We arrive in Luperon, a small village on the north shore of Dominican Republic, on March 23, 2014.
Everything is unfamiliar and strange the first couple of days. But then gradually, with time, we become part of the place and the place becomes part of us.
The village, named after General Gregorio Luperon, a hero and President of the Republic from the Restoration period, is not a popular tourist destination today. After the global economy crisis and the closing down of the hotel a few year back, tourists have stopped visiting the place. Except sailors who appreciate the vast weather-protected harbor set among mangroves, surrounded by wooded hills.
The Luperon anchorage is the most notorious hurricane hole in the entire Caribbean region and is always full of visiting boats. Some stay here forever. Even Christopher Columbus who founded the first New World settlement not far from here used the harbor to shelter his boats in foul weather. He named it Bahia de Gracias, Thanksgiving Bay.
The village is tiny, rural, with small brightly-colored wooden and stone houses with tin roofs and closed windowpanes to keep the heat out, very elaborate decorative fences, rocking chairs on the front porch.
Flowers, palms, and banana-trees transform every yard into a lush botanical garden.
Lazy dogs roam the streets looking for leftovers and shade.
In the morning the village awakes early. Women come out on the streets and perform a daily ritual of sweeping and cleaning in front of their houses. The cleanest streets in the world!
Small grocery shops called colmados open doors for clients; cafeterias, a few chairs on the sidewalk, are now alive with people chatting; loud music booms from the small restaurants called comedor.
The streets are full of people walking or riding motorbikes, motoconcha, sometimes three or four on one bike (fuel in Dominican Republic is very expensive and the motoconchas are the main vehicle and cheapest option to go around).
We can’t wait to explore the Luperon surroundings, to walk in pastures and fields, to climb hills and look in the distance, to meet cows and horses, to breathe the air of the countryside, el campo. Luperon is our home for the next few weeks.
Pictures from Luperon
The Hills of Luperon