Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Week in Samaná

Even though our plans were altered, the stop in Samaná turned out to be a lot of fun. As I mentioned in the last post, we checked into the marina on Sunday morning and only planned on staying two nights.

The marina/resort is a great deal at only $1 per foot and allows access to their pools, restaurants, gym, spa, laundry, rec room, WiFi, and showers. I had heard good things about the place, but it was a lot better than I expected. They had an infinity pool located right by the water edge with an excellent view of the bay and a pool with a similar view by their restaurant, Le Deauville.  It was heaven for a pool girl like myself!! The grounds and lobby were beautiful, and the gym had a variety of up-to-date equipment. The not so good – showers that don’t always have hot water and one washer and two dryers that don’t always work. I’m used to cold showers and hand washing our laundry on the boat, but I expected more from such a nice place. All of the staff are exceptionally nice, especially Gavi, the marina manager, and he speaks excellent English. The place is kind of empty though, which is a shame since it is a great hotel. We heard that was here a few days ago to check it out and maybe promote it on their site so hopefully traffic will pick up some.

The first day we pulled in the marina, we met up with Robert and Virginia Scott from s/v Honeymoon Forever. We had met Robert the day before because they had brought friends out to Cayo Levantado, and he came over to introduce himself. They were going to go eat pizza on the waterfront in Samaná and invited us along. They were a fun couple to hang out with and gave us information about the town and the surrounding area. After we got back to the marina, we all relaxed by the pool and had a couple of cold bevies.

A couple of days later they invited us to go for a sail to Los Haitises National Park, and we readily accepted. It took about two hours to get there and it was raining on/off for a few hours, but it finally cleared up so we could go explore by dinghy. It was really beautiful, and we even found a bat cave to explore.

On Friday they invited us to join them again for a day trip, and we went to Cayo Levantado, which is a small tropical island. When we were anchored there the previous time, we couldn’t leave the boat because the dinghy wasn’t in working order. I was super excited to go back and swim in the clear blue water. The water and sand here were a lot better than the beaches near Luperón. Cayo Levantado is also known as Bacardi Island since the rum company shot several commercials there. There is a resort on the island, bars, a restaurant, and vendors selling snorkel equipment and souvenirs. We rented lounge chairs on the public beach for $2 a person, ate lunch, snorkeled, and soaked in the sun. It was a great day with great company, and we can’t thank Robert and Virginia enough for being so generous this week and taking us along.

We needed to stock up on veggies so we decided to head into town on Saturday and go to the open market. We hiked about a mile uphill to get to the hotel entrance and then took a 5 minute motoconcho ride to the market. The market is made up of several outdoor shops that are linked together and then a big covered indoor space where twenty or so people have tables set up for vegetables. You could buy broccoli, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onions, pineapple, limes, peppers, celery, eggplant, coconut, tomatoes, potatoes…almost anything you could want. Outside of this area was the fish market and people selling whole chickens. I would have liked to buy a mahi mahi or tuna, but none of the fish was on ice, and we had no idea how old they were. The chickens were covered with flies so we skipped that too. I did get a new pair of sunglasses for only $3 since I lost my other pair the day before leaving Luperón.

Motoconcho ride into town

Hotel entrance

It was really nice being near facilities so we decided to stay at the marina until we leave for Puerto Rico, which should be tomorrow night. We had also read and heard a first-hand account about motor thefts on boats anchored in Samaná harbor so we didn’t want to take any chances. It looks like we will have a nice, calm sail all the way to Boquerón. So next time you hear from me, we’ll be in a new locale. See ya later!!

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1 comment:

  1. The marina you're staying in looks gorgeous! And the rates are pretty reasonable too. Looks like you guys are having an awesome time! Cheers - Ellen