Posted by: bearcruzer | April 26, 2010

Las Cascadas – The Waterfalls

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, so we picked up David and Trudie on SV Persephone and headed out for the 27 Charcos or puddles, also known as las cascadas.   We walked downtown and hired a taxi for 300 pesos to drive us to  Imbert.   We got off and just as we paid the driver a bus was heading our way along the route we needed.   I flagged the pusher who was hanging out of the open bus door and he yelled at the driver to stop, which he did rather rapidly to the surprise of those already on the bus.   The pusher waved to us to hurry and so we ran to the bus and climbed aboard asking in our broken Spanish if the bus went by the Cascadas.   The bus driver and the pusher did not seem to understand but another gentleman who was riding the bus said that it did in fact go by the Waterfalls and that the driver would stop and let us off there.     We expressed our gratitude and paid the pusher 60 pesos each for the ride.  The gentleman who had assisted us in explaining our destination gave us the heads up and let us know when our stop was coming up.   We were let off at the side of the road next to a sign in espanol with an arrow that directed us to take a dirt road to the waterfalls.   We had no idea how far it was but that was part of the adventure.   The road led into a hilly area where we assumed that the waterfalls would be.  We walked about a 1/4 mile and found the well marked entrance to the park.  There are 3 prices for up to 7 waterfalls, 8-12, and 13-27.  We purchased our tour tickets for 12 of the 27 waterfalls (310 pesos each)  also plan on a customary tip of 100 pesos per person for your hardworking guides.   There are changing rooms for men and women where we put on our shortie wetsuits we had brought.   We were able to leave our backpacks with our extra clothes with the ranger at the ticket counter.    We were then outfitted with helmets and lifejackets and met our guides Kelvin and Franklin who would assist us in our journey up the waterfalls…..yes up!   We hiked about a ½ mile to falls and then proceeded with the assistance of Kelvin and Franklin to climb using ladders, ropes, and the brute strength of these young men to haul ourselves up twelve of these beautiful cascades.   The water was pretty clear even after the rains over the last few days and waterfalls were running strong.   I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face during the entire experience.    I kept turning around to Mike and saying, how the boys would love this.   The trip down was the easy part so long as heights do not bother you.  We were given the option of jumping into the pools or sliding down the falls and did both.  Mike even did a front flip into the final pool.   We made our way back to the park entrance and tipped Kelvin and Franklin for their hard work dragging our butts up those falls.   We changed into our clothes and toasted our adventure over a couple of beers at the Bar there at the Park entrance.   We walked back out to the main road and waited for about 20 minutes before a bus came along and took us back into Imbert.   We were planning of having Pizza but the Pizza place in Imbert was closed.   Just as well, as we found a local restaurant and had some great Dominican food, Roast Chicken, Braised Pork, Rice, Beans, Salad and of course, a couple more beers.  We stuffed ourselves for less than 500 pesos for all of us.   It was a great ending to a wonderful day.    We caught a taxi back to Imbert and dropped David and Trudie back at their boat.  They were real troopers, albeit, a bit sore, the next day after following Mike and Crystal on yet another crazy adventure.

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