laguna del diablo, dominican republic, escape, hike, adventure, fog, layers View More

When we were in el El Valle we saw a great big house at the top of the hill. That, and a rumor of a lake called “Laguna del Diablo” got us searching for a road, which we eventually found close to Playa Rincon. We started up that road but eventually it got really bad, too bad for our car Izzy to keep going up without some major damage, so we took a break to open a coconut, and that’s when a pick-up truck full of workers came down the hill after the end of their shift. As I moved the car out of the way, Gabriel made small talk with them, asking if they knew where the lake was, etc.. Within a few minutes, we had the number of one of the workers who was going to take us on a personally guided hike to the lake the next day. WOOHOO! So we came back up and Victor and his son took us on a hike through what’s yet to be the most virgin part of the Dominican Republic I’ve seen so far. There are some roads up there, but most of them are pretty new, including the Ruta de Jengibre, which you’ll find on google as “Carretera La Loma Atravesada” as the project is to eventually connect Playa Rincon to Playa El Valle. So far though, what you’ll find up there are mostly local farmers who live off the land and rarely need to go anywhere. The land is farmed in part, and completely virgin in others. It’s paradise. We got there very early in the morning and when we finally had a view of the lake, it was covered in fog (pictured above) But as we got closer to it, and the sun came up over the hills, the fog burned off to reveal a rather large and beautiful lake. We were alone, Gabriel, Victor, his son, and I, save for a few fisherman trying to catch their sunday lunch. Our voices echoed on the walls of the hills opposite us, carried by the reflective stillness of the lake. The birds chirping away. Of course, we’d come a long way, and it was warm, so a swim was inevitable. But Gaby had to take it a step… Continue Reading

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The Bridges of Samaná are three bridges built between two small islands in the bay of Samaná, and the mainland just outside of the town of Samaná (also, but less commonly knows as Santa Bàrbara) Where Do the Bridges of Samana Go? There are multiple theories as to how they got there, some believe it has to do with drug cartels, but the most widely accepted theory has to do with Joaquín Balaguer, president for most of the 60’s and 70’s  investing in the area hoping for it to be the next tourism hub on the island. It seems the plan was to have pedestrian bridges connecting the islands, and leading to a restaurant on the last one. Only the shell of the restaurant remains: While it’s a great spot for gazing across the beautiful bay over at the North shore of the south side of the island…. not much of Balaguer’s plan still stands. It seems none of the construction has been touched since his presidential term ended in ’78, and it doesn’t really seem like it was ever finished either. Samaná, in fact, never took off as a tourism hub. Not that the area is lacking in eye candy, quite on the contrary, the nature surrounding the area is some of the most gorgeous that can be found around the island, AND it’s centrally located as far as the rest of the Samaná peninsula goes… The real mystery behind the bridges of Samaná isn’t where they go, it’s why they don’t go anywhere. Why is there nothing on those islands? Why is Samaná so “boring?” Well, there is this one all inclusive resort, Bahia Principe – through which you have to walk if you’d like to get to the bridges – and it kind of sucks up all the tourism. All-inclusive tourists are brought, through SAFE transportation to SAFE (and very disingenuous) parts of town, where they can buy SAFE (and tacky) souvenirs, before being SAFELY transported back to their SAFE haven for that evening’s game of poolside bingo. I’m not even joking, about any of this. There’s a sign at the entrance of the bridges advising tourists that the resort takes no responsibility for what happens beyond this point, if they BRAVELY choose to venture out to the desert… Continue Reading

