Although we got out and beach walked every day of our stay, we are finally getting into more energetic mode. Sunday we walked to the upscale mall and wandered about. Very designer, all I bought was a sun hat for $48 US (which I later saw in a store close to our hotel for $20 US) oops 🙂 All worth it though, because we were on a BIG walk and my forehead needed some protection! We decided to take the beach route home, but first stopped at a beach restaurant/bar for a cold pineapple juice and some um….welll…not sure what they were for a snack and then beach walked back to the hotel. Managed to get over 20,000 steps on my fit bit that day.
Monday we needed cash and amazingly so there are no ATM’s close at hand. We had originally thought we had passed one about 1.5 km away and walked to that…they told us the nearest one would require a bus or taxi ride. We opted to walk and luckily there was a shady side of the street because it was a few km away. Found the Scotiabank ATM, found a ‘rest’ room, then stopped for a delicious fresh juice – I had pineapple, Johnny had tamarindo. We decided to take the ‘local’ bus home – 40 pesos each (about $1.35 CDN). We prefer to walk or take local styles of travel when we can.
Simply insert ‘went to the beach’ for each of the above days. FYI, not sure if you know this but we are beach people, not pool people. We love the sand, the surf and the sea swimming. I personally can not figure out why people want to sit around the pool where it is generally much warmer. I also find that most of the smokers are the pool people at this hotel, so it is definitely not my favourite place to be. Speaking of smoking, one of my least favourite smells in the world is the smell of a cigar, almost makes me sick to my stomach. Of course, cigar making/selling is a big thing here (as it is in Cuba) and everywhere I go there is the stench of cigar *blahhhhhh*.
Tuesday (yesterday), we did a tour called Outback Safari. We were picked up at the hotel at 8:35 a.m. in a big safari style open air bus and headed off to the hills/mountains to get a taste of rural Dominican life. A fellow named Angel was our guide and he was terrific. This tour company is highly organized, very safety aware and runs everything like clockwork. They are very interested in relating the history of the DR, explaining the people, their lifestyles. Well worth it. We travelled through small villages (many of my photos were taken from the bus), we stopped at an area run by the tour company with an area which housed local animals (and some not so local), examples of all the different species of trees, a cigar making demo, and an introduction to the rums and wines of the region, all quite enlightening. We had a terrific meal and then headed off to the homes of some locals. One family worked to produce coffee beans and cocao, another family coconut oil. We were shown the various processes required to produce all of these things.
During the Outback Safari tour we encountered road construction on a narrow dirt road. Our amazing driver Yuma managed to squeeze the bus between the edge of the road and the construction vehicles and a big school bus, the school bus had to flatten it’s mirrors and we must have been 1″ away from it…amazing really….a LOT of cheering once we cleared the area.
After that we headed to a beach on the outskirts of Punta Cana for some boogie boarding (or just jumping around int he surf as I don’t seem to be much of a boarder 🙂
Now that the Christmas/New Year rush is over the hotel has become a bit calmer, less people….this is a good thing 🙂
OH, did I mention we did go out to a restaurant for dinner on Monday night? We elected to go to an Italian style restaurant (very unusual for us), pasta was great, wine was better…it was nice to eat outside the hotel for sure.
That’s it…no plans we have 3 more days here and for a change we might go to the beach 🙂 LOL