On the Move in the DR
Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
I was planning on leaving Santo Domingo after my second night in the city, and an attempted late-night mugging incident that occurred the eve before my departure (which I probably won't elaborate on) reconfirmed that decision.
Minibus travel in the Dominican Republic is both inexpensive and entertaining. Intercity transit costs about $0.30, with jaunts down popular highways and roads running around $1–2 for every hour traveled.
On the morning of my third day in the DR I hopped on a bus and headed to Boca Chica, a beach town to the east of the city. The town/beach were pretty much what I expected it would be, full of touts, hustlers, and overweight Europeans on a trashy shoreline. I stayed there for about an hour before I had enough and jumped on another bus headed east to La Romana.
On the way to La Romana our bus got sideswiped by oncoming traffic just enough to take off the side view mirror of the passenger side (yes, the bus was entering traffic from the shoulder of the wrong side of the road). I had a great view of this as I was sitting shotgun, about a foot from the mirror.
The driver and his sidekick (someone whose job it is to hang half way out of the vehicle and proclaim the destination while soliciting new passengers) both bailed out to confront the other driver. Soon a small crowd had gathered in front of the bus to look at the damage and watch the show. I couldn't quite understand why the driver of my bus was walking around with a huge rock in his hand—maybe he was going to exact the same damage on the other guy's car if he didn't come to some sort of terms.
The trip into La Romana resumed a short time later and I had the driver drop me at another bus stop that would take me to my final destination for the day, Bayahibe.