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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onions/Carrots View Post
    These are my favorite two pictures. Are those cars parked in the 1917 photo or is it a traffic jam on the Carretera Duarte? It was just a dirt road back when yonder. For how long did that dirt road exist? How far back must one go to find no dirt road or has the dirt road existed as long as both Santo Domingo and Santiago have existed?
    There was no improved dirt road until the American occupation of 1916. Prior to that what existed was El Camino Real (The Royal Lane) which was "built" by the Spaniards in the 1500s. I put built in parenthesis because it consisted of two rows of Roystoneas demarcating the "route" and it used to start where the Jacobo Majluta bridge is in Santo Domingo. From there it would go through Bonao, then it went eastward and passed through Cotuí, then it went westward and passed through La Vega, then to Moca and then to Santiago.

    Then the Americans built the Duarte highway and it followed pretty much the same route the current highway covers, except that after La Vega it used to go through Moca and then to Santiago.

    The Trujillo wanted to punished Moca for some reason and decided to re-route the Duarte highway by connecting La Vega directly to Santiago, effectively cutting Moca from the added traffic and business it used to receive.

    Then Balaguer modernized the highway in the 1990s which followed most of the original Duarte highway except for a few areas and that's the highway we got today.

    The Camino Real was the main "highway" on the Spanish/Dominican side of the island for practically 400 years and it was nothing more than a mud ridden and grass covered palm lined trail. It used to take upwards of 5 days to do the trek from Santo Domingo to Santiago.
    Last edited by NALs; 05-25-2012 at 08:46 PM.

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  3. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurabo444 View Post
    According to some of the 19th/18th century texts I've read about Santiago, it was easier for a person to go from Santiago De los Caballeros to Santiago de Cuba, than to go to Santo Domingo. That's how isolated the regions used to be, it was like each region was it's own country.
    It was "easier" because Santiago is closer to Puerto Plata and it required to cross the Northern Mountain Range, which despite being quite a trek, the whole trip was done in two days vs five or more days to Santo Domingo. The most popular route to Santo Domingo was often through Puerto Plata and from there they would simply sail around the island via de Mona Passage to the port in SD.

    I forgot the name of the passage that connected Santiago to Puerto Plata, but it was the same trail that was first created by Christopher Columbus.

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  4. #103
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    The Trujillo wanted to punished Moca for some reason and decided to re-route the Duarte highway by connecting La Vega directly to Santiago, effectively cutting Moca from the added traffic and business it used to receive.

  5. #104
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    Map of Ciudad Trujillo in the 1940s

    Dominican Republic map in the 1940s

    Aerial view of Ciudad Trujillo

    here are more of those great pictures
    “La Capital” – Ciudad Trujillo in the 1940s | Sosúa Virtual Museum

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  7. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by NALs View Post
    The Trujillo wanted to punished Moca for some reason and decided to re-route the Duarte highway by connecting La Vega directly to Santiago, effectively cutting Moca from the added traffic and business it used to receive.

    .

    Moca has always taken care of DR tyrants. "Lilis" was one. Trujllo was another.
    Trujillo had enemies in Moca(among other places)..he knew that if he would have to pass through Moca, he would likely be killed.
    Imagine his surprise when men from Moca ambushed and killed him on his way home to San Cristobal! Its very sad that the men from Moca who rid this country of this tyrant were betrayed after the deed was done. Maybe this country would have been better off with Trujillo, who knows.... Go to Moca and you'll find many of the streets have the names of the men who had the cojones to go out all the way to San Cristobal to get the done done. Thats why Moca is called "La villa Heroica"....(Heroic village or town). Mocanos valientes, I salute you!

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  9. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by NALs View Post
    There was no improved dirt road until the American occupation of 1916. Prior to that what existed was El Camino Real (The Royal Lane) which was "built" by the Spaniards in the 1500s. I put built in parenthesis because it consisted of two rows of Roystoneas demarcating the "route" and it used to start where the Jacobo Majluta bridge is in Santo Domingo. From there it would go through Bonao, then it went eastward and passed through Cotuí, then it went westward and passed through La Vega, then to Moca and then to Santiago.
    Correct my geography if I'm wrong but isn't that trek kind of backwards. What was the purpose of retracing that distance from Bonao to Cotui? Was Cotui a city of such importance in those years back yonder? I would have loved to traverse that path back when.

    Then the Americans built the Duarte highway and it followed pretty much the same route the current highway covers, except that after La Vega it used to go through Moca and then to Santiago.

    The Trujillo wanted to punished Moca for some reason and decided to re-route the Duarte highway by connecting La Vega directly to Santiago, effectively cutting Moca from the added traffic and business it used to receive.

    Then Balaguer modernized the highway in the 1990s which followed most of the original Duarte highway except for a few areas and that's the highway we got today.
    Yes as I wrote on a past post, the folkloric emanations and transmissions were lost in the name of mechanical efficiency. With the linking of the various regions via a more efficient connection of roads, that which was produced as a result of separation and solitude was lost forever. No longer would it take 5 days to reach Santiago from Santo Domingo, with the "American road" it would be done in hours.

    The rapid movement of people and goods from one region to the next would dramatically increase economic productivity but at an expense. The folklore, the soul and colorful characters produced from separation and solitude would decrease at a rate which mirrored the economic expansion and production of the regions.

    The Camino Real was the main "highway" on the Spanish/Dominican side of the island for practically 400 years and it was nothing more than a mud ridden and grass covered palm lined trail. It used to take upwards of 5 days to do the trek from Santo Domingo to Santiago.
    I would have loved to traverse it in a horse carriage in the late 19th century. That would have been an adventure. The DR was a much bigger place back then. It has grown smaller as roads, means of transportation and the population have increased.

    Quote Originally Posted by PICHARDO View Post
    The road itself was not there, but a trail that patch the small towns in between them. Each trail took days just to transit, if there was no rain during that week. You had to stop in between the towns, in order to rest your body and soul. It took a great toll to transit that path back in the days.

    Most people used the train service more often than not, until Trujillo took over it and during a tug of war with the independent track owners, took them out of biz in spite.
    Thanks very interesting. Nals added in many more details concerning the trails that you wrote on. Can you write about the train service? Where were the stations located at? What areas did it specifically traverse? If you have any maps you could post here that would be greatly appreciated. I guess the type of train was a 19th century steam locomotive. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  10. #107
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    a pero que bellez!

  11. #108
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    Here is a fairly detailed article I found on old train routes; Surprising Dominican Facts

  12. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trainman33 View Post
    Here is a fairly detailed article I found on old train routes; Surprising Dominican Facts
    Interesting article. What also was interesting that the lighthouse monument was designed by a Brit, didn't know that. Poor guy never got paid but then again IMHO it's an ugly structure.

  13. #110
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