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