Future kitesurfing trip in Dominican Republic
With this entry in our kite blog: Future kitesurfing trip in Dominican Republic, we want to give you ideas so that, once the tourist season in Mallorca is over, you can leave the island and access other tropical kitesurfing destinations where you can practice our sport.
This entry specifically differs a bit from what is expected, because anyone who thinks of going to the Dominican Republic to kitesurf, will immediately be attracted by the magical word: Cabarete.
But we must not forget that the island is quite large and that there are many other places to go to practice kitesurfing.
KITE SPOTS THAT I HAVE TO VISIT AGAIN
Lake Oviedo, also known as Laguna de Oviedo, is a saltwater lake in Jaragua National Park, Pedernales province, Southwest of Dominican Republic.
It has a surface area of 25 km2, which makes it the second largest lake in the Dominican Republic after Lake Enriquillo.
Although it receives fresh water from the Sierra de Bahoruco, the lagoon is hypersaline, as seawater seeps into it, and salinity levels show seasonal changes due to precipitation, evaporation, and the amount of input. of fresh water
One of the most remarkable aspects of this lake is the greenish appearance of its waters, caused by the limestone sediments that the flow of groundwater drags into the lake.
Its flora and fauna are perhaps its most interesting feature, flamingos, rhinoceros iguana, mangroves, several endemic species of birds and several keys or small islands.
Actually, nothing special if it weren’t for… the tremendous winds that the lagoon receives practically all year round.
In my Dominican journey, which lasted five years and was back in 1988, and moved by my inquisitive nature and hiker, I began to cover the entire coast of Hispaniola, once the bay of Cabarete was too small for me, despite With its phenomenal wind conditions, it was time to take flight and explore the coast.
Republica Dominicana 1989
Consider that, at that time, kitesurfing did not exist yet but there was windsurfing, and Cabarete was one of the windsurfing spots recognized worldwide and later, thanks to kitesurfing, it became the spot par excellence.
And by 1988, to be exact, it brought together up to 12 different windsurfing schools, with professionals and world-class riders as their owners.
And in those days of my trips up and down, among other goals, I set myself the goal of seeing where there were better wind and wave conditions on the island, and although I could talk about it for a long time, so as not to bore , this time I will only talk about the Oviedo lagoon.
What took me to this part of the country, practically unknown except to the locals, was to visit the almost unknown, but frequently praised -national- beaches of the Southwest of Dominicana.
Barahona beach – Southeast coast of Dominicana
But the issue was that, in addition to being far from everywhere, it only had one road in a pitiful state, which, on the other hand, was the most common thing in Dominican, so, on my first attempt, and seeing that in that trip, once you left behind the city of Barahona heading southwest, one was forced to enjoy the almost non-existent asphalt or cement pavement that the dictator Leonidas Trujillo had ordered to be laid 30 years ago, I gave up the attempt for being not just a very unpleasand bus trip but mostly an adventure gi8ven the few vehicles that made that trip and the almost impossible task to guess schedules of the few buses that were dedicated to such trip, linking the Southwest of the country with the Capital, Santo Domingo..
I took up the challenge two years later, when I casually read in a newspaper that the new road was going to be inaugurated shortly. But the article failed in something, it did not conclude, specifying, that the road was not going to reach Pedernales yet, but Enriquillo, so the paving of the road finished well before where I had promised myself to arrive, to Cabo Rojo and Bahía de las Aguilas as from what I had read or heard, it was one of the most spectacular beaches in the country.
Bahia de las Aguilas – Suroeste Rep Dominicana
To conclude the story, and although the road did not help much, I continued forward in that dusty hell mined with treacherous stones everywhere, in a dilapidated bus packed to the brim and more, with people carrying everything imaginable.
From bundles almost as big as themselves, to fighting cocks lovingly installed on the laps of their owners, to bunches of bananas -green bananas- and a hundred other things of all kinds that one can imagine.
And, when arriving at the place, since giving it the name of town, it was almost a bad joke, needless to say, what surprised me the most was the wind forced that blowed on the whole area. In fact, a few kilometers before arriving to Oviedo, I found the access to the lagoon that takes the toponym of the place.
