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Thread: DR Christmas Visit

  1. #1
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    Default DR Christmas Visit

    Dec 16 Arrived La Romana. My husband's friend took me to the apartment I rented to wind down for a week in Bayahibe (Tamarindo Dominicus). My hubby was worried that the gifts (perfume, clothes) might have been stolen from my luggage but all arrived and his friend told me there had been a huge drug bust 2 days before (I think he said 1500 kg cocaine and 15 people arrested) so every one was on their toes. At the last luggage check point the security woman asked me for a large document /piece of paper that I was supposed to have but no one had given me; no problem she waved me through. The apartment complex and area was great for relaxing and reading. I was stress free within a couple of days. Bayahibe Dominicus is like a little Italy, with my rudimentary spanish (mostly present tense) english, french and german I had no problems.

    Dec 19 Dominican hubby arrives in Punta Cana with a plane load of tourists who all get waved through immigration. He gets called over by an immigration officer who immediately says "what are you giving me for Christmas? give me, give me, give me" (sounds better in spanish). He gave her $10 US and got waved through. The Russian fellow he was seated with, and talking to, got so unnerved that he and all other tourists steered clear of him afterwards. He always makes sure his brother in law is working when he arrives in Punta Cana so that no one takes stuff from his luggage and/or has more payoffs to make.
    Hubby stops in Higuey to drink his duty free Black Label with cousins and a couple of friends before arriving in Bayahibe very late and very drunk (BTW he had a driver). Point of this comment is that the next day when he called his mother in San Pedro to say he'd be a little late he got the nth degree about what was he doing in Higuey drinking the previous night. (One of the friends called his own mother in San Pedro and she naturally had to go to my mother in laws and tell her.) There are no secrets on this Island.

    Dec 21 while alone again I decided to take a tour to Saona as I always wanted to go and in my 8 years of traveling back and forth never went there. It was interesting and well done (Seavis Tours) but I realized that even though I am a gringa I have become part Dominican. After traveling around the island with husband and family to cities and campo alike a tour of a Dominican village (ManoJuan) is not anything new to me. I enjoyed the telephone tree (they have to climb for cell phone reception) and hearing that after the tree recently made the news, Claro installed a pay phone. It was good to see that they are trying to save the sea turtles as I was told there only 24 of one species left in the Strait. I spoke to a few locals and ended up getting a contact for a cheaper trip if I ever wanted to come again, not that I asked...We went to a private beach further east of ManoJuan and there was one vacation house there. Our guide said “the property "canto de la Playa" was given to the doctor (I believe his name was George Marion, a Frenchman) of the dictator Trujillo as a reward for the treatments he received. The property is currently owned by the family which owns Central Romana Company, the sugar company (this company owns 30% of all the land in the DR)”.

    Dec 22 hubby returns to Bayahibe for a little R & R before we pick up his son/my stepson next day in La Romana for Christmas with family. We walked around the little town and over to the Tracadero Beach Club to check out the salt water pools (impressive), sunset and some seafood snacks (YUM). We were the only ones there but apparently it is hopping every Friday night.

    Dec 23 call hubby's cousin who is supposed to pick us up to go to airport and also drive son to the campo NW of Hato Mayor. No answer, no answer.... Now we have to rent a car, none available here, there... Finally get one for our last 5 days. Gas tank is empty but assured there is enough gas to make it up to the highway to buy some and there was. We head to airport and I’m surprised at how many people we know getting off the plane. Head to San Pedro (SP) and family. Woohoo!

    Dec 24 To the SP market to buy the Christmas pork with sister in law and neighbour who was once a butcher there. We get to the meat area and he grabs a huge knife and cuts the back end off the pig that was lying there (looked just like the pig in Matilda’s blog). The girls head off to get some chickens, veggies and rest of stuff. I never saw the mercado so jam packed. Get home dress the meat and then have to drive it to the bakery to get it all baked in their oven (700 DOP) Wow they do a good business on the 24th as it was also hopping. Later head to Jumbo to buy some more chairs for my suagra's patio (Holy moly, Forget it too many people - worse than Canada on the 24th). Next we drive (Nephew driver Speedy Gonzalez) up to campo in the foothills outside of Hato Mayor to take stepson to his grandmother's place. Of course we have to eat a little there, pick mandarins and chinas to take back to the city. Get back to SP and eat again (pork, and tons more) with about 25 family members. YUM! I have now gained about 5 lbs.

    Dec 25 family, lots of visitors, good food, rum, Presidentes and much laughter.

    Dec 26 same as above and also Malecon at night and watched salsa competition. More food, drinks and especially laughter. Hired workers to replace wooden back door at house with new vinyl or steel?? door and repaired various cement steps, walls. We both got manicures and pedicures while watching the workers and visiting with family and friends.

    Dec 27 More of above and hubby and I go to the wholesale to get my 12 lbs of Santo Domingo coffee, 1000s of Gillette blades for his barbershop here in Canada as well as 70 lbs of rice and mountains of toilet paper and various other items for my mother in laws house. Buy our rum, Dominican fudge, mamajuana, vanilla and other goodies for Canada. Call friend who is supposed to drive us to airport and take rental car back; no answer no answer no answer, make alternative arrangements with Speedy Gonzalez nephew to drive us and return car.

    Dec 28 get up early and take an adavan (valium) with my coffee so I am relaxed in car ride to Punta Cana. As we were speeding along passing everyone (nephew is an extremely good and safe driver just very fast) I did wonder aloud to my husband what the point was of wearing a seat belt. If we got in an accident and I was not ejected from the car, they probably don’t have the jaws of life to cut me out of the car and I would die there instead of out of the car. Quickly arrive in Higuey, buy cheese for Canada, check flight and it is an hour late. We have time to take to the scenic route (Otra Banda) to Bavaro. A few miles along the way we are stopped by 4 military types, again asking about Christmas presents, 200 DOP later we are on our way. Stopped in Ceiba?? for a delicious fish lunch and a game or two of pool before heading to the airport. Said good bye to another nephew who was on his way to work and off we go.

    Arrive airport and give nephew instructions on rental car drop off location in Bayahibe. Airport check-in no problem – security check – my husband gets stopped and they want to take his cheese and they check each bag of coffee. (Our suitcases were too heavy and we had to put it all in the carry on.) After 5-10 minutes we were free to go without having to relinquish any coffee or cheese. My husband had had enough by then and I had to tell him to calm down. Flight is fine and we arrive in Ottawa -20 BRRRR! Husband calls home from taxi to find out nephew had just got home as he was escorted to jail until step son wired 3000 DOP from SP to cover scratch on rental car.

    Dec 29 Back to work and wishing we were still in the DR.

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  3. #2
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    Great trip report! Thanks for sharing.

    Matilda

  4. #3
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    Good report. Thanks for sharing.

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