Thursday, October 28, 2010

Samana and a Waterfall hike Oct 26, 2010


When you are returning to a cruise port that you have previously visited you have the advantage of perhaps knowing what you might want to do in advance - on my first visit there two years ago I did the Cave and Mangroves excursion which is considered one of the top tours in the region.

On the other hand it can be a disadvantage in that you are concerned that perhaps your choice this time around won’t be as eventful as your previous one.

Fortunately I made a good decision - a waterfall hike to the El Limon Waterfall - about a 30 minute drive from the tender port and then a 30 minute hike to the waterfall - seen above with me - thanks to one of the locals for offering to take the photo.

The day started with us spotting land about 10AM - the first such sighting in two and a half days.

Once the ship dropped anchor next to the RCL Enchantment of the Seas we waited for the tender boats to get into position - we all met in the Stardust Lounge and were taken down to the tenders - it takes about 20 minutes to reach the tender pier in Samana where we were greeted by the locals and directed to our open air van to take us to the trailhead. There are nine of us during this excursion including two of the entertainers from the ship - Pedro was our tour guide and provided us with some information about the school system and the local economy.

We then arrive at the trailhead where we were advised that because the trail is very muddy - partly because of the soil and partly because of heavy rains earlier in the day - that we should all wear gum boots which were provided free of charge - after changing into my swim wear I donned a pair of the boots for the approx 30 minute walk to the falls - the trail gently loses altitude until you can hear the roar of the falls where the trail steepens for a very short distance and then VOILA - the falls and a beautiful nature swimming pool enfolds - we have twenty five minutes to enjoy the water - I walk around to the side of the falls to get some pictures and then leaving the camera behind get into the water - the temperature was pleasantly cool given the heat and humidity on land.

We were greeted to a pleasant surprise when we noticed at the top of falls one of the locals preparing for a cliff style dive and before we know it he is in the air and on the way to the water - caught that on the video cam but that file will have to wait until I get back and have lots of time to internet upload it.

We then returned to the trailhead - I decided to wear my sandals back as the gum boots were chafing my legs - they are a little dirty but none the worse for wear - I enjoyed a cold El Presidente beer and then back on the bus for the return to the tender port.

One of the guys was extra thirsty so Pedro had the driver stop and he hustled in a brought him a large one quart size bottle of beer.

We arrived with about an hour to spare before the last tender but seeing that there was a lineup and I myself was still thirsty I went in a brought another beer and drank it along the beer - it is okay to do that in Samana

Got in the tender line but the first one filled up so waited about another five minutes and got on that one - back on the ship around 5:30PM

Was hungry so headed for the buffet and then to type this blog entry.

Very glad that I selected this trip - it was well worth the money spent.

Tomorrow Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

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