This tour was supposed to begin at 8am, with lunch at the top of Mount Isabel Del Torres and a cable car tour down, ending at 3:30pm. Well, one out of three isn’t bad. This lush hike took a little longer than our guide Orlando expected. The terrain was rugged but complicated by fairly recent rains, making the ground muddy and leaves quite slippery. Neither I nor the wife of the couple I was climbing with was slowed too much, but the husband was. He had a tendency to get a bit out of breath and need frequent breaks. Not one to be in a hurry, this didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the views of Puerto Plato Bay and photographed some of the vines and exotic flowers.
We eventually came to an unusual grassy knoll, the highest manicured gardens in the Caribbean we were told, and we had a magnificent view of the surrounding hills. All of us were nearly out of water, and we told that we had just a little bit farther to reach the top, where would have lunch before taking the cable car down.
We arrived at the top, 2,700 feet high, to find out that the cable car was not running. Actually, the number of days this occurred due to weather was quite frequent I later learned and should have been checked before the tour’s departure. Better still was that the restaurant does not open when the cable car isn’t operating.
We filled up our water bottles from a drinking fountain, and although tired and hungry, began walking down a gravel road. The road ends in a small town nowhere near where our driver is to pick us up. A small convenience store provided us with chips and a beverage while we waited nearly an hour for the driver, whom Orlando had to give directions for finding us.
Our driver arrived and took us to a restaurant in town, where we eagerly ate, but where tired enough to want to get back to our rooms.
June 23, 2005
From journal Canyoning Cabarete, DR