Cordillera Central Mountain Range by Johnny

Saludos again from the Dominican Republic’s highest elevation – the Cordillera Central Mountain Range. This is a “part two” of my previous report “Headed Up To Constanza.” Living in the DR, my brother Gary was able to keep up with his work from his laptop. This allowed us to travel freely with no schedule or itinerary. Remember, this visit and photos are from some years ago.

Gary knew of a mountain road, trail between Constanza and Padres las Casas. Said to be more suited for dirt bikes and smaller 4WD vehicles. There were a lot of tight hair-pin turns as the road snaked over the mountains. We were traveling in Gary’s Chevy Avalanche 4X4 truck. His all time favorite vehicle, I considered it more of an over-sized tank.

The mountain scenery was really beautiful. A blue sky would have made it better but you get what you get. All going well until at one point it felt like one of the front tires went soft. A flat tire? No, much worse. A tire broke off. Not good. We were already about three hours away from Constanza with the larger distance ahead of us – far from any kind of help.

Gary had no mobile phone signal. So he was off, on foot to try and find a phone signal or help. Just before he left, I remembered that I needed him to write me a note in Spanish. “My brother is off to get help. I do not speak any Spanish.” Good call as none of the folks who came by spoke any English.

Gary eventually made his way to the trail’s outpost store – seen in pic. The owner was able to call his nephew, a mechanic in Constanza who made his way to our breakdown with a helper on a dirt bike. I was amazed by what this guy was able to do with only the tools carried in a sack. The outpost store owner and his wife took his nephew’s dirt bike and left his Toyota 4X4 pickup for his newphew to take us back to Constanza.

So we ended up back in Constanza – staying in the same hotel and eating in the same restaurant. Also stopped in a store and bought crayons and coloring books for all the kids that gathered at our breakdown. The mechanic send someone on the first bus the next morning from Constanza to La Vega to get the needed part for the truck.

After the part arrived, we were off again to the truck breakdown site. Not that much happens out there so a Chevy Avalanche with a wheel busted off, was a major attraction. Gary paid a guy who stayed with the truck all night. And passed out the goodies to the kids. A little bit of thanks to the friendly locals and their hospitable way.

Again, I was most impressed with the mechanic. He had the Avalanche victory drive onto his uncle’s outpost store and his assistant drove the Toyota – for a “few”well earned beers. Then Gary and I continued on – what turned out to be the longer part of the trip. Also this section of road much more required a truck suspension and 4WD. We kept wishing for a paved road & cold beer . . . !

This mountain trek is a great memory that I will always have. Would I like to do it again? NO! Until my next update – stay happy & well! – – Johnny

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