The excursion to the Isla Catalina that we had told you about in the previous post,provided for a very pleasant walk at Casa de Campo at the end of the day.
Casa de Campo is a truly exclusive place on the mouth of the Chavon River. It is a sort of immense private property where you can admire the most beautiful yachts and villas of famous people such as Shakira, Ricky Martin and some well-known names in Italy, such as that of Silvio Berlusconi.
The journey from Catalina to the Chavon River is quite eventful, the currents are strong, the sea rough and the waves, from the tip of the spear feel crazy. The boat jumps on the horse and while we are all quite afraid, Popeye and Beppe laugh at it from real sea wolves.
The waters calm down immediately, as soon as you enter the small pier of Casa de Campo, small but not too much, given the size of the boats it houses. Ours is a walk through villas, palm trees, private beaches and English meadows, rather touristy and not particularly exciting to say it all.
]The real wonder begins when we go up the course of the Chavon River, between very high mangroves and calm green water. The river almost looks like the scenery of a film that we seem to have already seen and indeed it is: we find that it is the place where colossal films such as Rambo2, Apocalypse Now and King Kong were filmed.
The vegetation is lush and mysterious, looking up they observe us from up, large birds of all kinds, species never seen and with a wonderful flight.
The boat stops to allow us to go back to the mainland, to the village of Alto de Chavon. In fact we are warned that the village is arrived after climbing about 100 steps so some of our “companions” decide to give up this second excursion.
Alto de Chavon looks like a small medieval Italian village, but its origins are not so ancient.
It is in fact a 1976 project; Charles Bluhdorn, then president of Paramount, who had the idea of creating a village in the mountains in medieval style and was perfectly successful, since we do not know its history, we would all think of something really dated.
The village in which we walk is therefore nothing more than a huge “scenography”, perfectly in line with the whole Casa de Campo, in which the wild nature of the island is lost, to satisfy wealthy tourists, recreating for them almost a world apart, where the only real thing is the undoubted beauty of the River Chavon.
In addition to clubs, boutiques and picturesque restaurants, the village is also home to the Tainosmuseum, the place where the remains and testimonies of the indigenous Dominicans, the Tainos, are preserved.
Another suggestive place, also completely “fake” is the large amphitheater that in Santo Domingo hosts and hosted concerts by the most important artists such as the immense Carlos Santana, Julio Iglesias and Frank Sinatra.
The Amphitheater of Alto de Chavon is roman style with about 5000 seats and from a distance you can see remains of columns, even those obviously, very little ancient.
Very important is the art school located in the village affiliated with the Parson school of design in New York and the Iglesia San Estanislao de Kraków, or the church of San Stanislao in Kraków, tribute to Pope John Paul II. This church has hosted and hosts many weddings, even of famous people.