Friday, April 10, 2015

Cabarete 3x

Before we left the US Andy bought himself all new kiteboarding gear. He only had one opportunity to try it out in the Bahamas so there was no way he was going to leave the DR without heading to Cabarete. This is one of the top kiteboarding spots in the world so it would have been crazy not to give it a shot. We loved it for it's cool vibe, restaurants and shops lining the street and beach, and the chance to swim in clean ocean water again. We liked it so much we visited three times! On our first visit we got there too late in the day to get the lay of the land and fit in kiteboarding. But we had a nice lunch and swim and sussed out the scene. The second visit was made for the sole purpose of getting Andy on his board but, alas, zero wind. Third time lucky!

Alleyway leading to the beach where we liked to grab an ice cream at the end of the day. It was very picturesque but hard to capture. 

Cool surf shop. Motorcyles seem more abundant than people here. 

Cute refreshment stand.

At the Kite Club on our second visit where Andy watched the wind and the kids made friends with the pups. 

The Kite Club (and its cafe) was a really pleasant place to hang out. On this part of our journey we are so much at the mercy of the weather that we often have to wait and wait for the right opportunities to move. It was pretty frustrating sitting on this kiteboarding beach with zero wind, unable to kiteboard and realizing it would have been a great opportunity to head east. Arrgh! 

Tasty food, comfy seats and a super view. Frustrating for Andy but the rest of us had a fab day! 
Killing some time. These people love to drift and do this whenever they see a current.  

A couple weeks after we arrived Drew found this entry in his Guinness Book of World Records. We kept trying to get a photo of this exact family portrait but Guinness did it for us. It's totally commonplace to see 4 or 5 people plus babies, mattresses, propane tanks and, in the case of a security guard or police officer on his way to work, a very large gun, on one motorcycle.

The driving is so insane we were warned not to do it in the dark. Headlights, driving on the correct side of the road and signaling are all optional and generally opted against. Andy was cool as a cucumber and got us around safely with only a few minor heart attacks. This is our view of a Puerto Plata intersection at night. I wish photos had sound.
Day 3 and out comes little gofly, our tiny kite. 

There was a lot of wind from very early on so Andy hooked up with an instructor and got started,

And he's up! We thought Andy did a great job and had fun watching him get up and go. He was harder on himself and it was pretty tough with all the experts flipping and flying all around him but he did really well.   

At one point we counted about 70 kites flying at one time. Crazy crowded but really cool to watch. 

An ice cream treat after all of our hard work collecting sea beans. 

Evelyn got a chance to take Stormy over a couple jumps. 

Back at our temporary home, Ocean World, Andy took on the role of arts and crafts teacher while we hunkered down, obsessed over wind forecasts and plotted our move along the north coast. Here's the painted stick race he came up with. Does the picture reveal how gross this was? Who needs an intestinal parasite AND one that burrows into your feet? Ick.   

Aero-Glyder, Magenta and Zapper!

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