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Sights, Sounds and Smells


Hey to all Dominican Lovers!

I have a slightly different request - my best friend is writing a novel which is set in the Dominican. She has not been there, and I have only been once. She has asked me to describe for her the sights sounds and smells that I associate with this beautiful country - especially the beaches, flora, fauna, countryside etc. It doesn’t really matter which area of the country - as long as you specify. Her character is going to do a lot of travelling within the DR. So if you could steep yourselves in the wonderful memories and describe a few to her, she and I would most appreciate it! Think of it as an excuse to daydream! :slight_smile:



why not go on a little "research" vacation! :sunglasses: any excuse to getaway is great ;D


Oh dear, Sunaddict: IMHO, This is not good. Your friend has never been there, you have been once!! and you want “heresay”!! I have been there 14 times, but it is my opinion and mine alone, not something to be quoted in a novel. And, By the way, it is not the Dominican (that is a person), it is the Dominican Republic, the DR. Tell your friend to start there first, by paying a major visit. Writing a novel should be firsthand. IMHO. Hope I haven’t upset you, because that’s not my intention, just MHO again, for what it’s worth!!


My apolgies for using the rhetoric "the Dominican" as that is the lingo that I have always heard from people I know when they are going or have gone. I stand corrected :slight_smile:

As for the novel - it is not the great canadian work of art - it is actually a romance novel (hopefully for others like myself to read on the beach and compare :slight_smile: ) and the information that is being sought is definately “heresay”. Someone’s experiences - personal sights sounds and smells are exactly what we want. Obviously her own personal experiences would be better - however finances dictate against a trip to the dominican republic anytime in the near future.

Obviously those who do not wish their own personal opinions to be printed in a novel do not have to respond to this posting, those who do respond have been informed in the initial posting, and again here, that the reason the question was asked was to solicit first hand memories of the sights, sounds and smells (preferably good ones lol) of various people to expand the information base (as various areas of the DR are requested) to use in a published novel.

I appreciate your opinion MissyD, however, I hope that others have a different opinion and would not object to having their memories paraphrased by my friend.



Merengue, right from the moment you board the tour bus at the airport. ;D I love it…


The ever-present smell of gas fumes from the buses and moto-conchos…



Hi Sunaddict. I know you mean well, but if your friend is a serious writer she should visit the DR herself to soak up the sounds, sights and smells. I also write for a living and know how difficult it is to describe something from second-hand information. Hey, maybe she could write the trip off as a business expense :wink:


mmmm…the smell of humidity the minute you get off of the plane…the sound of a local band beating the dahdahdahdahdum on the 4th count of every bar as soon as you enter the airport in Punta Cana…the sight of green and purple and fushia on arrival…the quenching taste of the first of many golden drops of presidente as you sit at the bar for the first time…the feel of bright white sand between your toes as you walk along the beach, and the enveloping warmth of the people who always say “Hola”.
How’s that?


It is very difficult to write about a location when one has never been there and be IMO believeable by others who have, I am not saying it can’t be done or hasn’t been done, but it just doesn’t seem right to me.

The descriptions others have posted are so true, but everyone has their own special/meaningful memories. Best to go if one can-check for last minute deals, quite a few out there at any given time.

Possible write-off would be great, put it down to research!
Good luck!


Thanks RobandStacey and OttawaTom - that helps alot.

To the others - my friend is writing the book. She can’t go. I am going - I am going in may actually - but she doesn’t want just one persons, even her own, opinion - the more the merrier. I understand others concerns about the quality - but we shall leave that up to her publishers, editors and anyone who decides whether or not to buy/read the book.

Although I appreciate the advice to go - obviously we have all thought of that and if it was possible it would be done. She IS a "serious writer" but not every "serious writer" has the finances or abilty to go on vacation- even when the vacation is on sale.


I don’t know how to tell you about the sites the sounds the smells,but i’ll try,sites…your first glimps as the plane starts to land,the little band at the airport, the smiles of the customs people,the hustle and bustle of people as you leave for your transportation,wether it be to a resort or a 3 hour trip to samana penn. Then the traffic,the country side in full bloom,the coast line,Sounds… horns blarning at a intersection, the hola’s ,cheapie,cheapie,make me happy,99 per cent off,Smells… from the stench of garbage to the fragrance of night time jasmine,the smell of the sea,i don’t really know how to explain what it is to draw me back to the dr. but both you and your friend are going to have to go and experence it,especially your friend THEN ,your friend can write a book that has the dr in it…


one little sight-sound-smell that I have tucked away in my memory: 6:30 AM, still fairly dark outside, walking down the pathway towards the beach…the air heavy with the night’s dampness and the rich smell of vegetation and evening flowers, air warm on my skin, the sky just starting to lighten up a little. The occasional click-clicking of the palm leaves overhead. From the darkness a gentle voice saying Hola, habla espagnol? I look up to see the night guard leaning on a tree, a bit tired from having wandered around the property by himself all night. Hola, pocito espagnol senor. Buenos dias senora. As i get closer to the ocean I can hear the thumping and shooshing of the waves as they hit the sand. Sit down with my coffee on a deckchair, dew from the tips of the palapa dripping on my knees…smelling the sea air and watching the sky as the sun peeks out behind the horizon. More and more people appear - stumbling through the soft white sand and we all sit and wait to see the sun rise…silently feeling the rays hit our faces…and the day begins.


!Hola amiga, caramba! Dios la bendiga!- You should be writing! Your descriptions are so vivid, feel as if I am there along with you. I still believe that one has to have experienced the DR (or any country) for one to fully give credibility to the locale/sensations that one is immersed in. You have expressed yourself succintly.

Si, muy bien!


That was pretty good SEACHICK1 you should be writing the book…


Smiles of the Customs people?? ;D

Which airport? I’ve never seen a more sullen bunch of public servants as those guys (outside of Ottawa that is)… :stuck_out_tongue:

This is both at POP and PUJ.

One more sound:

“Hey, Amigo! Come into my shop! It’s happy hour!!”



They usually light up like christmas lights when they see you been to the dr before…that is at pop and sdq