After a week in the Dominican Republic it's time to give a first overview how life is here on the island. I am staying at the extreme hotel in Cabarete. It is located at the kite beach before the city, or better village centre. So far I had a successful time here sports wise. From the beginning on I took kitesurfing lessons and now I am able to kite. All I need now is just a bit fine-tuning and practice. then I'll be able to go on my own wherever I want. My instructor Raoul was very helpful. He is Dominican and lives in the nearby village.
The other nice facts here are that there is a big half-pipe located at the backyard of the hotel. Last weekend I have been on it and it is really massive. In skater terms, it is a 40 ft. wide funramp (transition 2.5 m, approx 8 ft. 3”) with five different sections respectively. Extensions starting with an height of 6ft (1.8m) leading over 3 extensions into a final part with 10ft. (3.3 m, transition 3 m) – smooth plywood surface, continuous metal coping everywhere. Sure it has seen better times but I'm used to the ghetto approach here on the island - You take what you get! The biggest drawback with the half pipe is that it is only operational on the weekend. During the week the gym besides the hotel has occupied it.
Playa Encuentro is the prime surfing beach at the north shore. It provides fairly good waves in the morning. The tide is here not notable but the trade winds set it about 13:00 every day. The best plan is to go surfing in the morning, have a rest and then go kiteboarding at the evening. That makes a successful day and makes the Caribbean exciting.
The scooter in the picture above is my scooter. Today it had a breakdown because the kick-shift gear paddle has gone loose and I only was able to drive with the first shift - that really sucks!!
Next week the holiday season sets in and it will be very busy here. Yesterday I have counted 45 kites on the water and it will go up to 80 at peak time. I really hope that the holiday season will soon be over and the number of people here will go down. I am now already getting curious how Cuba will be - Let's find it out!!