Dominican Republic, October 2019

Santo Domingo

Capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic with a population of over four million. Founded in 1496, by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of explorer Christopher Columbus. The city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas. The city’s colonial-era old town, known as the Zona Colona, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sunday, 27th October 2019

Tony inside the Altar de la Patria (Altar of the Homeland), a white marble mausoleum that houses the remains of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Ramón Matías Mella. They are known collectively as Los Trinitarios: statues of the three can be partially seen behind. The mausoleum is located in Parque Independencia (Independence Park).
Tony inside the Altar de la Patria (Altar of the Homeland), a white marble mausoleum that houses the remains of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Ramón Matías Mella. They are known collectively as Los Trinitarios: statues of the three can be partially seen behind. The mausoleum is located in Parque Independencia (Independence Park).
The statues of Juan Pablo Duarte and Matías Ramón Mella in white marble on top of plinths.
The statues of Juan Pablo Duarte and Matías Ramón Mella in white marble on top of plinths.
Looking through a doorway into Our Lady of Las Mercedes Church
(Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes). People sitting on pews
inside. Construction of this historic church began in 1527.
Looking through a doorway into Our Lady of Las Mercedes Church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes). People sitting on pews inside. Construction of this historic church began in 1527.
Tony in a plaza outside the Panteón Nacional.
Tony in a plaza outside the Panteón Nacional.
Tony outside the main doorway to the Panteón Nacional. The building
was originally a Jesuit church built between 1714 and 1746 in
neoclassical renaissance style. Today it is a national symbol of the
Dominican Republic and serves as the final resting place for the
Republic's most honoured citizens.
Tony outside the main doorway to the Panteón Nacional. The building was originally a Jesuit church built between 1714 and 1746 in neoclassical renaissance style. Today it is a national symbol of the Dominican Republic and serves as the final resting place for the Republic’s most honoured citizens.
Again outside the Panteón Nacional.
Again outside the Panteón Nacional.
Tony at Fortaleza Ozama. An outer wall with old canons pointing out towards the mouth of the Ozama River. This fortress was built between 1502-1508  by the Spanish, it is the oldest fortress built in the Americas.  The Fortaleza is located at the end of Las Damas Street.
Tony at Fortaleza Ozama. An outer wall with old canons pointing out towards the mouth of the Ozama River. This fortress was built between 1502-1508 by the Spanish, it is the oldest fortress built in the Americas. The Fortaleza is located at the end of Las Damas Street.
Tony in front of a stone pillar at Fortaleza Ozama.
Tony in front of a stone pillar at Fortaleza Ozama.
Tony in front of a bronze statue of Frey Nicolas de Ovando, standing
on a stone base, located in Plaza España. Nicolas de Ovando (1460 –
1511) was a Spanish soldier from a noble family who arrived in Santo
Domingo in 1502 and became Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) until
1509. His administration brutally exploited and enslaved the island's
indigenous peoples.
Tony in front of a bronze statue of Frey Nicolas de Ovando, standing on a stone base, located in Plaza España. Nicolas de Ovando (1460 – 1511) was a Spanish soldier from a noble family who arrived in Santo Domingo in 1502 and became Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) until 1509. His administration brutally exploited and enslaved the island’s indigenous peoples.
Tony touching large carved letters on the base of the Frey Nicolas
de Ovando statue. The inscription says 'Comendador Mayor de la Orden de Alcántara' (Grand Commander of the Order of Alcántara).
Tony touching large carved letters on the base of the Frey Nicolas de Ovando statue. The inscription says ‘Comendador Mayor de la Orden de Alcántara’ (Grand Commander of the Order of Alcántara).
Tony in front of the Alcázar de Colón in Plaza España. This was once a colonial palace belonging to the Columbus family, beginning with his son Diego. It is now a museum displaying period furniture and
decorations. The building was originally built in 1510 and restored to its current appearance in 1952. It is part of the Zona Colona UNESCO
World Heritage Site.
Tony in front of the Alcázar de Colón in Plaza España. This was once a colonial palace belonging to the Columbus family, beginning with his son Diego. It is now a museum displaying period furniture and decorations. The building was originally built in 1510 and restored to its current appearance in 1952. It is part of the Zona Colona UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tony inside Alcázar de Colón in front of a life-sized model of a knight in armour on the back of a horse.
Tony inside Alcázar de Colón in front of a life-sized model of a knight in armour on the back of a horse.
Period furniture, including a dining table and chairs, inside Alcázar de Colón.
Period furniture, including a dining table and chairs, inside Alcázar de Colón.
Tony on the veranda of the Alcázar de Colón. The Ozama River can be seen below, just before it enters the Caribbean Sea.
Tony on the veranda of the Alcázar de Colón. The Ozama River can be seen below, just before it enters the Caribbean Sea.
Another view over the Ozama River from the veranda. The walls that
bound the Zona Colonial can be seen immediately below with palm trees and a road beyond. Boats moored on the river's far bank.
Another view over the Ozama River from the veranda. The walls that bound the Zona Colonial can be seen immediately below with palm trees and a road beyond. Boats moored on the river’s far bank.
An old bed and other furniture in the Alcázar de Colón.
An old bed and other furniture in the Alcázar de Colón.
Looking up a sloping cobblestone street to the main gate of the
ruined Monasterio de San Francisco. The gate is a tall stone arch built into a wall. The monastery was built between 1509 and 1560 and is notable for being the first monastery built in the Americas.
Looking up a sloping cobblestone street to the main gate of the ruined Monasterio de San Francisco. The gate is a tall stone arch built into a wall. The monastery was built between 1509 and 1560 and is notable for being the first monastery built in the Americas.
Looking down Calle Emiliano Tejera away from the Monasterio de San Francisco's main gate. The road is lined with colonial-era buildings.
Looking down Calle Emiliano Tejera away from the Monasterio de San Francisco’s main gate. The road is lined with colonial-era buildings.
Another view of the main gate at Monasterio de San Francisco. There is a small stage set-up in front perhaps for a musical performance.
Another view of the main gate at Monasterio de San Francisco. There is a small stage set-up in front perhaps for a musical performance.
Tony outside Monasterio de San Francisco with the temporary stage immediately in front.
Tony outside Monasterio de San Francisco with the temporary stage immediately in front.
Looking across a square to the small church of San Miguel (Iglesia San Miguel). This old church has a rectangular main doorway with a gently curving roof above. There is a small bell tower on the left side.
Looking across a square to the small church of San Miguel (Iglesia San Miguel). This old church has a rectangular main doorway with a gently curving roof above. There is a small bell tower on the left side.
Tony selfie.
Tony selfie.
Tony and a Canadian guy, Linald. Taken at Living Backpackers, Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo on 6th November 2019.
Tony and a Canadian guy, Linald. Taken at Living Backpackers, Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo on 6th November 2019.
Again Tony and Linald at Living Backpackers.
Again Tony and Linald at Living Backpackers.

Paragliding in Jarabacoa

Morning of Thursday, 31st October 2019

Tony attached to a harness with an instructor while paragliding high above the ground. Excellent view of the surrounding landscape: a mixture of small fields and forested areas.
Tony attached to a harness with an instructor while paragliding high above the ground. Excellent view of the surrounding landscape: a mixture of small fields and forested areas.
Closer view of Tony while paragliding.
Closer view of Tony while paragliding.
Tony paragliding. A semi-wooded hill in the background.
Tony paragliding. A semi-wooded hill in the background.
Again Tony paragliding.
Again Tony paragliding.