Finally, my expectations and reality have converged in the Dominican Republic. Rio San Juan, on the DR's north coast, is everything Bavaro was not. Quiet. Charming. People here going about their lives rather than trying to hustle me into trinket shops.
Our ride from Santo Domingo took about 4 hours, crossing from the south of the island to the north. When I saw people playing baseball on dirt fields instead of all inclusive resorts I knew this was going to be an upgrade.
Best of all is our hotel, Bahia Blanca. It is literally on the sea, built on an outcropping of rock that juts into the Atlantic between two bays. My room is on the third story. Open the front door and there is ocean as far as you can see. Out the back door, a balcony and more ocean.
Now to set off to explore this charming little town. Still trying to get photos uploaded.