Roadless Punta Cana
Welcome to Day Five of "Complaining Week" at DMC & ME.
I'm not complaining today, but I'll tell you who's a complainer. Those whiners on the Titanic. The Atlantic isn't cold. It's darn warm - even warmer than the pool at our resort.
Consider just how close the salty sea is to the roads of Punta Cana, and you might be surprised to see how un-rusted their vehicles are.
Roads in Punta Cana are practically non-existant and are so rough they'd make a Jeep blush. On our long trip from the airport to the Ocean Blue Golf Resort, we encountered one paved road. The other roads were some sort of compacted gravelly dirt stuff.
Essentially, we went off-roading in order to reach our resort. Our Marcopolo bus was proudly made in Brazil, and was a sort of road-warrior.
The windows and sheetmetal crashed around us as we weaved our way through traffic. There aren't any rules on the road. The largest vehicles have the right of way, so giant tour buses get to do what they want. A honk or a flash of headlights means "get outta the way, or I'm ramming you off the road!"
Sadly, the smaller vehicles don't have much choice. If they don't pull over, the road will tear them apart as they try to outrun the trucks and buses.
I spotted one speed limit sign (37 kph). But generally, speed was limited to how much abuse the car could take.
Heavy duty Daihatsu trucks and massive Mercedes Benz buses with superior suspension absorbed potholes along with the best of the off-roading world. The smaller Kias and Mitsubishis were constantly dodging our speeding bus.
At the bottom of the vehicular pyramid were the thousands of dirtbikes that simply couldn't handle the ruts and holes. But when traffic slowed, they used their agility to slip through the lines of trucks to get ahead of us once again.
Seeing helmetless riders wearing only shorts was the norm. And seeing an undented truck was like seeing a Unicorn.
Even the little Daihatsus and Kia Towners that drove around our resort were banged up really badly.
For $90 per person, our resort offered a tour of the local Daihatsu factory where they pre-dented all the trucks. It's a feature we haven't come around to yet in North America, but you can bet it's on its way.