The National Meteorological Office issued alerts today (10/22/12) for several towns due to saturated ground and a tropical wave that will be coming through today. Barahona, Azua, Bahoruco, Pedernales, Independencia, San Juan de la Maguana and Elías Piña provinces were all among towns in the weather alert.

This latest storm is expected to cause rivers and streams to rise and possibly bring floods and landslides to the affected areas. Along with the rain, thunderstorms are expected.

Caribbean Thunderstorms

The Dominican Republic has some of the most impressive thunderstorms I have ever seen. I like to sit out on the (covered) deck and watch the storm go past. But, along with a good light show, is a greatly increased chance of damage to your inversor (inverter), power regulator, batteries and other electrical equipment in the house.

I have a cut off switch for my house where I can disconnect the incoming power line (whether we are currently getting power or not) before it reaches any of my equipment to protect them from power surges. These storms have in the past either came in faster than I expected or happened while I was out of the house and I ended up needing to do a bunch or expensive repairs, so I am pretty diligent about using this switch now.

If you haven’t got one installed it’s a good idea to do so. All you need to do is put a double pole, single throw, knife switch in line with your incoming power which you pull down when a heavy storm like the one that caused this alert, passes. A little prevention can save you a day or two without battery backup while you inversor gets repaired as well as quite a bit of expence.

No doubt while on a Dominican beach you are going to want some snacks and cold drinks. At many of the beaches like Boca Chica, Sosua, and others there are vendors on the beach happy to serve you while you lay there. That can get a bit expensive though. The price of a beer or food is usually 50% to 100% higher than you will pay if you walk up the street a block and buy it at a colmado. So what do you do when you go to the beach in the States? Bring a cooler of course!

Now, that can be a bit tougher when you are on a vacation and everything you bring has to be able to pack into a suitcase, but not impossible! (more…)

When people enjoy an exotic vacation it is pretty customary for them to want to take a little piece of the location home with them as a remembrance. While you can always head to a gift shop and buy a Dominican knickknack (usually made in china), it is sometimes nice to pick up something that is unique to the country. The Dominican Republic produces several items that are unique to here. One of the most popular items is Larimar, but there is also amber and a rather interesting blue amber that is found here.

Larimar is a semiprecious stone that is only found in the Dominican Republic. In fact it is only mined in one location (at least at this time), between Barahona and Bahoruco, Dominican Republic. Barahona also called Santa Cruz de Barahona is one of the main cities in the Barahona Province, in the south of the Dominican Republic.

Along with the larimar stone that is mined there Barahona is also known as an ecotourism port, for its “Barahona Type Coffee” and the Barahona Sugar Factory. Barahona is also a sea port.

Larimar Mines

One point I found particularly interesting is that most of the mines are more of family operations. (more…)

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