Friday, 14th of June! Four days since I did the quantum jump from Canary to Caribbean. Still feeling that’s necessary to adjust to the time and climate change from sub-tropical to tropical. Such a shift is always best when surfing, actually life is better when surfing. My first question when I arrived in Dominican Republic was – where I can find waves and surf? I was already few days near the ocean and I haven’t seen waves yet, mostly because Bavaro is surrounded by corals so the swell doesn’t get here. Locals told me that I can do some surfing in El Macao (although the best season is from winter to spring) distanced some half an hour by car. Pressed search on Google Chrome and found well designed web-site with necessary information. Called the number referring to a name Rafael and the adventure started.
Rafael one of the founders and owners of the El Macao Surf Camp along with Gustavo and Armando, agreed to take me there the next day. Didn’t expect anything, because of my existing preconceptions of previous surf camps I have had opportunity to see in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. But wait this is Dominicana Tropicana! The last curve through the downhill of the asphalt road and exotic welcomes you wholeheartedly! El Macao beach stretched until your sight can reach surrounded by sand which shines gold and warm turquoise ocean water where the breeze or the wind of the spectacular palm trees makes a melody called – “this is your life’s most exotic experience”.
And that’s not all! This is only a beginning. Mostly because I truly believe in the maxim that people you encounter enrich and give flavor to the already omnipotent beauty. At the entrance of the surf camp there is a Caribbean style bar surrounded by palm and banana trees. The aroma of the typical Dominican coffee from Rudy’s cuisine waits us before the surf adventure actually starts. Bit further down in the ranch in the shades under trees you can find many varieties of surf boards for every taste and level, all of them in excellent condition. The camp offers various classes for various level of preparedness offering private lessons with surf instructors and assistants making it unforgettable experience. The level of organization and coordination is amazing. Upon previous scheduling the surf students are being pick up from place of residence with the transport from the camp and brought to the beach. The classes also flow in atmosphere of organization and fun, where Ramon (official photographer) captures every bits of it. After surfing if you want to take off the ocean salt from your body, you can shower at the bamboo showers placed bit further down in the camp.
What it amazes in whole story is the fact that the community spirit is truly working. Something that political and economic structures all over missed to put it in place resulting in what we witness today – global crisis. This concept do really functions in practice and young people who work there are given opportunity not just to earn money but learn about life. The feeling of ‘ownership’ of all involved and working in the surf camp El Macao is apparent, which on the other hand gives additional flavor to it.
Of course, the most important part when the surfing ends for the particular day, and your body is tired but your mind relaxed – the most delicious meal awaits, prepared by the chef Rudy himself. The special sauce in which the fresh and grilled Dorada is topped, the Dominican rice mixed with coco and yummy platanos (green banana) along with the tastiest creamy salad oblige you with gusto to wipe out the plate. Then, siesta in the seesaw under the palm trees shades.
Perfect day, perfect week!
On the way back, the smiles on the faces that wave- tell you, come back soon to El Macao Surf Camp Adventure!
Text: Jana (altervoyage.wordpress.com)
Photo credits: Ramon and Srdjan
El Macao, Dominican Republic – 2013
Welcome to Dominicana Tropicana!
The “green” island of mango, papaya, rum, coffee, cigars, coco, palm trees, plantains (green bananas very testy in several versions fried and as pure) motoconcho’s (typical moto transportation), white and gold sandy beaches, turquoise and warm ocean waters, waves, and merenge (traditional Dominican dance). Exotic melted with emotions, where the “heat” level gets to its peak.
During my travels especially to islands I have concluded one very important thing – that islands do have certain psychology. They either accept you wholeheartedly or repulse you in a way that you get out without even looking back. That’s an island! And as visitors have to accept the game rules and bend down. Same with the ocean or sea either accepts you and you have to show humility or repel you. The mainland’s have differing psychology that you also have to respect. However, on islands everything is intensified probably because of the presence of four elements. Fifth element is love, and that depends on each and every one individually. Here, locals often call you or among each other as “mi amor”. I was wondering whether this is the empty statement. As more rational mainlanders we need prove of someone’s love and without that prove the love is non-existent. Wrong! Here that’s inapplicable because the level of serotonin is so high that you can find it on every hidden corner.
Of course, I won’t say only good and happy things because that will imply that I retain some facts, which on other hand would mean that I lie. This country which is one of the biggest islands is divided between Haiti and Dominican Republic with a border. Its composition is very complex due to various historical, social -economic and political factors. The mixture of black and white race, and nowadays spiced with many new comers from elsewhere and especially Russia. The poverty gap is really high with a lot of rich and even poorer people which try to earn on daily basis to fulfill their basic needs. At some points security issues are at stake, so one has to be extra diligent. In terms of climate sometimes is very humid, which on other hand you can see it as a drawback or as advantage due to the effects has on the skin (being the biggest organ of human body which we are not fully aware of). The presence of various species like mosquito’s, flying cockroaches, different and various insects, tarantula’s, lizards for some can be highly uncomfortable and for some even more exciting because of the various biodiversity which can be found on the island. For me personally, second option is in play!
All of these make the experience on the island richer, and hope the island will open up and discover its many hidden aspects. Until then we’ll wait. So, what can I say more except dance tropical and voyage to Dominican!
Stay tuned for more photo galleries and articles.
** Text: Jana Loza (Alter Voyage) – firstname.lastname@example.org
**Photo credit: Samir Ljuma – email@example.com
An Interview with Alejandro renowned surfer and surf professor in O’Neill surfschool – Fuerteventura, Canary. Read it!
In a era of mass everything, having main reflection through those all inclusive vacation resorts it may be certainly concluded that tourism today is reduced to mere mass consumerism. Therefore, this blog site aims to achieve several things. First, to combine my two gratest lovers ever – writing and traveling. Second, to offer another perspective to voyaging as such. Many times people are shocked when I say I travel alone. Of course, sharing is caring, but I find this along the road. Focus on attributes as authenticity and genuine connection to the place of destination, which allows for the imposed borders that divide us to transcendent, is the main purpose of the site. Furthermore, it will take into consideration the complex set of issues such as: natural characteristics and composition, cultural and linguistic identity, but as well socio-economic and political elements of certain place of voyage. In my work I will cooperate with various artist and photographers in showing the alter reality of voyaging more closely to the broad spectrum of public. And last, the blog site purpose is to add some commercial value to it. So, VOYAGE ALTER!