Sunrise over the Caribbean Sea is a magnificent sight. I awakened when the light first appeared, but rolled over in an attempt to go back to sleep. Two minutes later I realized what I had seen in that glimpse of morning light. I whipped the mosquito netting open and practically fell out of bed in my hurry. It was a sunrise that captured every bit of drama I could imagine. It was all over in about forty minutes, which I suppose explains why sunrises are rarely, if ever, written into movie scenes.
I photographed the sunrise from my bedroom door at intervals of approximately five minutes. (I wasn’t dressed, so didn’t go out onto the deck.) At the time, the changes in the morning sky riveted my attention. Now that I’m home and have studied the progression a bit more, the color of the sea equally fascinates me.
Casa del Mar Lodge
We stayed at Casa Del Mar Lodge (Km 16 in Santa Cruz de Barahona), which consists of several buildings, each with a cluster of rooms. It’s small and clean, with a rustic elegance. I know those two qualities don’t sound like they go together, but it was a casual sophistication that I enjoyed (and again the two descriptors don’t seem to match one another). I’ll try again– it was comfortable and beautiful without the slick elegance of the huge resorts.
The price of the hotel includes breakfast, which was served on the patio in front of our individual bungalow whenever we were ready. There wasn’t any change in the breakfast menu, but for a short stay it didn’t matter to us. I loved taking a dip in the disappearing rim pool outside our room to cool off in the evening. Sometimes we’d watch long-legged water fowl enjoying the pool from the rim and gave them space. And I’ll long remember leisurely dinners chatting with friends in the dining room above the sea.
The hotel bills itself as ecologically friendly, so each room has a fan but no a/c. I didn’t see any way to securely lock the room at night, so slept with the sliding doors open to the night air. Loved it. But it means you need to stow your valuables in the trunk of your car–or better yet, don’t bring any. Pack a hairdryer and bring your own drinking water. The hotel provides one bottle on the first day, but charges a lot for more.
Incidentally, I was celebrating my birthday the day we arrived. My friend asked the management for one small cupcake and a candle as a token of the day, thinking they might have something on hand. What the hotel got for us was a big beautiful cake with a sparkler for a candle that had required a special trip into town by the management. Now that’s taking care of your patrons.
For more JMBryce Travel blogs about visiting the Barahona and Southwest Dominican Republic area, go to Beautiful Blue Larimar – Uniquely Dominican, Exploring Barahona to Pedernales on the Haitian Border, and Itinerary for Visiting Southwest Dominican Republic.