Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazon Adventure Day 8 – Santo Domingo Second Posting

So by now you have read the terrible posting that I made while I was actually in Santo Domingo. So you are probably saying man Terry sure didn’t have that together. And of course you are right. My excuse was that the internet café that I was in was this shop which was on this second floor in a really sketchy neighbourhood. The computer which I had was right in the window of the shop and the sun was beating down on me. So it was probably over 100 F and all I could think of was man do I want to get out of here. I had no pictures to post and it was just put something up and get going.

The ship was docked on the Rio Ozama river which divides the city of Santo Domingo into the colonial side, where we were and the new town on the other side. There is a huge fort which was built by the Spanish as Santo Domingo was used as a central amalgamation point for shipping the plundered gold back to Spain. It was the earliest European settlement in the New World, and the first to gain independence from Spain. This was probably the high point in its history. Today it is known for it’s baseball players. It is a very poor nation and most people live well below the poverty level.

The taxis are unbelievably beaten up old Nissans and the buses are mostly ancient old mini-vans which have no side door. There isn’t a single square inch of body work which isn’t battered. There is a driver who has the thing either totally floored or has the breaks locked, and a “conductor” who stands in the door and collects the fare and gets people to take his bus. Fortunately I was within walking distance of the ship.

Up from the ship is the main street in colonial Santo Domingo. It is primarily a walking mall and has a lot of shops selling a variety of local crafts and souvenirs made in China. Having said that Amber is mined locally and there are several shops which specialize in amber jewels. I didn’t buy any.

Back on the ship we had a great super and I had a large New York Strip steak which was absolutely fabulous. Later the evening show was a comedian/juggler who was great. The show he put on was unbelievable. The Prinsendam stage has a very low ceiling so his juggling was all tricks involving hand to hand feats rather than the high aerial tricks you sometime see jugglers perform.

Well tomorrow is a sea day so I get to relax.


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