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Thread: Las Galeras & Bayahibe Part 2- better late than never

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    Default Las Galeras & Bayahibe Part 2- better late than never

    I will do the best I can to recount the final week of our trip when we drove from LG to Bayahibe
    altho it certainly isn't as vivid after all these months. I do want to thank the members of this forum for honest and accurate
    information and opinions. It made the world of difference in preparing us for the DR.

    If Las Galeras is the dog capital of the Dominican, Bayahibe has to be the chicken capital. While in LG,
    there were dogs everywhere, many "adopted" by shop owners. In Bayahibe the only dogs seen were at the end of an owners leash
    BUT loose chickens abound. Roosters crow at all hours in an endless cacophony, sort of explains why the neighborhood plays their music so loudly.

    But first our drive, we head out really early to avoid traffic...making good time and stopping for gas after we get many miles outside of
    Samana, which was still a flurry of activity..does that place never empty out?

    We pass the little towns with their balloons filled with cheese? hanging from all the shops..pass the town that has Flintstone size ribs on every store
    ledge...make it onto the toll road with no problems. Stop at our familiar Texaco across from the highway patrol station and onward to SD.

    We make the correct turn and head east to Bayahibe but still not on the highway but a service road on the wrong side (north)...we find an underpass to turn under the highway to find an "on" ramp on the south side and there is a police car blocking our way with a traffic stop in the lane furthest to the left which seems to be the wrong side of the road. because all the cars are not facing us but going in our direction. Husband just takes the open lane to the right of the concrete barrier going the wrong way as we pass right by the cops. Guess the driving habits of the locals is rubbing off on us. We make our turn onto the highway heading east shortly after. Lots of traffic, construction...we are running later than we expected but make it to Bayahibe with only a few wrong turns. Finding the B&B we are staying at for the week was another story. We wander around passing the same places over and over again (the true measure of insanity?) trying to find Bayahibe Guest house.
    Finally we deviate from our maddening pattern and find it.

    The owner meets us after a quick text, we get settled in and are pretty pleased with ourselves. It is a newer building with a nice bathroom and walkin shower. Bedroom is small but has an a/c unit (more on that later) and the adjoining the rooftop terrace is huge and covered with a great palapa roof. The small kitchenette is outside on the terrace Perfect. We open up some adult beverages and unwind on our cushy lounge chairs. Oh, there is a jacuzzi on the deck too!

    After an adequate pickling of our livers we take a walk around town to acquaint ourselves, try out a few bars, eat a few snacks and head back picking up some bottled water, eggs, bread etc for our kitchen. My first impressions are this is a more affluent town compared to LG, cleaner...less like the wild west, more "civilized" for lack of a better word.

    The last place we stayed at in LG had good fans and no a/c, worked fine for us..it was December after all. This place had a fan which we took outside on our terrace to help with airflow and at night we found we had to shut the sliding glass door and put on the a/c...not because it was hot....it was to drown out the incessant rooster calls. All night long...all day long. We ate some great grilled chicken, rice beans chicken, eggs and still the population did not quiet down.

    After a few days we seemed to be able to ignore it better. We drove to the public beach of Dominicus..paid for a lounge chair and umbrella and spent a lovely day there drinking and snacking at different seafood shacks on the beach. The waves and undertow were a challenge on the day we went. I am a strong swimmer but I actually realize the danger I placed myself in going swimming after a few too many beers as I struggled to get back to shore. It was exhilarating but I stayed on the sand for the rest of that visit. No other beaches we went to had this problem..maybe just a storm out at sea?

    Just like LG there were tons of ex-pats....less French more Italian. I never thought I would go to the DR to get some of the best Italian meals I have had outside of Italy but we did. At night we would roam the town...deciding where to eat, once was an amazing little pizza shop away from the shore - they did alot of takeout but probably the best pizza we had since out last trip to Grimaldi's

    Each night as we strolled, we would pass a brightly lit patio of an Italian place across the street from the water with a bored looking slender man standing outside..waiting for a customer. It was empty every time we went by. Each night, he progressed in his appearance from bored to sad to sitting on the curb, head in hands, contemplating suicide . We affectionately named him the lonely Italian.
    Finally the night before we were leaving, we decided to eat there. We (me) felt so bad for the guy...how awful could a plate of pasta be?
    This pity meal turned out to be one of the best dining experiences we had on this trip.
    Will post more later, thunderboomers just started here in Houston, may shut down my power soon!

  2. Likes Meemselle, AlterEgo, dulce, Me_again, westcan and 2 others liked this post
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    Wonderfully written! More, please.

    I love Bayahibe, but it is a little....remote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meemselle View Post
    Wonderfully written! More, please.

    I love Bayahibe, but it is a little....remote.

