The Dominican SW with Haiti on the side hillbilly/hobo tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thor Hiney, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    :clap
    Nice report!

    my fav's!
    Wish I could be there right now!

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    #21
  2. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    You are right there now peach through the power of this interweb thingy!

    Stay tuned, you may have new fav's by the time this is over.
    #22
  3. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    I was trying to feel better about being a coward at the Haitian border, going over all the details in my mind. I think...I hope...I know I made the right decision under the circumstances...I think...I hope...I know...

    I believe the border crossing would have had a totally different feel would we have been there during one of the market days. It wouldn't have been a worry I don't think.
    It was that smell of extortion in the air that sent the red flags flying.

    We started heading back on that twisty bit of very empty country. Back through the gauntlet of burning clothes and wandering people in the middle of nowhere.

    Tour leader Ed took a turn, headed us toward the ocean and we rode on a couple of different dirt roads in what reminded me of Baja Mexico. There was an airbase and some sort of factory out in that part of the desert but not much else but dust.

    Rode for a bit further up on the pegs to keep from getting pummeled by the seat and then we came to Bahia de Las Aguilas.

    Ed...you did good!!! (I think he was smiling in his helmet all the way there knowing we were going to love this):D

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    At the end of a long red dirt dusty road...Paradise! Cabo Rojo

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    'The lunch bunch', Dominican style.
    What a cool place. This was a nearly new restaurant/bar in the middle of nowhere with a million dollar view. Sweet.

    The old village on the edge of the National park had been carved out of the cliff face.

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    That little green building was the old bar...they were not happy with the new one.

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    The drive-in entrance to the park.

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    We stripped off our gear and waited for lunch to be served.
    Life can be rough out here on the frontier...:rolleyes:
    Berserker giving a demonstration on how it's done!

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    Looking North towards where we had come from. The border is up there somewhere.

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    I found the perfect position.

    I decided from now on when I go to my happy place...this is it.

    That little blue boat is a water taxi and you could hire them to take you to the National park around the point left from where we are now.

    We had a great lunch here with a terrific conch salad and the other usual yummy Dominican fare.

    The van was having major tire issues. That must have been quite a ride on that road if it was up on the pegs and rough on the bikes.
    We watched about four guys work on it and got it changed for RD$100 (about $3.50 US.)

    We also slammed down the water because it was going to be a dry dusty trip back to the coast road.

    It is getting harder to leave these special places.


    More to come...
    #23
  4. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    A couple of us after eating dust on the way out decided to move closer to the front of the group. We were pushing Ed to open it up a little but I think he was pretty concerned for his guests and resisted the temptation for the most part. Getting a broken leg, arm, collarbone out here would not be a very good scenario. Not all our group were experienced off road.

    We got back on the SW coast road (44 I think) and it was terrific on the way back too.

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    There was a place I really wanted to stop for some photos on the way out that we stopped just a half mile or so past. I looked at Ed and told him I would be right back and took off back toward the rocky spot for some pics.

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    Of course clouds came over the spot I wanted to capture but I took this one from the bike. That water is so blue it hurts your eyes!

    Well feeling guilty for keeping the group waiting I headed back and saw a cemetery that was interesting. I was only about 1/2 mile away now and was going to make this quick!

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    The light was still not the best but I took a couple of snaps anyway. You photographers out there know the frustration of seeing a potentially great shot but being pushed by timing. Oh well.

    Got back on the bike and nothing.... no power....nothing! :dunno

    I thought maybe the clutch wire had jiggled loose. I was on some pretty rough dirt roads earlier.

    I had visions of my counterparts mad as hens about my lengthy absence. (I was right about that...it was hot out in the sun in full gear).

    Finally after getting a flicker and having the gauges peg on the speedo and tach. I walked to the end of the street and flagged Ed down. No one was listening on the walkie talkie I had in the tail bag.:confused:

    Ed came racing down to were I was and I gave him the skinny on what was happening. We both thought it must be the battery as we didn't see anything loose on the bike.
    We took off the seat and Ed took out the took kit. There was some corrosion on the terminals but it didn't look that bad. (salt air does it's number on stuff down here)

    Before Ed even came I had a group of guys on motos asking why I couldn't get it to run.
    By the time Ed came there were at least 15.
    As he was working they took the tools right out of his hands and removed the terminals and cleaned them.
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    It was very amusing.
    I told Ed they all want to go back home and tell everyone they fixed the 'grande moto'. There was about 8 guys behind me offering advice and laughing.

