Life is Better!
Trip Start Sep 13, 2008
8Trip End Sep 20, 2008
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I was returning the towels at the time, but Sara said they made no effort to change her mind.
We paid up (I think they ended up charging us $40 a day), and took off in a cab for the Punta Cana Resort and Club. We thought it was a half an hour or so, but it turned out to be nearly 2 hours away! That would have been fine except that I was sucking down water the whole time. Oops.
The terrain was beautiful - cattle pastures, sugarcane fields, blue mountains in the distance. In the towns we saw dozens of blue-shirted students, people selling cassava and other produce by the roads, little stores with slabs of meat and strings of sausages hung up outside... And then we were pulled over at some kind of checkpoint.
I was sitting behind the driver and could see very little at first. Then I saw several men dressed head to toe in black, carrying weapons, with black ski masks and serious eyes. I felt the icy pricklings of fear, but the cab driver didn't seem terribly concerned. They looked around in the van, checked the seat pockets, told us to get out, told us to stay in, then finally made us get out and take our suitcases out of the trunk. They made Sara rummage through hers so they could see the contents, then let us get back in the cab and leave. I was scared for a few reasons - I wasn't sure they were official (not some rebel group - does Dominica have rebel groups?), and I was afraid we'd be targeted because we were Americans. I was particularly nervous when I opened my suitcase and saw the headlines from The Washington Post peeping out of my suitcase pocket. I learned later that Sara was confident we'd be waved through because we were Americans. Such different perspectives!
Anyway, we were allowed to leave after this rather perfunctory search (for drugs?). I vowed never to tell my mother about the incident, but I guess if I give her the link to this blog...
We were delighted with the new property as soon as we turned in. We proceeded down a long, lushly vegetated drive to the reception area, which was decorated with bowls of pods and things from indigenous plants. The property is huge and includes an ecological preserve and associated educational displays, a marina, a golf course, several pools, several nice restaurants, a spa, beautiful landscaping, wide beaches with hammocks and a lovely little two story, open air, thatched hut out over the ocean. Transportation is by foot, bike, or golf cart.
We were greeted with a smile, fruit punch served in champagne classes, and the same rate we discussed on the phone! Our "room" was two stories, with a living area and bath downstairs and a bedroom and bath upstairs.
We had lunch, explored, hung out at the pool, discovered there was free WiFi, and constantly exclaimed over how wonderful the place was and how glad we were to have moved! We got a crazy golf cart ride from Guillermo, who was tipped handsomely, and had dinner in the building with the spa/clubhouse.
At the end of our dinner, it started dumping down rain, which delayed our plans to get home. Sara and I had had a disagreement, so she was off doing I-don't-know-what while I was talking to the waiter, Hector, while we waited for the golf cart. He told me about his family and Santo Domingo and what he likes about the Dominican Republic. He recommended his favorite rum (which I saw in the hotel bar later but didn't ever try) and invited Sara and me to come out with him and his friends after work, but I turned him down.
Home and to bed.
Where I stayed