The Dominican Republic is a country I'd never known much about, nor endeavoured to learn anything about, until meeting a resident by the name of Dustin Miller through our mutual involvement in Christian Surfers. In fact, I still knew barely anything about the small island nation before arriving there, except for the fact that it's inhabitants tended to be incredibly hospitable.
My temporary inhabitance of the island was entirely at the behest of Mr. Miller and his fiancé Emily, as they had requested my attendance and photography for their day of matrimony. Dustin had also put forth that I should put every effort into arriving a few days early to join he and his groomsmen on an unforgettable bachelor party adventure. Never being one to miss adventure, I arranged my travel to comply with his invitation.
Had I known what was in store it is quite likely that I would have done many things to avoid arriving in time for this quest, but by the time we reached the end I was grateful to have been forced into the sizeable sense of accomplishment we were all left with.
The summit of Pico Duarte, the largest mountain east of the Mississippi in the entirety of North America, didn't actually sound like much of a hike. I mean, the East Coast is flat anyway right? And how big can a mountain in the Caribbean actually be? Over 10,000ft apparently, and most of that straight up. (For those residents of the Illawarra, think Sublime Point for 12 hours on end, and then another 3 hours, and then all of that straight down.)
Anyway, the rest of the hike story can be saved for consecutive posts, likely containing too many photos of people walking. Here below is the few hours after landing, discovering the only baggage the airline had left me was currently in my hands and any change of clothes was going to have to wait a week until I returned to Miami, and realising I was in an absolutely stunning country filled with waterfalls, swimming holes and sunsets like those featured here...