Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A day at the river

Dominicans love going to the river, and last Saturday we were invited by some of our neighbours to join them for a river outing. Some of them piled into an old Nissan and the rest squished into my jeep and off we set. The journey didnt take long, although the road became worse and worse the closer we got. In fact on two occasions the passengers had to get out of the car and walk while it struggled up the hilly bits. My old jeep coped admirably though. Eventually we parked, took out all of the supplies, ice box, chickens, big cooking pans, and set off on what they told me would be a short walk.

The hill in front of us was the destination, to
where the river actually began. We were going to trek to the other side. So much for a short walk! I was wearing flip flops as I had no idea we had to walk so far, and anyway I have no 'tenis' as they call trainers here.

We walked upwards through jungles, crossed the river 5 or 6 times, precariously balancing on rocks. The water was beautiful and clear and also very fast moving and often came well above our knees. I felt like I was in a war film carrying my rifle above my head. More than once I had a piggy back courtesy of my husband. All of the
Dominicans took off their tenis so as not to get them wet or dirty and did the whole trek bare foot. No idea how.

We eventually arrived at a beautiful clear pool with the water cascading down into it. It really was gorgeous.

The fire was built, the men stripped down to their underpants and the preparation of the food began. It was discovered that the lady in charge of the food had forgotten the salt. I said it didn't matter but I was informed that water will not
boil without salt in it and therefore the rice would not cook. I didn't bother arguing and so one of the lads was sent back down the trail to find some salt. He returned an hour later.

In the meantime, the bottle of rum came out and everyone had a slurp and jumped in the river - the women fully clothed as is usual. Some of the boys climbed the rocks at the side, including my husband, and they went off to explore, returning with arms full of wood to light the fire. It was like being a girl guide again.

The food was great: chicken and vegetables with
fluffy salty rice! All washed down with copious amounts of rum and cranberry.
After lunch it was time for the obligatory sleep - I
have no idea how Dominicans can sleep anywhere and at any time!

Eventually as the sun disappeared behind the top of the hill, it was time to pack up and wend our way back down the track and home.

A great day, full of fun and rum and laughter.


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  2. It is so funny about the salt story. I am an Indonesian and in Indonesia we never put salt in our rice. It boils and is cooked everytime :)

    1. You are very sensible. Most Dominicans use far too much salt and I am always telling them about that. I love Indonesian food - but didn't know you didn't use salt in the rice.