From the capital, today we go to Baní. Alexis drives the car to what they call Esquina Caliente: 27 de Febrero Avenue and Isabel Aguiar. On the road, a man offers his merchandise on a tray: pilones, roquetas and masitas. Long time no see! We entered Santo Domingo Oeste.
We drive along the highway until we decide to take the old Sanchez highway (it is in good condition), to cross through the center of San Cristobal. After passing the bridge over the Nigua River we are greeted by an impressive monument: Monumento a los Constituyentes, in the Plaza 6 de Noviembre. On that date, in 1884, in San Cristóbal, 33 men signed the first Constitution of the Dominican Republic. We continue our journey to a traffic circle with a bust. He must be one of the heroes,” says Alexis, but as we cannot stop, we do not catch any names. Years ago, Alexis recalls, he used to come to this city to buy some famous sheet cakes.
From Constitución Avenue we reach Autopista 6 de Noviembre, or Autopista del Sur. The route projects the greenery of bushes and palm trees and in a stretch, on one side and the other, sugar cane fields. Yaguate, Semana Santa… are some of the names that appear on the route. Approaching the area from where one can turn off to go to the Valdesia dam, my son comments that ‘they said that there were sulfurous waters in which Trujillo bathed’. Maybe it is true, but I don’t know it. In the distance, the mountains are silhouetted.
Already in the area of Paya, near the city of Baní, several fruit stands stand out on the left, where mangoes of different sizes and colors are the most popular. After all, Baní’s mango is famous, and the province of Peravia is home to the largest amount of mangoes in the country.
On the way back we will get off to take pictures of them and we will also go into the Dulcería Las Marías’, my son tells me. Before, when I bought dulce de leche, I used to ask for ‘Paya’s’. The Las Marías brand was not there yet. The truth is that Paya is a center for the production of sweets of different categories, according to the City Hall website. (We bought ‘deditos de novia’ filled with guava. Delicious!). And in Paya, every July there is a traditional horse race dedicated to San Santiago. I just found out about it.
The municipal district of Paya, in Baní, province of Peravia, has an endemic palm considered unique in the world. It is known as guanito de Paya, guanito manso or guanito barrigón (Source: Baní City Hall website).