So you want to visit the farm in Los Brazos? Don’t want to spend 1500 rd for a taxi? Only have 100 pesos? Want to get around like a local?
Catch a Guagua.
When you first leave eXtreme, cross the street. You will probably have to say no to our local moto guys who will try to pick you up, or if you have already made friends with them, they might take you all the way to the farm for 200 pesos. But if you are like me the other day, and only have 100 pesos, the guagua will be your best bet.
Standing on the side of the road, you will be looking for either a van (Guagua) or a little car (Carrito) they will have a sign on the roof that looks like a taxi sign, but doesn’t say taxi. The windshield usually has a decal that says the name of the nearest city they drive to, it will say something like, Cabarete – Gaspar Hernandez, Sosua – Puerto Plata. If you are standing on the side of the road they will have some idea that you might need a ride. They might waive, hiss, or hoot at you. They are not being weirdos (well they might be), they are just trying to get your attention.
Hop in, if its not crowded when you get in, it will be soon. Be prepared to get real cozy. If it is a carrito, it is not uncommon to put four people in the front. If the driver gets out of the car, it is because your seat is next to him in the driver’s seat. You would be surprised as to how many people, animals and cargo can fit into these public cars. The fee will be 25 pesos for the first leg of the trip. In the guagua there will be a guy at the passenger door, who bangs on the car to signal the driver to stop, moves seats around for passenger’s and holds babies while their mothers get into the back seat. He will collect your money and let you know when it is your stop, just be sure to tell him SABANETA.
At Sabaneta they will drop you off in the triangle, three-way intersection. From there you walk to the right, where you will see a small bus stop. You will likely see the carrito or guagua waiting there with passengers standing around waiting for it to leave. They are supposed to leave every half hour, but usually wait around for enough people to show up to make the trip worth it. This means that if it’s midday they might not leave for a while. In the afternoon heat, you might also have to look a bit further up the road to the shady spot by the orange peeler. If it seems like it will be a long time before they depart, I will often decide to pay the 50 pesos for a moto to take me the rest of the way. But if they get enough people, and depart at a reasonable time, tell the driver, or his helper, LOS BRAZOS. This leg of the trip is 20 pesos.
You will know you are close when you cross the river. This is the Yassica. Once you cross the river, bang on the window and say “dejarme aqui.” You can walk up the dirt road just past the Colmado Esperanza. Follow the dirt road up the hill.
Once you start coming down the other side you will see our local Colmado on the right, you will also likely hear Bachata music blasting from their enormous speakers. Our lovely neighborhood seating area will be on the right. Taino Farm is just past the Colmado on the right with a big red gate. Our farm dog Piggy will probably come out to greet you.
For the trip back to eXtreme you can walk down to where the guagua left you off and wait for the next one headed back towards town. There is a moto stand on the right (towards the river) and if someone is hissing behind you it is likely Miguel, our neighbor and local moto driver. He will take you back to Sabaneta for 50 pesos.
The Guagua stand on the far side of the street heads to Cabarete. There should be someone there who works with the public cars to tell you an estimated departure time. They leave pretty regularly in this direction. Just tell them Kite Beach and bang on the door when you see the big orange E.