Eat, Sleep, Surf, Repeat: Cabarete Surf Camp
We were four days into our trip to the Dominican Republic and we’d just arrived to the beachside town of Cabarete the day before. We rented a townhouse in Callejon de la Loma, and we were getting our first taste of power outages in the Dominican Republic.
The prior night was rough as the lights flickered off and on every two minutes which made it impossible to really get settled and which made it impossible to run the fan in our dry, humid bedrooms upstairs. I’d been in touch with the townhouse’s maintenance guy who fortunately lived in the same neighborhood, but I struggled to understand what was going on as my tenth grade Spanish lessons about conjugating came flooding back to my memory.
“Tienen luz en el otro lado del calle. Porque no tenemos luz aqui?” I asked the maintenance guy, Roberto, as I pointed to our neighbor’s house across the street, who happened to be the Mayor of Sosua, a town nearby. The mayor had lights, so why didn’t we?
“Hablame más despacio,” I told Roberto as he explained that something was wrong with our landlord’s generator. Just perfect! No lights, no generator, and minimal Spanish to understand it all! Oh, and all of the groceries we’d bought earlier that day were in peril of spoiling!
After a hot, restless night, the next morning we woke up and volunteered at the Dream Project. After painting a baseball field in the sweltering heat all day, all we wanted to do was to come home, freshen up, and relax a bit before our surf lesson later that afternoon. But when we came home, the toilets would barely flush, and the water from the shower came out in a pathetic trickle which turned what should’ve been a 5-minute shower into a 25-minute shower spent trying to collect enough water in my hands to rinse off little-by-little.
Leaving our electric and water woes behind, we made our way to the main road where Florian, the owner of Cabarete Surf Camp, picked us up for our first surfing lesson at Playa Encuentro. Because it’s so windy, Playa Encuentro is an ideal spot for kitesurfers and regular surfers alike. The waves are strong, but not unmanageable for beginners like us. So we suited up, picked out our longboards, and the lesson began.
Jave was a natural! Our instructor, Eduardo, was clearly proud of Jave as he cheered when Jave caught a wave and rode it to the shore. Teacher’s pet!
I, on the other hand, barely managed to stand on my board for half a second. But I was an excellent paddler.
All-in-all, we had a blast. It was the first time that either of us had surfed, and we vowed to come back in the future for a proper full-week surfing vacation!