My first weekend motorcycle trip felt like a milestone achievement when I pulled into Rio San Juan with Ryan on the back of the bike and all my limbs still in tact. Despite my fears, the trip was nothing short of breath-taking, scenic and exhilarating. The wind whipped my hair into knots as we rolled up, down and around one long road along the coast with nothing around us but dense jungle, craggy cliffs, grazing cattle and friendly Dominicans working in their little roadside huts selling oranges, peanuts and eggs.
Ryan and I had agreed to take turns driving so I could gain some open-road experience, which required some courage from me to take the reins, as well as courage from Ryan to put any hint of machismo aside to endure the alarmed stares and surprised double-takes from passing Dominican drivers. No doubt, they were wondering if Ryan had misplaced his cojones when he put me in the driver’s seat.
After a long journey of being glued together on a small seat, though, we were rewarded with a new town of a completely different vibe from Cabarete or Luperon, towns we’d gotten to know quite well. The people were just as generous and friendly as they are in the rest of the country, but Río San Juan offered unique local treasures like the gorgeous beach of Playa Caletón, tucked away in a protected cove beyond the mangroves.
Looking now at this photo essay, it would appear that what I thought was a casual fling with the Dominican Republic, sparked by love at first sight, has turned into a long-lasting relationship. And if this is what biking through the Dominican countryside brings, I can see myself falling quite hard for this country during our time here.