Our first excursion to the Dominican Republic is toCatalina Island.
Catalina is a beautiful wild island, located between the blue Caribbean sea and the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
We are accompanied by Beppe, a very nice Dominican guide who speaks four languages and more, along with the silent “Popeye”,the captain of the spear who will accompany us on all excursions.
We are not alone, we are in a group of Argentines, Italians and French.. I do not know how it is possible but we all understand each other, we are all afraid of the spear running into the sea and we laugh under the effect of vitamin “R”… What is it? bhe of course rum and here is RUM, the good one!
Just before approaching the island, Popeye stops the spear and proudly shows us its transparent sea, so transparent that we can clearly see the reef, colorful fish and small transparent jellyfish. Snorkeling is beautiful but also dangerous: our boat is stationary right on the border between the transparent and sharp waters and the black and mysterious overhang, from 10 to 40 meters in a few strokes.
The queens of Catalina are the tall palm trees and full of cocchi; Dominicans collect them and sell them for a few euros, along with coconut oil but also freshly caught lobsters. Plus, palm trees on this island are truly one of the few places to shelter from the sun, the only place we enjoyed some cool from 35 degrees at 10am.
Those who choose Catalina generally appreciate it for snorkeling because the reef is immense and the variety of fish, corals and marine plants is vast. We were lucky enough to “meet” two large breeds that swam peacefully on the bottom, surrounded by a myriad of fish of all colors.
Snorkeling here is suitable for virtually everyone: experts, non-experts, first-time practitioners, and even children; yes because there is also a huge variety of colorful fish on shore, so even children have a great time.
On an almost deserted island, we are a bit surprised to find a small local market but the traders are very nice and it is also worth exchanging just a few words and a few laughs.
Unfortunately, Catalina is an island deserted only until a certain hour because then it begins to crowd with tourists and, from a wild beach, turns into an Italian beach, between screams, food, rum and people who try photographs on palm trees in circus poses that often end with ruinous falls.
Anyway, we enjoy lunch with Beppe, Popeye and our little company in the shade of a wooden gazebo and enjoy the delicious black beans, grilled meat and a light wind that occasionally refreshes the air and elegantly shakes the foliage of palm trees…