Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Lure of Luperon.

The charm of Luperon - a well protceted anchorage surrounded by green hills
Luperon is an assault on the senses that lures you into a false sense of paradise. You wake in the morning to a flat calm and serene anchorage, surrounded by rolling green hills and boats sitting happily at anchor. It is idyllic, and you wonder if this is a place you should stay a little longer rather than just pass through. But every day, sometimes as early as 9 or 10 am, the breeze kicks in with phenomenal strength to remind you the reason you are still here is to wait for calm weather to move on. The anchorage turns into a spin cycle and you can guarantee a wet dinghy ride ensues wherever you may go.  
Semi- submerged dinghy dock 
But go you must because ashore the small vibrant town is beckoning. You ignore the half sunken dock you tie your dinghy to and try not to breathe too deeply as you walk up the government wharf littered with dog poop and stale, stagnant water on either side. 
The government port-a-cabins where you deal with all the relevent customs and immigration procedures.
You walk past the government port-a-cabins and up to ‘Wendys Bar’ (a ramshackle place that cruisers seem to like) and where the road forks. Music blares from various establishment and from passing cars or vans making political announcements. 
Wendys Bar - where the road forks

The main drag seems to be on the right fork and is littered with rickety colourful buildings and shacks. Some have little more than corrugated roofs and plastic sheeting, many are open fronted. Dogs are as common as the popular motoconchos (motocycle taxies) that loiter on every street corner. Naked toddlers chase chickens in and out of laundry hung out to dry on the dusty streets. Stalls and tiendas (small shop) sell freshly caught fish or slaughtered pigs. Fish scales are washed away in small rivulets that run down the street as flies gather round slabs of meat hung outside seedy looking shacks.
Laundry is strung out through the streets.
Part of me wants to turn away from it all, but the other half wants to embrace it.  It is poor, and dirty. But smiles are on the faces of all the people you come across. Even the most dilapidated of places is either painted (though peeling) in pretty colours or covered with bright bougainvillea. Small gardens and back yards have banana and mango trees or fiery red hibiscus. We bought whole bbq chickens from street side vendors, chicharron (pork crackling like you wouldn’t believe) from the butchers shop and fresh local vegetables from local stalls – so much better than the refrigerated supermarket versions. None of this is fancy stuff but Puerto Plata is only 45mins away. If you like inexpensive beer, rum, coffee and ice cream then in Luperon you have it made!
Despite the relative poverty and dusty dirty streets - Luperon has its charms

Some of the colourful buildings
Plastic sheeting and corrugated roofing of a snack bar
Sim inside one of the veggie shops
You will always find an odd assortment of products
The local fresh produce....and the odd flies!
A favourite - the ice cream shop...50 cent ice creams - and 25 cent ice lollys!
Thoughout town are little parks and squares
Walking down the pretty streets - Sim, Tony and Deb.
A well deserved cold beer - $3 huge Presidentes!

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