// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.
SANTO DOMINGO After more than two years of backpacking through South America, it was finally time to leave. I found a cheap flight from Brazil to the Dominican Republic, which I thought would make an interesting stopover on my way back to North America. I actually arrived in Punta Cana, which I almost immediately hated. It's a famous beach resort, and I'm sure if one stayed within the walls of the glistening resorts there (and didn't care about actually seeing the country) it would all seem fine, but the town is little more than a disorganized highway of traffic, completely inhospitable to anyone without a car (which is most of the residents and resort workers) and worse, the DR has allowed the resorts to privatize parts of the beach, meaning one can't even go for a stroll of more than 500 feet along the shore without being blocked by a security guard (by comparison, Puerto Rico passed a law more than a century ago making it illegal to privatize any part of the coastline or beach). So I left there quickly and made my way to the capital, Santo Domingo. The city was founded in 1496 by the brother of Christopher Columbus, making it the oldest European city in the New World and it still has many buildings dating back to the 1500s, some of which you can see below.
SAN JOSE DE OCOA In Santo Domingo I made some friends who offered to take me on a road trip into the mountainous province of San Jose De Ocoa. Along the way we visited some beach towns, some protected coastal sand dunes, some mountains and mountain rivers, and the small town of San Jose de Ocoa itself, all of which you can see below.
BAYAHIBE If I hated Punta Cana, I loved Bayahibe. I actually stopped here on my way to Santo Domingo when I first arrived. This was a real town, with lively streets and public spaces and long white beaches filled with locals and tourists alike. Here local fishermen swapped stories with paddle-boarding instructors (my host was a paddle-board instructor). The water was the color of paradise. The rice and beans less than a dollar. But alas, as always, it was eventually time to go.