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Back to Cabarete

sunny 30 °C

I realised after seeing Johanna, Nicolas, and Arjan when they came down for the Isla Saona trip, that I just had to go back up to Cabarete. I needed to make up with my friend/ ex-boss Mati. Just because we didn’t agree on something in regards to work has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I don’t think of him as one of the most amazing friends I have made on my time away from New Zealand.

Billy had a full on project with missionaries from Trinidad and Tobago so I knew he would be gone from early morning until midnight every day for the entire week. I made the decision to catch the bus up with Snail (after he returned from Amsterdam and surprising his mother). Mati had caught wind of my return – castle gossip was always our strong point, and he wrote to me saying that I should stay at the castle. Even though I had plans to stay with Glencora at the monkey jungle, of course…where else would I stay but back in my castle?

Arriving back in Cabarete was an amazing feeling. We arrived after midnight and stopped in at the liquor store as I had wanted to buy some whiskey to leave on the reception desk for Mati in the morning. As soon as I entered the bottle shop, the owner was asking me where I had been for the past 2 months, telling me that he now had an oversupply of rum since I hadn’t been in to see him! As we turned down the corner and through the security for the gates of the castle street, all of the security guards greeted me with kisses and hugs and told me they had missed me too! It was one of the strangest feelings, I really felt as if I was returning home, a feeling I have not felt in a very very long time, since living in the bubble. And there it was, the beautiful crazy castle in all its glory.

And the next few days were filled with reunions, hugs, dancing, and as usual for me in Cabarete – far too much rum. My first night back we even had a rum party - no one even left to go dancing that night!
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We had happy hour on the beach with all the old timers in Lax/ojo bar as we always did for $100peso ($3) burgers and fries with $100peso coconut mojitos.
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I went to the beach in Sosua with Glencora, Mati, and Ola one day. We were invited to lunch by a friend of Ola and Mati who owns a gorgeous restaurant above the most beautiful beach that I wish I had known existed the whole time I lived in Cabarete!
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We ate a lovely meal of red snapper before Mati and I threw ourselves off the cliff a couple of times. It took us a while to jump at first as we weren’t 100% sure on the depth. But after Glencora checked it out for us – we were away!
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I met new friends too, because of course there were new people in the castle by now too. We went out and partied all night as usual, drinking far too much rum and dancing on the beach until everything closed.
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One night even Maria came out, the cleaner from the castle, because she was so happy that I had come back. So we took her out and danced with her all night, she even came back and slept over at the castle until she worked the next morning with a whopping hangover

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We went to a circus altogether, about 23 of us. It was a very bizarre circus with the strangest ad-lib performance where I completely lost it and was laughing so hard I was crying and coughing all at once. Which of course got every single one of my friends going, and then the rest of the audience, and even the performers too were apparently pointing and laughing while I was literally rolling around on the floor where we were all seated.

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On one of the days I went out to visit my friend Glencora at the monkey jungle.
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Since I had put her in contact with them and arranged for her to have the job, they offered to let me through the ziplines and to see the monkeys for free!
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The monkeys were adorable and I was so lucky to be able to go through and see them with Glencora. They climbed all over me as I held out a bowl of food for them.
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At one point I had 9 monkeys on me.

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The thing I really loved was their tiny little hands which were so soft and very intricate. I wasn’t able to pat them or cuddle them as they were afraid of that, but it was really amazing to be so close to them. I loved also that they were rescued and in an enclosure, but that they were able to get out if they really wanted to as it was a free ranging enclosure. They were there because they chose to be.

The ziplines were amazing. I was very hungover from a huge night the previous evening. However, it turned out that throwing yourself down a long wire over the jungle is quite a good cure!
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They made us climb up to the top of a hill before the first line, and in the heat and with the rum still in my veins it really was quite the achievement to be at the top!
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At one point they taught me how to hang upside down from the zipline and that was freaky!
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They had another part which was a straight free fall drop into an underground cave. I didn’t want to do it and the guide promised he would go with me (like he did on some of the superfast ziplines). He attached me up to the free for all drop, said to wait a second as he was coming right behind me – AND THEN HE LET ME GO! I was so confused and upset he wasn’t with me that I didn’t even realise I was falling until I was nearly at the bottom, so I guess it all worked out for the best in the end.
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By the time I got back to the castle again, it was already mojito time – and I could still feel the hangover! But as it was my final night in town, and all of my local (non-castle) party friends were expecting me to be there for the final night I never had before – out we went one more time. I managed to make it out of bed by 2pm the following afternoon, miss my first bus home due to laziness, and then the second due to the car breaking down when Mati drove me to the bus station. By the time I finally made it back to Billy, it was midnight, I had no voice left, a throbbing headache, and he said he has never seen me looking so pale and exhausted despite spending a week in the sun! But ohhhh it was worth it, even just for that feeling of ‘going home’ for a while. To be surrounded by friends and people I love, even if only for the shortest time. To realise that I had successfully made myself a life in Cabarete, that I had friends, a job, I knew people in every shop/ bar/ area and people were happy to see me return. It was a very nice feeling, and I didn’t realise how much I had missed being there until I was back there.

Posted by chasingsummer 16:28 Archived in Dominican Republic

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