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Los 27 charcos

The 27 waterfalls

sunny 30 °C

Los 27 charcos / The 27 waterfalls were possibly one of the most amazing natural occurrences I have ever been able to see and explore. I was so pleased I made it there as it was one of the huge draw cards for sending one of the emails to the Castle and my wanting to go up to Cabarete in the first place. Johanna, Sarah, Nicholas, and I packed our bags and headed off to Puerto Plata to stay with our friend Brandon – aka machine man. He was house/ cat sitting for a Korean lady who had left behind the strangest wide eyed cat in the entire world – great for staring competitions. We set up the living area as a giant slumber party due to a bed shortage and headed out for giant pizzas for dinner.
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On the way home, we found a group of guys doing some work on a building using a cherry picker. Now, most people who know me may not be aware that going in a cherry picker is a lifelong dream. Yes, I have trampled my way through ancient Mayan temples, eaten off the floor in a Cambodian orphanage, danced in the tropical rain on a tiny Carribean island… but what will soothe my soul – A CHERRY PICKER! And boy, was I excited when they boys loaded me up into this battered and tattered death contraption and flew me high up into the air with a million jolts and bumps.
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Even though it was night time, and the floor to the cherry picker was anything but stable, I was able to look out from the highest height as I clung to the flimsy metal structure and see the Caribbean Sea by night, the ships floating past and the city spread out before us. The others were amazed at how high we kept on going up, I was amazed that the angled cherry picker didn’t throw us out or collapse beneath us! But somehow it didn’t and it dropped us safely back to about 3 meters high where a ladder and a friendly giant helped me back down with the words largest grin on my face and a heart pumping with adrenalin.
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The adrenalin was soon followed by a whole lot more as we woke up early the following day to head off to one of the world’s only natural water parks. Of course, what adventure isn’t quite complete without hitching a ride in the back of a pick-up truck for the final kilometre?
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We had arrived early so to be able to do all 27 waterfalls. There were options available to do 1 – 7, 1-18, and then all 27 but you could only do them all if we arrived early enough. The other part of arriving early was to skip the crowds, which we managed to do. For most of our 4 hours of adventure, we were all alone with our guides. The tour guides we had were slightly crazy and super kind. I was wearing the worst shoes in human existence and slipped over in the mud multiple times as we hiked up the hill on the way to the top waterfall. The hike up took over an hour and that in itself was worth the measly 500 pesos ($15NZD) we had paid for the entire day’s adventure.
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We saw caves on the way, painted ourselves with mud, hid in the trees and scared each other, and jumped and splashed through mud puddles.
It didn’t really matter how dirty we got as we knew we were going to be swimming the whole way down. 90_DSC00805.jpgDSC00807.jpg90_DSC00842.jpg90_DSC00844.jpg
And sure enough, it wasn’t long before we hit the top!
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And then we were throwing ourselves off waterfalls of all sizes
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Into pools of the clearest blue
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Sliding down natural rock slides like my favourite scene from one of my childhood movies, The Goonies.
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Some of the rockslides were short but had the best drops at the end of them.
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The canyons as we walked between each waterfall were amazing and we could see where the river once reached to hundreds of thousands of years ago.
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There were ladders to help you climb, and in other parts you had no other option but to scramble up or jump off.
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As we walked back at the end of the day to make the bus, we all felt as if we had achieved something amazing. It wasn’t hugely taxing physically but some of the jumps and slides did take a lot of mental preparation. Especially as I ended up hurting my elbows going down the first slide the wrong way meaning every slide after meant I was slightly apprehensive to go down! But there is nothing like scraping down a waterslide on the bones of your elbows to remind you to lean forward the next time you do it so you don’t do a 180 turn in a bad way!

Many people had told me it wasn’t worth it, that it was a tourist trap, and that it was too much physically! However, as usual these people had not actually gone (and didn’t share my deep love of waterfalls and jumping) so of course I had decided not to listen to them and as a result I had one of the best days of my life. I was so grateful that I followed my heart and went along. I went with the best group of people possible too, there was just the right amount of fear, adrenalin, excitement, laughter, and competence. We made a great team, and I’d go back there in a heart beat.
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Posted by chasingsummer 16:00 Archived in Dominican Republic

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