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Thread: Bani, Las Dunas, Las Salinas & Palmar de Ocoa

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    Default Bani, Las Dunas, Las Salinas & Palmar de Ocoa

    Took time out today to drive out of the capital and down to Bani and beyond......with a clear objective of stocking up on mangoes on the way back.

    One hour and fifteen minutes after leaving home, which is on the west side of the city by the Malecon, we parked up at the entrance to Dunas de Bani just before Las Salinas., which is a little before where it is shown on the map below.

    https://www.google.com.do/maps/place...1!4d-70.531154

    It is easy to find and you take the well signed turn to Palmar de Ocoa on entering Bani and keep heading west and ultimately hit the road to Matanzas and continue straight to the Las Salinas. Don't get fooled by the naval base entrance (on my first visit several years ago I recall turning back at this point). You pass the guard house and sentry and bear sharp left.

    There is a fee to enter the Dunas, 100DP is what we were charged per person. Soon after the entrance up on the right is a viewing pavilion, and the Dominican families there at the same time as us, seemed to prefer taking in the view from a high rather than heading off towards the dunes of dark and very hot sand. I was keen to see the dunes with sea views so headed off with mi esposa with her complaining about the sun and hot sand. The tendency is to head to the top of dunes straight ahead and the disappointment is that the sea is a long way beyond after scrub. So next move was to the right and was rewarded with good views across the Bahia de Las Calderas, the naval yard and Punta Salina. And then backwards towards the east and breakers rolling onto the sand dune skirted beach to the east. That was clearly the side to head first.

    After the sand dunes and the disintegration of my trusted walking sandals, we headed into Las Salinas and beyond to the Point. It is a small town and clearly has some wealthy residents with some nice villas bordering the Bahia. On the far side of the town are the Salinas and an old salt making establishment and salt is still produced and sold there. A nice photo shot. The point is a bit of disappointment and was filling up with day trippers so time to move on.

    We got lunch......nice fresh fish and some cold beers in Las Salinas......and moved on with Palmar de Ocoa as the objective.

    It is a nice peaceful drive in these parts after Bani on decent roads through well presented small towns. And of course all around are mango trees or rather mango plantations or should we call them orchards? It is a dry pat of the country in general with a backdrop looking inland of the high peaks of San Cristobel and Bani provinces. The hills were dark and threatening today with clouds hanging low down and rain beckoning.

    The drive to Palmar was easy after finding the marked turn and apart from a short section of unpaved (washed out) road before the large river just before the town, it was a good enjoyable drive.

    I was in Palmar several years back during the week and it was quiet. Then the beach was almost deserted as I recall. But today the day trippers were ramping up the afternoon entertainment but not so much in reality. It's a nicely located beach with dark gravelly sand and must have been popular with the wealthy in the past with old covered decaying jetties. The view across Ocoa Bay to Azua and Barahona is spectacular. A place we agreed to revisit again soon with full cooler but a short stay today only with rain drops falling.

    It was a leisurely drive back to the capital, joined three bags full of different mangoes bought on the edge of Bani before the Autopista dual carriageway starts. I wonder if I will find time to get to the mango festival which I believe is next week because I am off on a business trip next weekend?

    There is a lot of interest to day trippers from the capital than you think if you go west.

    A few photos to follow....
    Last edited by ju10prd; 06-05-2016 at 06:27 PM.

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    Good report, thanks




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    Dunes looking east

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    Top of dune looking over Bay and west

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    Palmar de Ocoa

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    Las Salinas salt workings

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    Great report, for two years from 2007 to 2009 I made the trip from the capital/malecone to Las Salinas while working at the shipyard right next to the Naval Base you mention in your report. Great little town Las Salinas, really enjoyed the area but never went out on the dunes. Thanks for showing me what I missed, I'll have to get out there and check it out.

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    Las Salinas had that feel of a very small town one could really enjoy and relax within for a few days away from the city.

    Here is the hotel in Las Salinas from booking.com site and some nice photographs of the area with the salt workings in action

    http://www.booking.com/hotel/do/sava...65;spdist=60.3

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    The owner and I became friends during my time working there as I went there almost everyday for lunch. His name is Jorge and tell him Ronaldino said hi... (his nick name for me)..

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    Both videos in posts #10 and #11 were uploaded successfully yesterday and working but within a short period of time a note came up saying the user had removed them.

    They are still viewable on Noticias SIN website and the YouTube links are as below for those wanting to view them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlK6iiBp1qs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qDQiF4wxcQ

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