Kite soaring high during a sunset on kite beach.

Oceanside Livin’

There is something to be said about life next to the ocean. You don’t even have to be doing water activities or be explicitly dependent upon it in some way for it to have a profound effect. At the Extreme Hotel, everything you do is next to the ocean. You eat next to the ocean, sleep next to the ocean, trapeze next to the ocean, work out next to the ocean, read next to the ocean, talk on the phone next to the ocean. I could keep going – and those aren’t even the activities that you actually do in the ocean (i.e. kiteboard, surf, scuba, snorkel, stand up paddleboard, swim).

Kite soaring high during a sunset on kite beach.

Kite Beach.

 

A lot of the time when I am doing something next to the ocean, I am highly aware of it. It is hard to ignore a beauty so strong, the scent of salt in the air and the feeling of the ocean breeze on your skin. However, even after just being here for over a week as an intern, it is easy to slip into routine and forget that the ordinary was once extraordinary not so long ago. That being said, the amazing thing about living next to the ocean is that it constantly provides perspective – whether or not the rhythm of its crashing waves has become background noise. Something so great, so loud and so vibrant as the ocean is constantly telling you that you are merely a single, tiny human in a much greater universe.

#1Samana view

Don’t worry, it is not insulting. If anything, it’s humbling and inspiring. The ocean makes me feel small and unimportant. And once I feel small and unimportant, I start to take things less seriously. I think that I can try anything, do anything (maybe learn to kitesurf!) because in the end, I am just one small creature in this massive world.

Cabarete – A Runner’s Dream

Running in Cabarete is magical. The trick is to wake up before the heat sets in – which is not that early, only 6:15 or so. I don’t think there exists a more ideal temperature to run in. Warm enough that you don’t have to start with a long sleeve on but also hot and humid enough that when you sweat, you feel like you are working. At 6:15, Cabarete is still waking up–motorcycles and cars aren’t yet flying down the road. That wouldn’t matter anyway though because the eXtreme hotel, where I am living on Kite Beach, is located next to a somewhat hidden running path – a runner’s dream!

The path is a dirt road that is located 10-20 meters past the bus station where people wait to go to work west towards Sosua. The path rarely has any traffic–I have only seen a moto a couple of the many times I have run it. As someone coming from the northeast of America, it almost feels cliché how perfectly tropical it is. The path runs parallel to the ocean shore so as you run, the entire time you  see flashes of the picturesque crashing turquoise waves. At this time of day, around 6:30am or so, the sunrise makes silhouettes of the palm trees. Even if you are not a runner, it is worth waking up, just to walk it once.

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You can chose to end the run at Encuentro beach. It is roughly 2.5 miles. A quick turn around and return to eXtreme Hotel makes it a solid 5-mile run. However, if you’re feeling up for it, you can take off your running sneakers and go for a refreshing morning swim or early surf. It is ideal for surfing because the wind speed is typically the lowest it will be all day and the crowds haven’t yet arrived. The ocean is your oyster! After a surf, swim, body surf, SUP, or whatever ocean activity you decide upon, you can wash your feet off at one of the various surf sheds along Encuentro and run back! Alternatively, if your surfing left you too tired to finish, you can always take a motoconcho (motorcycle taxi) back for 100 pesos.