    'Gracias amigos... hasta luago!'

    When I got back to the group Berserker told me that the group collectively decided to kick my a**. I didn't blame them.

    There was a cool domino parlor/bar in the small town of Paradisio that reminded us of Swiss family Robinson.
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    Very nice and a view of the beach from there.

    When we got back to the hotel there were some Harleys parked in front. They are fairly rare down here but there is a dealership in Santo Domingo.
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    Hells angels?

    Later that night at the constant urging of the Wegster we went into town.
    Since it was a weeknight there wasn't that much going. We were all going to go by moto-concho to say we had done it but it was a short walk.

    There were some kids dancing the merengue behind an SUV with the back end full of speakers. About 120 decibels...and it's 11 PM.
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    The kid in the black shirt was good and I took a little video of him that I would like to insert here sometime.

    The bar we decided to go to was nearly empty and they were having a contest with the bar across the street for loudest music. There was a car with speakers filling the trunk on the road between them and he won the contest as soon as the power went out. The DR is loud!!!!

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    Looks like DeStrom died his hair green for the night out!?!

    We left Wegster there and went back to the hotel and to bed...real live wires:rolleyes:

    The optional ride was in the morning at dawn and I was not going to miss it.

    A little merengue with Crispin Fernadez

    More to come...
    #24
  5. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    Tour leader Ed told us that there would be an optional ride at dawn on our beach day. Since we would be having beverages at the beach that meant that no one was going to be riding back on the bikes.

    I knew last trip I made down there that this was the best ride of the week. We rode some great roads fast because there was no traffic out that time of day.

    I got up to my cell phone alarm...full volume (flight of the Valkyries) at 6AM. I know that's awful early when a guys on vacation but jeez I didn't want to miss anything. I figure the sun would be up about 6:30.

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    Sunrise on the Caribbean. One of the fun parts about being on an island is you can see the sun rise and set on the ocean in the same day.

    Well we waited till 7:00 and it would be DeStrom , Mawgirl and me.
    Ed told us he wanted to scout out a route to Cobral by way of Paradisio. You could see a road on the map but it didn't show the condition. Sounds like my kind of ride! Plus we would get to ride that SW coast road one more time. :D

    The air was super fresh and smelled like flowers and the ocean...man I love riding this time of day.

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    I told him to take the helmet off...I did tell him!

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    Our fearless leader scans the horizon.

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    I was hoping to get a pic of one of these cool little shrines. There is an icon in there.
    Some of them I saw were in very remote places.

    We rode up through the town and the roads just turn into dirt quickly. There are no signs so we asked directions.
    Ed told me what you have to do is ask at least 4 people and then go the way most of them say. He said it is really hard to get good directions here.
    Well we did and followed a road that turned in to 2 track and went up a steep hill.

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    It looked like it was just going to end up at someones farm or something so we came back down and asked again and got directions to a different road that looped around another block and dumped us back on the dirt road we were just on.

    Some more guys came by and assured us this was the road.

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    'El camino del chivo' I christened it. (goat road)
    Notice on the very right edge of the pic is a guy on a burro.
    You can see his foot.
    Much better suited to the terrain.

    Well...Mawgirl popped into the ditch in front of me on an uphill corner and I was very concerned that she had hurt herself.
    This stuff was hard packed dirt with marble-y rocks on top.

    After she dusted herself off I told her she did the right thing when she lost control by shedding herself from the bike. I was so glad she was OK. (This gal has grit..I'm telling you) The bike was amazingly unharmed. Mostly a broken turn signal and a few scratches on the tank.

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    I had her get back in the ditch to show where the bike was for a pic.
    Oh, yeah we had help getting it out of there. Guys just came out of the woodwork to see what was going on and give a hand. These are some friendly people.

    We ran into a young fellow from New York on the back of a moto heading down the hill. He was working for the peace corps and had been there about a year and a half, if I remember right.
    He told us even the small motos have a hard time crossing the river further up the mountain on the way to Cobral.

