March 25-26, 2010... Puerto Plata

Thursday we continued to pursue what is considered normal cruiser life -- figuring out how to provision.  Ocean World has an arrangement with Supermercado Tropical such that the market will send a car for you, take you to the store, and bring you back to the marina.  Worked out pretty well for us -- we parlayed the trip into an initial exploration of Puerto Plata -- walking from the supermarket down to the Central Park through the downtown area and back again to the market to get our shopping done.  Our driver Eddy, our 'ambassador from Puerto Plata', showed us the sights as we drove back from the store, giving us ideas for more touring when we were on our own.  
Friday we decided to visit Isabel del Torres, the mountain south of town.  This was our chance to experiment with the gwah gwah, or minibus jitney system, on the island.  No sooner did we walk out to the main road from Cofresi, then a van appeared and off we went.  Only 15 pesos each (about 45 cents).  Sure beats the $15 taxi ride.  Walking up the hill to the cable car (teleferico) building (a hike not for the faint of heart) we bought fares and waited our turn.  There was a school outing, so the wait was a little long, but luckily for us a traditional merengue band was in the lobby entertaining us all.  That and the drama universal to teenage girls made the wait very interesting.  We took the cable car up the 9,000 ft peak and walked through the botanical garden at the top.  The views of Puerto Plata and beyond are breathtaking; the plantings impressive.  What a great day!  And to think we had only planned to stay in Puerto Plata a couple of days before heading out to Puerto Rico.  The weather forecast for the northern DR helped us decide to stay on and we are so glad we did.

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