A formidable wind storm, with wind gusts that should not go below 35 to 40 knots, since walking through the area, due to the brutal gusts of wind, was almost difficult.
but once I had already made it until there, what else that at least, do the honors to the place, so I choosed to embarked on a “yolita”, a small boat that is as those who live there call that soert of narrow wooden dinghy, and use them as a means of getting their main sustenance, the tilapia, typical fish of Dominican lakes and lagoons.
This was a worthwhile excursion, although it began by walking in the white mud up to mid-calf for almost 300 meters pushing the boat until we found enough depth of water to allow us to start rowing.
The wind was very strong and since I had no windsurfing equipment with me, I had to settle for enjoying the sight of the large flocks of flamingos that live in the lagoon.
Though I had to promised myself to return one day with my windsurfing gear, almost 43 years have passed and I still haven’t had the chance, in part, because I stopped living in Dominican since quite a long time ago.
But, yes, the reason for this little report is due to the two photos that I upload and that I discovered by chance a few days ago, in which you see a couple of kitesurfers sailing with their kitesurfing equipment, reason enough to remembering my unfulfilled promise, as well as being happy to be able to testify that, surely moved by the same reason as myself, many years after my excursion, a representation of Dominican sailors, almost certainly residents of Cabarete, had the same idea that I had many years before.
But I cannot keep to myself but rather sharing with you about one more small detail, apart from being something not related to kitesurfing or sailing, but that I have not forgotten despite the passing of the years.
On my way back to civilization, and given that the buses which occasionally covered the trip simply didn’t come anymore, even tough I was already waiting for one of the ones to cover the trajectory for more than 3 hours, and since I had involuntarily blended in with everything around me due to the white dust flying at 35 or 40 knots against me and anything which stood around, I decided to try to stop someone of the very very rare vehicles that rolled around there, that is, one every one and half hour or so, if you were lucky…
After a quite long while since I decided to try to hitchike any possible vehicle heading towards the right, that is towards where was supposing to be the last inhabited place I could yet remember about, someone stopped, a huge truck, which in Dominicana were called “patanas”, a 16 meters long truck, including the plataforms they carried behind.
Inside the vehicle there were two guys, one as a companion, who must have been about 16 years old, and the driver, a creole in his forties, skinny and of uncertain appearance, but with the undoubted look of a good rum drinker, dressed in a shirt without buttons of indefinite color, with a beardless face and unshaven for at least a month and whose main characteristics -what I could see at first glance- were that of driving while grasping the enormous steering wheel of the truck with his right hand, while with his left hand he was practicing constant libations from a bottle of rum Brugal
While the second and most notorious characteristic, no less surprising but even more ominous, was that, in his belt, that which held his pants to his body, he wore what I, in my absolute ignorance about the world of weapons, could not help but describe as the closest thing to a Colt 45, one of those huge revolvers that American cowboys wore in Western movies, a tremendous tool of at least a palm and a half long.
And the even more curious part is that from time to time, and with apparent no reason at all, he would stop the vehicle, right in the middle of the road, descended from the cabin of the huge truck and with the expectable and unsecure way of walking which a drunken person would display, he dissapeared through the bushes which could be found on both sides of the dirt track, mostly heading, or that was my guess, towards some sort of shacks of those which served as dwelling of whoever may have choosed over there to live.
At first, in my natural innocence I thought: he’s going to change the water to the canary -I mean, pee- but already at the fifth or sixth stop and when he left me alone with the co-pilot, I understood that it couldn’t be about satisfying the natural urination needs or which creole guy suffered, even from a very serious urinary inconsistency, so I couldn’t resist anymore and had to try to satisfy my necessary and understandable curiosity.
Hey! … where does the man go from time to time? I asked the young driver’s companion, and the boy told me with a gesture of acceptance but with overtones of not agreeing very much with what he was saying: I think he’s going to visit “them” to see if they want something.
I understood then what the young guy meant, the creole would get out of the truck and to each cabin, of the very few that were spreaded in the area near to the road, so he was going to offer his sexual services to the females that might be inside there, and from that, the Colt revolver, in case the husband was also in the vicinity.
It doesn’t need saying that I got off the truck at once … and I still remember the creole’s eyes when, after a few minutes, rolling the tremendous machine while passing me by the side, he gave me a sharp disapproving look, perhaps due to what which he assumed, not without reason, as a lack of understanding on my part towards his attitude.