    Thanks Meemselle,

    I love reading your posts...you should be publishing! Company coming this weekend but I'll be back Monday to post more memories. The
    writing helps jog my memory. You wouldn't know with all my kvetching but we really did enjoy our experience in the DR.

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    Like your post, would love to read some more.
    We really appreciate the area of bayahibe and dominicus.this area is what vacatiom could be , rent a non all inclusive, and eat out in a beach town. Much better than the other tourist zones.
    And the italian food is very good, we tried that pizza with the perfect crust, also don elsios? Next to the viva. Also another italian seafood shop in bayahibe near the dock, muy bueno.
    Italians own alot of the businesses and show up in large numbers.

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    Default Dinner at the Lonely Italians

    We stand outside the lonely Italians place, looking at the posted menu, trying to decipher its' meaning. I barely understand spanish menus...this is making my brain smoke.
    I give my lonely Italian a few glances as we point out possible meanings of this menu. Finally I motion him over...so shy this one. Well, his english is about as good as my Italian but we decide there is food here and we get ourselves seated under the glaring fluorescent lights.

    I am not in the restaurant business, but I can see the reason this place is empty. What could be a charming covered patio is reduced to the equivalent of your junior high school cafeteria with these lights and the perfectly spaced red checkered table tops. No candles, no potted plants, no decor...it is a bright immaculate red checkered wasteland.

    So we give up on the menu and I ask if they have anti pasto? Yes! my lonely Italian chirps happily, his mouth fashions a smile. He comes back with plate of nice looking foccacia- gratis he says. It's delicious homemade crusty bread...so far, so good. Next the antipasto plate, our lonely italian looks pretty happy as he lays down a.great looking charcuterie meats, flavorful cheeses, olives..we are happily munching away when another couple (older italian? guy with his dominican young girlfriend) come in and sit down. We just doubled their business. Lonely italian comes out and he is openly smiling as he hands them their menus.

    We ordered a pasta plate I recognized, Arrabiata with penne, we like spicy and it is delicious...I think this pasta might be homemade...I am starting to love this place. Portions are perfect size for a multi course meal...and now out comes Lonely Italians brother, helping yet another couple sit down. We are laughing our butts off...people are such sheep.
    Empty resto for for 3 days and now that seats are occupied the lemmings come. Human nature I guess. My Italian hasn't gotten any better since we sat down so I ask my Lonely Italian what is his favorite entree. He points and describes and we order it.

    Not too long a wait and out comes a gorgeous plate of greens topped with a sliced steak perfectly reddish pink with some shaved pecorino. This meat is tender, bursting with flavor, the greens underneath are slightly bitter and compliment the richness of the beef. I close my eyes and chew, maybe a slight moaning of pleasure escapes my lips...there is a God. This food is ridiculously amazing. When I come out of my blissful coma...there's Mama fresh out of the kitchen..circulating the restaurant (there's another top occupied now) checking to make sure everyone is happy with their meals and the boys are beaming in the background.

    We are full but I order an espresso so I can linger and fondly revel in the glorious meal we just had. Partner orders some after dinner digestif and when we ask for and get the bill its too cheap. We leave a generous tip for what was probably the best meal of our vacation and happily waddle back to our balcony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benja123 View Post
    I will do the best I can to recount the final week of our trip when we drove from LG to Bayahibe
    altho it certainly isn't as vivid after all these months. I do want to thank the members of this forum for honest and accurate
    information and opinions. It made the world of difference in preparing us for the DR.

    If Las Galeras is the dog capital of the Dominican, Bayahibe has to be the chicken capital. While in LG,
    there were dogs everywhere, many "adopted" by shop owners. In Bayahibe the only dogs seen were at the end of an owners leash
    BUT loose chickens abound. Roosters crow at all hours in an endless cacophony, sort of explains why the neighborhood plays their music so loudly.

    But first our drive, we head out really early to avoid traffic...making good time and stopping for gas after we get many miles outside of
    Samana, which was still a flurry of activity..does that place never empty out?

    We pass the little towns with their balloons filled with cheese? hanging from all the shops..pass the town that has Flintstone size ribs on every store
    ledge...make it onto the toll road with no problems. Stop at our familiar Texaco across from the highway patrol station and onward to SD.

    We make the correct turn and head east to Bayahibe but still not on the highway but a service road on the wrong side (north)...we find an underpass to turn under the highway to find an "on" ramp on the south side and there is a police car blocking our way with a traffic stop in the lane furthest to the left which seems to be the wrong side of the road. because all the cars are not facing us but going in our direction. Husband just takes the open lane to the right of the concrete barrier going the wrong way as we pass right by the cops. Guess the driving habits of the locals is rubbing off on us. We make our turn onto the highway heading east shortly after. Lots of traffic, construction...we are running later than we expected but make it to Bayahibe with only a few wrong turns. Finding the B&B we are staying at for the week was another story. We wander around passing the same places over and over again (the true measure of insanity?) trying to find Bayahibe Guest house.
    Finally we deviate from our maddening pattern and find it.

