I think that in Republica Dominicana, and other developing countries, it makes far more sense to buy food at local restaurants than at supermarkets. You seem to get around the same amount of food, but already prepared, often tastier, and better environments.
I'm now in Nagua, deciding where to go next. My two main options are to continue west along the coast, or to go back inland to the mountains. I want to see the coast more, but I'm not sure yet that I'm ready for it. I'm considering spending another while in the interior, before heading back to the coast. As of now, around fifty-fifty, leaning somewhat towards the inland detour.
Either route looks ok. If I do the inland detour, I can probably see both routes, which argues in favor of doing the inland detour.
Actually, I don't see a road that leads back to this part of the coast, so doing the inland route may imply leaving behind a section of the coast. In that case, I think I'd rather just stay along the coast. Much easier when I'm not looking for a challenging ride, plus beaches!
The inland route doesn't look too appealing to me, now that I'm seeing it on the map in more detail.
The coastal route does look appealing.
It stays so consistently hot and humid here that, for the first time in a while I've been thinking about colder, more northern places.
It's around 75-100 km from here to where the inland/coastal routes meet up.
Looks like I'm finally getting into the Cibao region of Republica Dominicana. This covers the northern part of the island.
There's a city in the inland route which produces a lot of cacao. Now that is interesting.
As an alternative, I can do a lengthier ride through the interior, either now or later. I've been considering doing quick detours into the mountains.
By the way, a funny (to me, anyways) phenomenon in RD. Tons of places, even small colmados (general stores), cafeterias, etc., often have delivery. They use motorcycles with baskets or crates attached.
The beach area looks extremely nice.
I'm now thinking of maybe doing the coast first, then head inland for a lengthier tour later.
I don't see how I'm going to get much work done in any case. Seems like Republica Dominicana is set up for farming or vacations, not for doing modern work.
There's tons of nice scenery in Republica Dominicana. Also sizable noise. Seems like a convenient trade-off for farming, tourism, etc., so that makes sense!
I now want to do both the coastal and inland routes. However, in this case it appears that it may be easier to do so by going the coastal route first.
At any rate, I do later plan to head inland to see Santiago de los Caballeros, a larger city. Maybe I'll combine the inner stuff over here to the east with that venture later, doing the coastal route first.
In any case, I plan to spend the next few weeks or so seeing northern RD, then head over into Haiti.
One route I can see doing goes along the coast first, but only a short while, then e.g. at Gaspar Hernandez heading inland, going back east, then returning again west. Maybe too complicated and long.
Actually, I don’t see a route back to the part of the coast that I want to see next, if I go inland. So, that would argue fairly decisively for doing the coast next, which I kind of like. Then, if I feel like it, I can come back later for the inland stuff.
I think that these planning sessions are important. They reveal a ton about what you can or want to do, and also you learn about the geography and culture along the way (e.g. looking up places, routes).
I'm now planning to take the coastal route next!
Then, e.g. when I get to Santiago de los Caballeros, I can also go to San Francisco de Macoris.
Some photos from the last couple of weeks: