Apologies to our readers in Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain and anywhere else in the world where it is snowing, raining or cold. Here in Las Galeras, Dominican Republic the air temperature is hovering around the “I’m melting” mark in Celsius or, in Fahrenheit, “Gosh it’s warm” mark and the sea temperature is levelling out at around bathtub warm. Many of you will soon be visiting for the first time and will be hitting the beach, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving with us, so I thought I’d give you a couple of smart tips to follow before you arrive.
First, and possibly most important, REHYDRATE! Avoid alcohol; try coconut water, plain water or rehydration salts if you are exercising heavily…
Cover up, it isn’t enough to slap a layer of factor 60 on and snorkel or swim or even lounge on a deck chair for a couple of hours, especially during the hours of 11am and 4 pm. When you go swimming or snorkelling, wear a rash guard. If you don’t have one, wear a t-shirt over your sunscreen. Pay particular attention to the backs of your legs, neck and your ears when applying sunscreen. These are areas that are particularly vulnerable to burning as is your head so a bandana is a good idea too, especially if you are a guy with very “fine” hair!
If you are swimming or snorkelling an area that is new to you, ask locals about good sites, what to watch out for and what to avoid, like currents and rips. Currents can be treacherous so make sure you know what to do should you encounter one. Like scuba diving, it is always best to swim or snorkel with a buddy and always tell someone on the beach where you are going and approximately how long you may be in the water for. REMEMBER to let them know when you are back! Trust me, letting people know you are back is very important and can save you a black eye or a hefty bill for a search party.
Most of our beautiful beaches have sun loungers and canopies for hire by the day for around 200 peso and many also have towering coconut palms, some around 25 metres high, that offer free tempting shade. Most of these palm trees have several coconuts, each weighing, on average, 2 kilograms each. Some areas hire guys to pluck the nuts on a daily basis, some don’t. A 2 kilogram coconut falling from 25 metres will generate a high velocity and an impact force of nearly 1000 kilograms. Imagine your skull receiving a 1000kg impact ,,,,,,, pay the 200 peso and hire the lounger!
Many of our beaches have massage tables, manicure and pedicure services, trinket sellers, hair braiders and a variety of other vendors. Most will barter a little but many won’t so if you are going to haggle, be polite but be fair, they are trying to make a living. Nearly all the beaches in the DR have beach restaurants that mainly serve fresh fish cooked to order. Served with rice, salad and a cold Presidente beer, it’s a perfect lunch.