s owner-operator fills up with hot dogs and cold beer before tackling the back nine.

This chariot would have been the cat’s meow in San Pedro Town, Belize where golf carts are a preferred, and much used, mode of transportation.

These golfers are also obsessed, ostentatious Denver Bronco fans.

Bronco football hasn’t been up to par the last few years but they will turn it around if they can find another Elway type quarterback who can throw the football with accuracy,the entire length of the field, and shake off hard charging linebackers with mayhem on their minds.

If people weren’t in such a hurry we could all drive golf carts, save gas and a few lives, and let everyone know what our favorite NFL team is.

This cart does the 1950’s proud.

 

 

 

 

Lone some George – Galapagos Tortoise Sculpture donated to Fountain Hills Park

Lonesome George is a famous tortoise from the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, many hundreds of miles off the Ecuador coast. He was the last of his species and died in 2012 at the ripe old age of 100, one of many species of living things to become extinct throughout the history of this planet Earth.

According to a recent television documentary, dedicated to George,there were efforts to find him a mate to continue his species, but it was a losing effort. Either George was too old, liked his own company too much, or just had those problems men get past the age of fifty.

How is it to live to a hundred years and be the last of your kind alive?

If George had had a video camera he would have been able to show his changing world. In his younger days, there would have been men in wood boats rowing to the island to collect his relatives for the soup pot. In later years there would have been processions of scientists with recording instruments taping wires on his back to follow his movements and record his vitals. These last days there were mostly noisy tourists with cameras and sunscreen, sunglasses and notebooks packed with observations..

George passed in 2012, and, in this local park, a local artist has donated a sculpture to his memory.

Lonesome George lived long enough to outlast his entire generation.

Whether he was really lonesome is something he never talked much about.

 

 

Flying Home Another trip into the books

Airports are transitional.

In airports we are moving to someplace new or returning to someplace familiar. We are waiting interminable hours then squeezing into airplanes that take us 35,000 feet above the Earth and show us movies. We are victims of delays, layovers, plane cancellations, Customs, paperwork, pat downs, x rays and questions. For some, these indignities are acceptable. For others, they are barely tolerable.

This trip, authorities with TSA, in Newerk, confiscate a small bottle of flavored rum that Scott is taking home to enjoy, legally bought at the Museo of Rum in Santo Domingo. The size of the bottle, according to the TSA limit, is “over the limit. ” The agent says ” leave it, or consume it now. ”  Figuring they will give me a ticket for flying drunk next, I give up and leave the rum behind and board my plane for home.

Are we to a point in this USA that this micromanagement is necessary, or even healthy? Is all this just getting us ready for other restrictive changes we are going to like even less?

Scotttreks likes flowers and singing birds, walking and taking pictures, but, this doesn’t mean we aren’t watching  more sinister things too.

Governments are, according to more than just me, too big for their britches. Instead of being lean, and somewhat mean, our government is overweight, nosy, passes too many laws and doesn’t prosecute its favorites that break those laws.

This trip is over, and, I hope, another is quickly to follow.

Even without my rum, which the TSA agents have already enjoyed, staying healthy and traveling is my Doctor’s best prescription.

Wild animals, and humans too, don’t like to be caged.

 

 

Trip to Sanoa Beach From Santo Domingo

Those going on this day trip from Santo Domingo to Sanoa Island start at the Pizzerelli Pizza Palace at six forty five in the morning.

There is no one on the street this morning when I walk to our assigned pick up point, but, at the pizza place, there are five of us who are met by Isidro of Colonial Tours. He checks our receipts and we follow him down stone steps, out of the Colonial Zone, where we load onto our tour bus transport. We pick up more passengers in Boca Chica, along the way, and are full by the time we all get to Bayimbe where we board several small boats and a catamaran and sail or motor out to Sanoa Beach, our destination.

Santo Domingo is, I have found,  far away from the best beaches of the Dominican Republic. The real sand and surf activities are on the north shore of the island and at Punta Cana,

The Colonial Tour is a good tour. We pass through countryside with sugar cane fields as far as the eye can see. Bayimbe is a cute little town being discovered and developed by foreigners and Sanoa Beach is clean and secure for all travelers even if locals walk the beach selling jewelry and local crafts that you have already been showed a hundred times.

On our sail back to the mainland, where we board our tour bus to return to Santo Domingo, there is dancing on our catamaran, too much booze, but very happy passengers.

It is dark when we all get home, a twelve hour trip for sixty five bucks, a value when you add all the pieces. I never see these beaches without wondering about sailors marooned, Robinson Crusoe, pirate treasure buried by the foot of palm trees marked by an X on a yellowed map, deep in an old chest under an old overcoat that has been in storms around Cape Horn.

A trip to the Dominican Republic isn’t complete without getting sand between my toes.

After each trip, new moments join old moments in one big jigsaw puzzle.

Today’s moments can stand on their own, but, they seem to pick up depth and velocity when they hold hands with others.

Comparing moments bring wisdom, but the some learning is best done with a pina colada in one hand and a barbecue wing in the other.

 

 

 

Shoe Problem Impossible to clean

These are a pair of Scott’s work shoes from when he used to work hard.

Instead of being covered with paint, which was Scott’s income when public school teaching became intolerable,one of these shoes has residue from floor tile adhesive on its toe.

The issue is wearing this pair when I go to public historical places. In these places there are shoe shine men and kids who want to clean them on sight. Before I see the shoeshine guys, they have swooped down and are fiddling with my shoes even though I insist that I and my shoes are perfectly happy to be left alone.

Part of travel is using precautions. Make a copy of your Passport to show to people in lieu of the real thing. Don’t wear flashy jewelry. Don’t tell strangers where you live. Don’t drink water, except bottled. Go in groups at night. Don’t do things abroad you wouldn’t do at home. Get all your shots. Use sunscreen. Use local currency. Don’t insert yourself into police business or arguments between men and women.

My newest precaution, before traveling again, is going to be to clean this adhesive off my shoe.

I hate to tell people ” no” when shining shoes is their livelihood.

 

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