at Caribbean Sea
at last we left US... We've got 2 weeks off finally! And we just enjoyed
at Santana Beach resort in Dominican Republic.
Dominican republic is situated on Haiti island. Atlantic ocean is on the
north of the island and Caribbean sea is on the south. We flew from NY
(JFK) to Santo Domingo (capital). It took about 3.5 hours. You know there
is a big contrast between rainy NJ and hot sunny Dominican republic.
At first you think it's too hot but after while you like it...
Our travel agent met us in the airport and we drove to our hotel. It's
about 1 hour from the airport on the south coast. We drove through several
villages/towns which are very different from US. It's quite a shock to
see poor small houses, dirty streets and trash everywhere, a lot of people
ride motorbikes and ... weird drivers. Everybody passes everybody, continuously
honking and etc. Even a guy from NY told that he doesn't want to drive
But the hotels are different, they are actually resorts separated from
the outside. Most of them have guarded entrance. We lived in the Santana
Beach resort, 5-star hotel. We had all-inclusive package, it means all
food, drinks (alcoholic too), sports, and other facilities are free! The
food was very good, we had a big buffet 3 times a day, also there was a
restaurant near swimming pool what works from 10am till 5pm. You can go
there anytime you want and eat, eat, eat :) Mike liked it a lot.
The food was delicious and served well. There are 3 restaurants where you
can have dinner free (Italian, Mexican or seafood). The swimming pool was
giant and it had a bar nearby , so you can sit in the pool and drink Bahama
English is enough to communicate but of course if you want to go outside
yourself Spanish is very much needed. When we arrived we felt very strange
because everybody was speaking Spanish and joking about something but we
didn't understand that at all!
The weather was hot but in the afternoon we had a small rain and this is
good actually. Once we've been in a trip on the Saona Island and sun was
so bright during a day that next day we had a terrible sunburn... (protection
lotion didn't help). The water was very warm about 28C, like milk, you
can swim there a whole day!
So, during these 12 days we were eating, drinking, swimming, touring the
country and ... and DIVING!
Yes, we both took a special Open Water diver course. We had practice lessons
in the pool and then we had dives in the sea. It was exciting! It was little
bit scary at first time but then it's just exciting. There are a lot of
colorful fish, corrals, shells and etc. Underwater experience was just
like I saw in the movies before. In the last day after we got our certificates
we made 2 more dives at the other dive site locations. We've been down
there at 18 meters. So, we decided next time we have a vacation at a resort
we'll dive again and again! Last dive we even took a special underwater
camera with us and made photos during a dive.
Also Mike tried wind-surfing, he liked very much, so next time he is going
to improve his skills :*) I tried water ski and it was exciting too, next
time... Also we did kayaking, banana riding and etc.
Besides that we went on a tour to Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican
Republic. We saw a house of Columbus's son there. As you maybe know Columbus
discovered Haiti first. Dominicans remember him and have several monuments.
The city has some big buildings, especially official ones, it even has
a university there but the living districts are dirty and mostly poor except
of some places ( I guess new rich Dominicans). Besides this trip we've
been on the truck safari, we drove through the Haiti island to the northern
coast. We were riding horses (very cool) and swimming in the Atlantic ocean.
It has much bigger waves than Caribbean sea that you can jump on them.
As you can see these
12 days passed so quickly and it was sad to leave...
Created: December 14, 2001