    The owner meets us after a quick text, we get settled in and are pretty pleased with ourselves. It is a newer building with a nice bathroom and walkin shower. Bedroom is small but has an a/c unit (more on that later) and the adjoining the rooftop terrace is huge and covered with a great palapa roof. The small kitchenette is outside on the terrace Perfect. We open up some adult beverages and unwind on our cushy lounge chairs. Oh, there is a jacuzzi on the deck too!

    After an adequate pickling of our livers we take a walk around town to acquaint ourselves, try out a few bars, eat a few snacks and head back picking up some bottled water, eggs, bread etc for our kitchen. My first impressions are this is a more affluent town compared to LG, cleaner...less like the wild west, more "civilized" for lack of a better word.

    The last place we stayed at in LG had good fans and no a/c, worked fine for us..it was December after all. This place had a fan which we took outside on our terrace to help with airflow and at night we found we had to shut the sliding glass door and put on the a/c...not because it was hot....it was to drown out the incessant rooster calls. All night long...all day long. We ate some great grilled chicken, rice beans chicken, eggs and still the population did not quiet down.

    After a few days we seemed to be able to ignore it better. We drove to the public beach of Dominicus..paid for a lounge chair and umbrella and spent a lovely day there drinking and snacking at different seafood shacks on the beach. The waves and undertow were a challenge on the day we went. I am a strong swimmer but I actually realize the danger I placed myself in going swimming after a few too many beers as I struggled to get back to shore. It was exhilarating but I stayed on the sand for the rest of that visit. No other beaches we went to had this problem..maybe just a storm out at sea?

    Just like LG there were tons of ex-pats....less French more Italian. I never thought I would go to the DR to get some of the best Italian meals I have had outside of Italy but we did. At night we would roam the town...deciding where to eat, once was an amazing little pizza shop away from the shore - they did alot of takeout but probably the best pizza we had since out last trip to Grimaldi's

    Each night as we strolled, we would pass a brightly lit patio of an Italian place across the street from the water with a bored looking slender man standing outside..waiting for a customer. It was empty every time we went by. Each night, he progressed in his appearance from bored to sad to sitting on the curb, head in hands, contemplating suicide . We affectionately named him the lonely Italian.
    Finally the night before we were leaving, we decided to eat there. We (me) felt so bad for the guy...how awful could a plate of pasta be?
    This pity meal turned out to be one of the best dining experiences we had on this trip.
    Will post more later, thunderboomers just started here in Houston, may shut down my power soon!
    Yes Las Galeras is beautiful but sort of off the grid and many smaller "hotels". You need to check with the owners before you booked as to what the room comes with, such as A/C, overhead fans, etc. The accomodations for the most part are a step down from Las Terrenas and so are the restaurants. If you want excellent Italian, German or French food stay in LT. Good luck and good travels.

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    Maybe one day we will return and try Las Terranas but to be honest we were slightly put off by the general attitude of the populace. Sort of a bummer to be treated with indifference at best and hostility at worst. Ex-pats and most merchants running business' were friendly, pleasant, smiling and willing to engage with us. But many clerks or even just people walking along the street would respond to our greetings in english or spanish with the wrinkled nose or turn their face away.
    I am not loud, obnoxious, smelly or entitled when traveling and we always show respect to local cultures so I know it wasn't us.
    So, even tho the country is beautiful we will probably have a dozen other places we would travel to before considering another visit to the DR.

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    "Bayahibe has to be the chicken capital."

    They have moved most of the roosters away from the center. Its quite peaceful now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salsafan View Post
    "Bayahibe has to be the chicken capital."

    They have moved most of the roosters away from the center. Its quite peaceful now.
    I will miss the one rooster across the street from the guesthouse who ended his call with a cooing sound, like a dove. There were some doves around the place..maybe he picked it up from them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benja123 View Post
    Maybe one day we will return and try Las Terranas but to be honest we were slightly put off by the general attitude of the populace. Sort of a bummer to be treated with indifference at best and hostility at worst. Ex-pats and most merchants running business' were friendly, pleasant, smiling and willing to engage with us. But many clerks or even just people walking along the street would respond to our greetings in english or spanish with the wrinkled nose or turn their face away.
    I am not loud, obnoxious, smelly or entitled when traveling and we always show respect to local cultures so I know it wasn't us.
    So, even tho the country is beautiful we will probably have a dozen other places we would travel to before considering another visit to the DR.
    I am not sure why it bothers you that locals on the street didn't respond to your greetings. Many are not sure how to respond to North Americans or Europeans. Many have a lower class status and not use to engaging tourists. Las Galleras is nice but it sounds like Las Terrenas would have been a better choice for you. Good luck and good travels.

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