    We decided that would be a little much for future tour groups but I would have liked to have given that a proper go to see how far we could have gone before man or machine gave out.

    We headed back to Paradiso and got to see the market being set up for the day. Fresh butchered meat, fruits, vegetables, etc.
    I love riding through these little towns seeing what is going on in them. The sights, the smells...very cool.

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    We got some fruit juice at a tienda and then mounted up and headed back toward Barahona.
    Everyone else would have had their breakfast and be ready to head to the beach for the day. Hey, you are in the Caribbean...ya gotta have a beach day!

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    OK...I made an attempt at a shot while riding.

    The SW coast road...you should do it! :nod

    More to come...
    #25
  6. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    We all met back at the hotel Costa Larimar and some filled the van and some filled a concho taxi for the trip to Los Patos Beach.
    The actual beach was entirely small flat polished rocks most of which were tan. Pretty beach but a steep entry and big waves.

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    Since I float like a cinder block I thought better of getting out in that thrashing surf. I guess I should have brought my Sponge Bob floaties.:rolleyes:

    A boogie board was provided along with masks and fins. Berserker showed me his underwater movies he did out in the surf.

    I took a walk around the beach and took a few pics and then took a terrific nap on those tiny rocks....heaven. 'Beach naps can renew your soul'

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    He seemed pretty friendly...but then again I wasn't trying to put anything on his back.

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    The shop on the corner @ Los Patos.
    One of my favorite shots of the trip.

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    Fresh water running into salt.


    We had a catered lunch provided by a restaurant right there on the beach.

    Here is the Norman Rockwell shot.
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    The crew seems to be holding up pretty well under the conditions. :thumb

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    Grilled lobsters. Fresh!!!

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    Here is the whole meal. Plantains, beans/rice, cabbage salad, lobster, avocado, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

    That night we had dinner out on the beach at the hotel. It was BBQ Dominican style and was very good. It was a nice touch for our last night in Barahona.

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    After dinner they had a karaoke set up and those that had enough rum participated.

    We were all coming to the realization that the trip was coming to an end.
    We would be riding all the way back up to the mountains again in the upper center of the island to Jarabacoa and then going our separate ways after that.

    A few of us decided to stay an extra day to see Carnaval.
    Every Sunday afternoon in February they have it culminating on the last Sunday of the month ushering the season of lent.

    I heard it was wild and exciting and was hoping to get some pics. The weather up in the mountains was not cooperating and we would see soon enough how wet it could get.

    Saturday Feb 6th
    We mounted up and road back through the desert heat.
    My cheeks right under my eyes and forehead were pretty burned even though I had worn sunscreen everyday (SPF30). So I broke out the SPF70 (latex house paint...almost) to keep from becoming beef jerky on the long ride back. I think it helped...we will say it did anyway. Traded my Northwest green mold for Caribbean red. A real red Hiney!

    I noticed a dark streak running along the road in our lane for miles and thought some truck nailed one of the dozens of speed bumps and punctured the oil pan.
    I was really keeping away from that stuff not wanting any on my tires.
    It went for 20 more miles and I am thinking this is a big oil tank.
    Then we came up behind and passed this really beat up tanker truck and I am thinking..this is the guy I know it!
    Turned out to be a tanker full of leaking molasses.
    He had been dumping that sticky stuff for miles.
    I wonder how slick that is?
    I am sure not as bad as oil and smells better too!

    I don't have many photos of the trip back as it was windy for the first part of it and it started raining shortly after we had our lunch stop.
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    The swimming hole/restaurant in the mountains where we had lunch.


    It rained hard then it rained harder.
    Not everyone in our group was from the Northwest and used to rain riding so we got separated on the autopista.

    While we waited for the others we stopped at Plaza Jacaranda and did a little shopping and then had coffee; that really hit the spot. This was a kind of mini mall that sold food, clothes, music, etc.

    Even though Dominicans are very proud of their democracy Che is still a popular fellow. So I bought a hat from this young lady for my son as a souvenir.
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    I knew he would appreciate the hat a little more if he knew a babe sold it to me.:wink:

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    These guys will walk you to your car for tips.

