About six months prior I was on an excursion with a friend. It was the kind of trip I’d only take for personal enjoyment. I’d never take clients on this level of river crossings or rock roads, however from time to time it’s what I really enjoy and anyone who knows me will attest to that fact. The Dominican Republic is an awesome country to get away from it all and enjoy the peace of the mountains and back country roads. There are thousands of them for all who partake.
Anyways about four hours into the journey we came up to Arroyo Grande. It’s a wide river that I’ve crossed at least four previous times. However today it was about 6 inches higher than normal due to the heavy rains we’ve received over the previous two days. Still I attempted the crossing and that was clearly my mistake.
About two thirds across everything was going well and soon after that is where the trouble started. It seems that the abnormal current swept away the stones making up the makeshift passage road. We were stuck! Not a big deal as it happens to us from time to time. Any four by four enthusiast would have to agree it happens to us all. That’s why we have winches track’s and recovery gear with us at all times.
Since dusk was approaching fast I cabled Yota to a tree and began searching for a place for us to spend the night. It never fails I’ve mentioned this several times prior that farm folks are the best. They put us both up for the night provided us each with dry clothes as the temperature was in the teens (14C). They also provided us with dinner and breakfast the following morning. I happen to twist my right knee and was in a considerable amount of pain throughout the evening however still I was grateful as it could have been much worse.
The following morning after finishing breakfast we realized what had happened. It seems that some trees were uprooted and fell into the river blocking the water flow. The locals many who’ve lived there for over 50 years mentioned that they’ve only seen this happen a couple of other times in their lives so I guess we’re the lucky ones. This blockage caused the river to subside during the night and when the trees could no longer hold back the water building up let go and it was similar to a mini tidal wave. A wave that ended Yota!
After accepting the bad news I had to find a way out to where we’d be able to get some sort of transportation home. There were no other vehicles for at least 15 miles, so we were told. I made arrangements for one of the farmers’ son to guide us to where we’d be able to negotiate a ride at least back to the North Coast. We relied on a different kind of horsepower to make the journey. So goes the death of a good friend Yota is now a donor truck for the next project.
After six months of looking we introduce you to Papa Yota. Built in the same factory and is also the same 31 years old. It’s a new project and soon enough we’ll be up and running for more adventures. Some more Best Adventures! Until next time, Barry in DR.