Bennett and I had a plan to go to Punta Cana and just lay by the pool. But when we got to the DR I really felt the need to learn about where we were at. It felt odd just flying in, going to the resort, and never leaving and seeing what was around us. We booked a cultural excursion trip for one of the days that we were there and it was awesome. It was a day long trip, led by a guide that showed us what life was like in the DR. We toured various landscapes including a bat cave and tours of a coffee and sugarcane plantations. We also went to a cigar factory where a man named Leo showed us how to roll cigars. His grandma taught him how to do it when he was seven years old. We ended the day riding horses. Below are a few photos of our day and a short video of what the streets looked like as we were riding to our destinations.
A few interesting facts we learned:
- People that live in the DR love bright colors. As a Christmas tradition, they paint their house a different color each year. There were houses that were even rainbow striped!
- About every other building had a sign with the word Banca on it. These were not banks but places to buy lottery tickets- they love the lottery.
- The public university is about $100-$120 per semester. Yup.
- The tour gave a lot of natural medical remedies that the people use. Everyone raved about a natural drink called Mama Juana that is made by soaking rum, red wine, and honey with tree bark and herbs. It is said to be a flu remedy, aid in digestion and circulation, be blood cleanser, and kidney and liver tonic. We tried it hoping it would cure us of everything but couldn't get past the taste which is similar to cough medicine.