    We finally made it back to camp moto in Jarabacoa. Cold and nearly soaked through. My web Gortex boots were still dry inside and my rain coat keep my chest dry.
    'Hey, remember that time Berserker forgot his rain gear??'
    :rolleyes:

    Camp moto has a tile driveway and you had better take it slow when it's wet. Putting your feet out doesn't make you a wuss here. This is like oiled ice and you are wise to put them out and go slow.
    Everyone made it back and was ready to check in to the hotel and get a hot shower. It was much colder and damp up in the mountains.

    We stayed at the Pinor Dorado hotel and I'll say the food was great and service was pretty good too but other than that it was not that great.
    They did have really nice grounds but with it wet out we didn't see too much of it.

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    Geckos everywhere.

    We would be parting in the morning but had a great dinner all together here at the hotel...laughing and recounting the trip.
    What a good group of people. From strangers to friends in one week...magic!

    If you have an interest in this country now that's terrific. This is an excellent and fun way to see it and experience the people, culture and natural beauty. Ed knows a lot of very cool roads and good places to see. It would be expensive to ship your bike down there...just so you know. If you are like me and don't have a large amount of vacation this is a good way to really see another country without spending a month doing it (I wish I had months...I wish, I wish).

    The best way to stimulate DR's economy is to go there and spend tourist dollars. Motocaribe is very good about supporting the local businesses and in some of the remote places we went to there are few tourists and it was very welcome. I really liked that about this tour company. I bought some local hand crafted jewelry for the women in my family (they loved it) and coffee (that is outstanding). They mine a blue stone called Larimar near Barahona and they mine amber also (the wife likes both). No cigars this time...sorry. I hate them but some of my friends think they are the best.

    If you have a compassion for the children there are several charities available. I would personally recommend World Vision
    They do some great things all around the world and have a cool project going in the DR right now.
    Here is an 8 minute video if you are interested in what they are doing.

    I found a good video by the discovery channel also on the DR. This one is 45 minutes long but gives a nice overview, some history and good feel for the place. Here


    This is really the end of the ride report but if there is enough interest I will post about Carnaval in La Vega.

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    There is no riding involved with that...sorry.

    Thanks for coming along.
    Thor, aka Daryl
    #26
  7. billyamerika

    billyamerika n00b

    Joined:
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    Wow, what a nice trip!
    Ive done the same trip in 1996 - next time Ive post some pic.too

    Thanks for sharing!
    #27
  8. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    Billy, Did you go in to Haiti?

    Rent a bike?

    Hey, post up here if you wanna see Carnaval!!!

    :drums
    #28
  9. Xring 0

    Xring 0 Been here awhile

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    In late '94 & early '95, I was in Haiti. Some of the time was in the northern part of the country. Our team had some bikes that were more efficient than hauling out one of our trucks.

    Our team was based in Quanaminthe (across the border from Dajabon) and got to take the bikes to Ft Liberte', up Mount Organise' and to some of the other towns in the area. I would have liked to have gone to The Citadel and ridden The Dondon Loop, but my itinerary was dictated by others.

    Port au Prince and Cap Hatien are big cities, and hold no attraction for me, but the rest of the towns tend to be really cool places. One day, I would like to go back and have time to take in the scenery. I am sure it would be some excellent riding.
    #29
  10. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    What kind of work were you doing there?
    If a guy shopped for cheap airfare a trip back could be done very reasonably. From what I saw of Haiti I would have a hard time feeling comfortable there without a guide.
    #30
  11. UT R1150R

    UT R1150R Long timer

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    That brings back memories! I lived in Trois Rivieres, Quebec in '87. One day I found the Hells Angels Trois Rivieres clubhouse and decided to take a picture. There was a tall wooden fence all around it with no holes or spaces for peeking. There were also no windows but a few security cameras around the perimeter.

    About 1.5 seconds after I took out my camera they came out to yell at me. When they figured out I was nobody important they all went back inside.

    That's my brush with fame/death.

    Cool DR report, by the way!

