We wake up and study a bit more. The test begins. I do not feel that it was difficult and believe that I did well.
After lunch, we head to Dominical and the beach there. I am immediately struck by the amount touristy distractions that are present here. I see long lines of colorful beach towels, scores of vendors trying to sell their wares, and American themed restaurants. I am disgusted by all of this. It is inauthentic and mars the otherwise fun and, for me, unique experience of this gorgeous coastline. I would certainly like the people to have work protecting, preserving, and maintaining this place in some way. However, I know to hate the game and not the player.
At the beach, we all go to the ocean. The water is warm and very pleasant. People inform me about the riptide, a fast section of current in the ocean which can pull you out to sea. As I jump into the water, I remember that the water is salty. Too late. The power of the waves is apparent and incredible. It is an experience for me just to stand in the water and feel the force of the waves strike me. I bob up and down lightly in the rising and falling waves as white foam of the breakers floats around me, contrasting the deep blue of the ocean waters.
Later, I go for a run along the coast. The view of the ocean is fantastic. All I see is an immense plane of blue. One could not pick out the horizon, despite the fact that you could see for, literally, hundreds of miles in 180 degrees. After some time, I happen upon large boulders in the surf. I see blue crabs walking around and trying to hide in crevices in my presence. A bit further on, on another boulder, I see a 3 foot long ctenasaur, a member of the Iguanid family. The large lizard was sunning itself, but when I moved closer, it scurried into a crack in the rock. Near the end of my run, I stop to collect shells. I find these infinitely more meaningful to me than anything I could buy on shore.
There is a large cliff at the end of my run. I hesitantly climb up it. Part of my trepidation is caused by fear for my safety. I would hate to fall into the crashing waves below, which may suck me back to the iron grasp of the cold ocean, who would be unwilling to let me go. The other reason I worry is that this may be on private property. I would hate to be caught trespassing in another country. The waves crash into the cliff, roaring with every impact, sending a white spray of foamy water reaching up like a giant hand, which then slaps down upon the rock. I sit down upon a rock and watch the waves for some time. I prefer the coast to the beach for the calm tranquility which can be found there, which juxtaposes with the ferocity of the waves. Nearby, Frigate Birds and Brown Pelicans plunge dive for their supper. They fly high above the waves and then fall as if shot of of the air, coming back above the surface after a few seconds, sometimes with a reward for their efforts.
I am excited by my discoveries here. I find that several members of my group are eating at a nearby restaurant. After eating, we walk around and head back to the beach. To our right, we could see a sunset slightly obscured by the clouds. Slowly the bright flame would be extinguished by the cool, dark waters. On our left there was a vast storm cell. It is black and churns with a boiling anger. We are in the dark soon and gaze out at the lights of fishing boats flickering in the distance. This leisure time relaxes me and I think about nothing but the slow, constant rhythm of the waves. Perhaps the beach can be pleasant, if only in short durations.
Fortunately we miss the storm and we head back to TFI in the dark. Once back at TFI, we go to sleep, but not before discovering a few new friends in our cabin. A one inch wide column of ants is marching across our porch, a preying mantis stalks one of our support beams, and a tarantula has taken up residence in our sink. Our last guest startles us by his size (as big as my hand), girth, and hairiness. But, he is harmless enough and makes for a good guard.