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 narrow city sidewalks are traded for wide foot paths to walk freely in wide open spaces This Sunday there is a long wavy line at the admissions gate, before opening time, and the charge to enter is just one hundred pesos -fifty cents U.S.
In the front entrance of the park, 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 outside balconies. Whether it is Cuenca, Ecuador or the United States, or Santo Domingo, people love their flowers.
I can hear the city around me, but can’t see it inside the park’s cocoon of trees. Like the Botanical Gardens in Montevideo, this is prime real estate.
We urbanites need nature close to keep us balanced.
Outside the huge cities of the world, nature still swings a big bat though, and the places people don’t want to live, can’t live, or don’t have the resources to go to, are many.
Botanical parks, in the middle of big cities, suggest there is more to our world than cities.
Even in a world of seven billion people, there are places to escape civilization where you feel the need.