    :clap
    #31
  12. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    Good story!
    These folks were staying at the same hotel and spoke french so I am guessing they were from the Great white North. I had no idea where Trois Rivieres was. Must have shipped the bikes down there.
    #32
  13. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Been to DR twice (no moto tours though) Great country - love the people

    I think those HA'a from Can. had some problems, just before we went there last Spring...

    http://www.dominicancentral.com/newsarticle/hells_angels_arrested_in_cabarete/?PHPSESSID=f17a6203502c92bd1f2f2d37811fe447
    #33
  14. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    #34
  15. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

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    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> The other day the wife was getting rid of a bunch of stuff off of the computer and I started looking at all the photos I had from this trip that have not been added to the ride report and thought they really belonged here. (this was last August and I am just now posting this in here. Lazy!)
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Sunday.
    We had full intentions of getting some fun and fast riding in maybe getting up to the tail of the iguana if everything went right and we got an early start. Didn&#8217;t happen. It was still raining and after getting all our gear wet the day before and it not being dried out at all we decided to bag the ride and see what was in Jarabacoa before it was time to head into La Vega for Carnival.
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    <!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:495pt; height:465.75pt'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\OWNERY~1.000\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_image001.png" o:title=""/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>Just to let you know I like to photograph cemeteries. My wife has a photo collection of small churches and chapels. I have a few too many of cemeteries. Not too sure why but I thought the one downtown Jarabacoa was compelling.
    <o:p> </o:p>
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    The rain and overcast sky added to the moodiness.


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    It will get cheerier&#8230;humor me.
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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Duarte</st1:city></st1:place> park is in the center of town. Soon there would be venders setting up for carnival here. It is a much smaller one than the one in La Vega.
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    We inquired as to where the moto shop was and were told it was closed on Sunday.
    Sounds familiar!
    [​IMG] Dominican Chickens are fast and cagey!
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    A lady heard us asking and told us to talk to some people in a restaurant around the corner. We asked and they let us in the back way to look at what was offered.
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    <o:p> </o:p>Domoto is the house brand of a huge dealer in Santo Domingo. I rode with their sales manager the last time I was down here. I guess if you sell 2000 motos a month you can name them anything you want.

    [​IMG]
    &#8220;<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Japan</st1:country-region></st1:place> technology&#8221;
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Tough bikes for manly tough men&#8230;and women.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    This bike was all set up form the factory for life as a motoconcho or motorcycle taxi with extra long seat and floor boards.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    X1000!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    This bike looked interesting from the street but up close it looked frail and crappy.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Berserker tries one out for size.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    The ubiquitous Honda cub 50. These things are everywhere. They say they can rebuild them in mere minutes.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    There were some cars for sale in the lot behind the moto shop that we never see here in the states. This Honda looked kind of like an Element but was tiny. Those wheels are about 10&#8221;.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    (I know some of these bike pics have appeared in an earlier thread but I am adding them here for the sake of continuity) <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    More to come&#8230;
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #35
  16. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    227
    Location:
    Southwest Washington state
    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceType"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> We were starting to get hungry and even though we had a free ‘all inclusive’ lunch waiting for us back at the hotel we decided to have lunch downtown. The Wegster and I had been here before so we knew of a good place called el conjo y chivo. (the rabbit and goat).
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So we had a great lunch and watched the town get ready for the upcoming carnival.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Wegster told us of a huge and scary bust that was kitty-corner to this restaurant that happened the last time he was here. He said it looked like the Dominican SWAT team.
    They had rousted some people out of a bar and put them in the armored paddy wagon. He said it was quite a show that night.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    I had their excellent goat. (Kind of a stew with veggies over rice). Very tasty. Levi tried the rabbit and said it was good also. I think the Wegster had the Dominican version of pizza. It was all pretty good.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    The restaurant looks down on the town’s main square and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Duarte</st1:city></st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Park</st1:placetype></st1:place>.
    That tree covers an entire city block. It’s huge!



