February 28, 2022
Now that we were back on land, checked into the country, and had some repairs scheduled, we decided that it was time to explore the closest city. That city was Puerto Plata, a metropolis of approximately 300,000 people. We needed phone cards, for calling and internet, some groceries and fresh produce. The Bahamas have limited choices and most times it is not in good shape. So we caught a supermarket shuttle and went into Puerto Plata for the first time.
We struck out with our phone card search. There were two kiosks in the Jose Luis supermarket, one for Altice and one for Claro. We had heard that Claro was the best so went to the girl manning the kiosk and, in our best spanish, requested a phone card. “Pasaporte?” she asked. Oh no! We left them on the boat. No “pasaporte” no phone card. Guess there is always tomorrow. So we loaded up on groceries, got some Dominican pesos and caught the van back to the marina.
The next day we took a cab into Puerto Plata and first thing, armed with “pasaportes” we obtained phone cards. Next was a bit of touring! Our cab driver knew just where to go and hooked us up with a “guide”.
We were able to experience the Dominican Republic’s independence day celebration on February 27. This is the day that the Dominican’s gained their independence from Haiti after many bloody battles. We taxied to the malecon in town and watched a very looooong parade. Once the politicians were out of the way, the parade consisted of marching bands from all of the local schools. That was all. Just lots of bands with marching students and lots of drums. It was evident that the Dominican people are proud of their country and their students.