It’s two weeks since I arrived in the tropics. Days are taking on a routine. In the morning we often walk a mile down the beach and swim for a bit, stop at a beach-side restaurant for a coffee or a beer or lunch and then home. Afternoons Max paints or watches soccer, I read or write. Occasionally we swim in the pool right outside our door.
Our stimulation comes from watching the swirl of activity about us when we leave our little enclave. We often have lunch at a little shack on the beach where we can watch the fishermen bring their catch in. Most of the fish is then sold from a table on the beach.

Maria's beach restaurant.

Maria’s beach restaurant.

The food from Maria’s kitchen, always fresh fish, is invariably good but I’d hate to have the Ipswich Board of Health take a look at it, or the dozens of other little eateries that line the beach and streets.
Since our time here two years ago the new highway, opened shortly before our arrival then, has opened this whole area to development. New hotels are going up and villas are being built in the hills on the edge of town. It seems like every third building along the main part of town houses a real estate office. It is a shock to see the prices, $500,000 to a million US dollars is common. We’ve been told that buying in the Dominican Republic is easy for foreigners, unlike many countries that have made buying a process with endless red tape and extra expense.
At the same time, there are no zoning laws or any kind of community planning. Before I got here Max had written to say there was a huge concrete cruise ship under construction. I thought he meant a concrete pier for cruise ships although the beach for miles in every direction is shallow. He did mean a concrete ship. It is a few doors down from our gate, a few steps from the beach. It will apparently house apartments and shops and is one of two being planned next to each other.
A concrete cruise ship on land. No danger of this one ever sinking.

A concrete cruise ship on land. No danger of this one ever sinking.