Waiting for Odette
When the Dominican climate turns nasty, the effect is usually one of biblical proportions. It can be violently unpredictable, capable of ripping apart a travel itinerary like it can rip the side off a mountain. It has no respect for you or your plans. I learned this recently while being holed up in Bonao during the Tropical Storm Odette. With the end of the hurricane and rainy season officially recorded as November 30th, I felt confident of satisfying my whim of a day or two exploring the mountains around Los Quemados, before continuing my journey to Santo Domingo.
Little did I know that the rain I felt on my back Friday afternoon would be the first drops of an incessant downpour that would not let up until Sunday morning. There was to be no trotting along fragrant mountain trails on horseback for me. So I kicked back on the porch of the ranch where I was staying, watched the mountains disappear, and learned the true meaning of rain. Never before has rain physically scared me. In no time at all, all color had been drained from the sky, reducing the view to a murky watercolor. For over a day our lives were set in motion to the violent drumming of the rain upon the tin roof. It came in long symphonic waves, reaching pummeling crescendos then falling to a prolonged rhythmic patter. To confound things, whispers came around of the imminent arrival of Odette, a cyclone gathering in pace across the Caribbean Sea.
I had a great time in the DR but if I where to do it again I would spend more time up in the...more