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The competition ended this year on the Dominican Independence day so we all had double the reason to party extra hard when the winners were announced! You Guys Friggin’ Rock! Big congrats to this year’s winners on an INCREDIBLE performance. Zane Schweitzer who blew everyone away with his out-of-this-world, were-you-just-born-with-a-board-attached-to-your-feet, stand up paddle board skills, and took home the grand trophy and bragging rights of 2014 MASTER of the ocean. inZane. :) Fiona Wylde who made everything look easy, and had a little fun doing a head stand during her surf expression session. This lady is full of potential, and at just 17 years of age, we can’t wait to see where she goes after taking home the Lady’s Master of the Ocean title. These two athletes aren’t only amazing for their athletic skills, but also because their attitude just brightened up the whole competition. Both really know what sportsmanship and humbleness mean, but aren’t afraid to spice things up with some silliness. Cabarete will miss you guys, thanks for making it!! Of course, there’s more to this competition than just the overalls, so check out the facebook page to see the full list of MOTO2014 winners. BIG BIG BIG congrats to everyone who competed! Sure things got a little hectic at times! But we had the wonderful chiropractors from Servimed and massage therapists from Andari Spa to balance us out again when the going got rough. Here’s waterman and competition creator Marcus Bohm getting a well deserved treatment. All In a Day’s Work. What makes this competition awesome is that it pushes competitors to their limits in both skill & stamina. It’s all about the sports, all four of them. Master the Ocean, Master the Wind, Master your Self, take home the prize, and do it all in a day’s work. 8:00 am Surf — Like a Boss 10:00 am SUP– Like a Boss 1:00pm Kite — Like a Boss (with a GIANT smile on your face) 2:00pm Wind Surf — Like a Boss (with two other incredible athletes)   MOTO + Cabarete = Perfection Where else in the world does the sky look speckled with kite confetti all afternoon?!?!   Watersports created Cabarete, and Cabarete is now home to the most comprehensive and unique water sport competition. It’s… Continue Reading

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Blowing in the Wind While the conditions were nice on Saturday, Sunday was a little low on wind, and the afternoon heats had to be postponed. It’s not in MOTO style to leave their spectators hanging though, so Plan B was set into motion and we all jumped on the Tip Top for an amazing afternoon, and sunset, on the water. While a booze cruise will distract us for a bit though, that’s not what we’re here for, so we were back at it Monday morning. The Madness Continues The morning surf sessions were really nice. Despite a less-than-perfect swell, riders gave it their all trying to outdo each other and show off their skills. While stills such as these three windsurfs can be pretty impressive, I found most of the pictures just weren’t doing these competitors justice, so I went ahead and picked some of my favorite sequences and put them together for your viewing pleasure. Epic talent from both sexes Mother nature didn’t disappoint Monday, and we were blessed with more out-of-this-world action. like this amazing back flip on windsurf. I don’t know about you guys, but I could get used to watching this all day. The Results are Coming In Now after 4 days of almost non-stop competing, some of the winners have been determined. The overall category, the toughest of them all, where one rider competes in all four sports, has completed. As has the Teams category, where a team of riders work together to complete each sport. Tonight, the results and winners will be announced and celebrated over a few drinks at VoyVoy, right here on Cabarete beach. But wait, There’s More! Don’t leave us yet though! Tomorrow and Thursday, local and visiting watermen alike will be able to showcase their talents in their favorite sports in the expression sessions. The expression sessions allow riders who excel in one, but not necessarily all, watersports to try their hand at an award. Oh yeah, lots more fun to come. :)

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Day one of masters: Masters was graced with beautiful weather yesterday. A gorgeous sunrise led way to bright and shiny blue sky, nice waves for surf in the morning, and incredible wind in the afternoon.   A few things still had to be taken care of before the competition could proceed….   But after much anticipation…   Everything got under way. Saturday, the heats comprised of competitors in the “overall” section, whom as individuals showed off their skills in all four sports. We were treated to great performances from our riders right off the bat yesterday morning, starting with surf. But the wind started picking up, and we moved on to the SUP heats, which did not disappoint!! Zane  Schweitzer Impressed everyone with a full 360 on his SUP. Here are just a few photos of his performance: But let’s not forget the other competitors, who also blew our socks off:   After a quick lunch break, the competition proceeded with kiting, which is SUCH a spectator’s sport, with bright colors up above and spectacular aerials! I know one lady who was PUMPED to show the boys how it’s done. Kiting is eye candy, that’s for sure… …but in the last session, riders got to show off their windsurfing skills. Sharp turns and fast speed, front flips and back flips, it was such a treat. What’s most amazing to me is that these world-class athletes were on their feet all day, and competed not once but 4 times, in 4 different events, without any signs of letting up, but some did enjoy a cat nap in the hammocks and bean bags. Spectators were not only entertained by the events on the water, but also by activities on the beach, where spectators and participants alike had an “indie board” show down to the tune of house beats.   Congratulations to all contestants who will  be advancing to the the next level of the “overall” competition. I myself took an accidental snooze in the sun which resulted in a full-frontal sunburn, so please, learn from my mistakes and don’t forget your sunscreen in the upcoming days (or ever, really) Day two of masters: This morning started off a bit overcast and my skin was very thankful, but now the sun’s out in full force again,… Continue Reading