Jarabacoa – June 10-12

Jarabacoa is a gorgeous mountain town that’s pretty touristy. I had some firsts here: first time I got hit in a face by an oar while rafting, first time I learned about the importance of audience when making chronic disease jokes, first time I ate groundhog, first time I saw a waterfall featured in the movie Jurassic Park. It was a big weekend for me.

Beautiful valley where the former Dominicanpresident has a house.

Our guide said when water wasn't being used for electricity, all this rock would be covered in water.

We did some rafting, and that was lovely. A kid hit me in the face with his oar, and I bled a lot, even though the wound was small. That’s because my face was wet, so blood flowed like a river from it. I told my roommates it was probably an inconvenient moment to let them know I have AIDS. They did not find that funny at all, which I realized was because they hadn’t spent their lives around celibate Mormon kids who, 99% chance don’t have AIDS and don’t have to worry at all about it. If there’s any possibility any one a person regularly associates with might be contracting a deadly disease, it’s no longer joke-fodder. Mental note made. Continued rafting.

About half the group jumped off a 20+ foot ledge (not pictured here) into the river. I nearly chickened out, but the guide told me I had to either jump right then or go back, and I didn’t want to be ashamed forever, so I jumped. No regrets.

When it gets really rainy, cows, and cars, and all kinds of stuff fall off this thing. There were car parts strewn about below.

We also did a gorgeous hike. It was preceded by a gorgeous motoconcho ride. The former president of the DR had a house in the mountain valley we rode through. Lovely lovely lovely.

Smoke spewing from our bus. We carry on, undaunted.

Oh, on our way back, our bus broke down. We didn’t stop until absolutely necessary, and then we waited by the side of the road outside Santo Domingo for a new one for an hour or so. The first one had a backed up toilet. The second one had sharpie vandalism all over all the seats. Also an odor, if I remember correctly. International travel!


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