    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>




    [​IMG]
    I loved this bike. It would be ideal there.
    <o:p> </o:p>


    Our Motocaribe crew found us wandering around. Guess it wouldn’t be too hard to find 4 gringo tourists there.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We loaded up the van and headed down the mountain to La Vega.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The festivities start sometime after services on Sundays, every Sunday in February with the culmination on the last one of the month. The Carnaval (Their spelling) in La Vega is the biggest one in the DR.
    There are several blocks of the city cordoned off from traffic.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The Diablo’s are in teams and they have sponsors to help them afford to do this. Each of the big teams has a side street that has a cave that they come out of when the parade starts. They have bleachers and fan clubs that are at the cave entrances that both wind up the Diablo’s and get wound up them selves. IT IS EXTREEMLY LOUD! I wouldequate it to around 10-15 rock concerts going on all the same time. They are all trying to out do each other. I was glad I had my earplugs in. I am pretty sure I would have been deaf at the end of that day otherwise.



    [​IMG]
    This guy was one of the warm up acts and did a great job getting the crowds worked up. He was a good dancer/actor. You can see it was raining pretty hard in this photo. It would let up thankfully and the parade would begin.


    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    The Nokia girls trying to get the crowd a little less worried about the rain.



    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Anticipating Diablos and mayhem.
    <o:p> </o:p>


    [​IMG]
    These are some of the mud boys and they gather alms. I think they are supposed to represent the native peoples of the island.



    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    The devils have arrived…all hell has broken loose!
    <o:p> </o:p>




    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    I have made that face myself a few times.



    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    This one is gesturing me to come into the street were they are free to whack you in the butt with a bladder on a rope. The sidewalk is safe…for the most part. It does hurt believe me.




    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>



    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>



    [​IMG]
    A pirate devil?
    <o:p> </o:p>



    [​IMG]
    Some are only scary on the outside.
    <o:p> </o:p>



    [​IMG]
    Interesting hair treatments.
    <o:p> </o:p>



    [​IMG]
    You better believe I got whacked in the butt for stepping into the street to get this shot.



    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    More mud boys.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A little more to come…



    <o:p> </o:p>
    #36
  17. Thor Hiney

    Thor Hiney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    227
    Location:
    Southwest Washington state
    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This guy was very excited and proud to show me his Urban Assault Red Bull-fueled Mobile Really Loud Party Music System. They closed it all up when it was raining…that stuff inside is expensive.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    This little devil was about 4 years old and having a blast being one of the bad guys.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    The Dominican Taliban made and appearance. The crowd went wild when he put the gun to his head.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Skeeery!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We headed home the next day and it was a really long flight back home to the West coast. We (Berserker and me) missed our connecting flight (plane maintenance) and almost had to stay in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Francisco</st1:place></st1:city>. There was a French ticket agent that worked a small miracle (thanks French ticket lady) and we got back on bound for PDX again but not before getting profiled. Argh! Seems when you purchase a ticket and fly immediately it raises red flags and you have to go through the BIG security check where they go over and through EVERY thing. They were actually very friendly about it and were still very professional. We thanked them for doing their job even though that was the last thing we wanted to go through after the long flight.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Now as the weather is starting to turn cold, wet, dark and a little less moto friendly here. I wish I was heading back down there for a good healthy helping of warm and sun and vitamin DR. The riding is great and when you are riding through the towns like Mocha and Samana you feel like a bigger fish swimming among the little fish with all those motos on the road. On that big bike with gear on you are a somebody. It’s very different from around here.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So if you are looking for something a little different or only have a limited amount of time off or money for your next adventure give my buddy Ed a call and see what it’s all about down there. It’s about as close as you can get to <st1:place w:st="on">South America</st1:place> without riding down there (someday…for me…I hope). Your eyes will be opened and you will be smiling…a lot. It may even change the way you think about riding in traffic. Heck, If I could afford it I would be riding a tropical climate every winter!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There is a ride report here on ADV that is almost the same trip I took the first time I was there but has better photos than mine, especially of the riding.
    Here is the link.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478580
    Great job CanyonChaser!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Thanks for coming along, Thor
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #37
  18. Domiken

    Domiken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    Manhattan
    Great trip of my native country. I eventually want to do the ride myself, but I want to buy 2 small dirtbikes down there, fly down to my parents house in Santo Domingo, gear up, and take to the mountains and beaches. When I do I will check back with a ride report, ill eventually end up in several areas in the middle of nowhere and show you guys an area in the mountains where my father grew up where the majority of people are white/blonde/light eyes from back in the spaniard days. As long as you stay away from the major cities the people are very friendly.

    Very well documented, cheers.
    #38