Back from Paradise: Report

Keith&Cris

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Aug 22, 2002
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Never, after having returned from any other vacation, have I fallen into a black funk like this! I've been back two days, and it's all I can do to keep from rushing back to the airport and booking a one-way ticket to Dominican Republic (though I understand you can't buy a one-way ticket .. is that true?)
Cris and I spent two weeks at Riu Bachata on the north coast, 5 Km west of Puerto Plata. The resort is gorgeous, the staff are wonderful (especially Rapheal and Laydy), the food is plentiful, varied and excellent, the animation team is superb (especially Spaghetty!), the beach is to-die-for, and we had a 3rd floor room with a view of the pool, the mountains and the ocean! It was paradise!
But the best part was getting out of the resort and into the countryside. Already my heart aches to go home to DR!
The people are so friendly... the sweet smiles on the faces of the most beautiful children on earth as they giggle at my attempts to speak to them in their own language. The curious, open stares of people on the roadside that evaporate into huge smiles as you wave to them and shout, "Ola!". The shy permission given when you ask a young girl if you may take her picture, and the white-toothed smile that splashes across her face when you show her her picture on the back of your digital camera. Glimpses of narrow passages between rough concrete block homes where children and dogs played between the legs of a woman sweeping the hard parked earth. Small pyramids of rubbish piled neatly along the roadside. Motorcycles spewing blue smoke, competing with trucks, SUV's, tour buses, pickup trucks laden with fruit and donkeys laden with everything else, for space on a highway that has no lines, but has as many driving lanes as and when necessary. Roadside vendors offering everything from colouful carved birds to alcohol to strings of oranges. Fields of sugarcane and tobacco. Palm trees, white birds and blue sky everywhere. Children of all ages, wearing blue shirts and khaki pants going seemingly in every direction at all times of the day. People walking here and there, standing around here and there, some waiting to cross the highway, others standing idle, chatting amidst six, seven or ten motorcycles leaning idle on their kickstands. And everyone impecably dressed... clean, neat and
right-on fashion!
We met Michael at the pool. He was letting guests take a free scuba dive in the Riu Bachata pool, hoping to (and often successfully) signing them up for scuba lessons. He's also a realtor and property manager in the Puerto Plata area. What a nice guy! Open, honest and very knowledgeable of the area. Anyone looking to purchase real estate or rent on the north coast should contact Michael Muller (809)854-2353.
We also met Hillbilly! We had arranged to bus down to Santiago to meet with Hillbilly, but this didn't work out. We were fortunate enough to hook up with him on the day we left DR. We had a short visit at Riu Bachata, and I came away wishing very much that we had gotten together earlier. He's the kind of guy you could sit down and chat with for a short time, and come away feeling like you've known him your whole life.
I liked him very much.
We went to Sosua, did the glass-bottom boat trip. I scuba dived at Sosua later on - fantastic! The beach is great, the water superb!
We went to Paradise Island ... the fish, coral reef, boat ride, grass huts - what a fantastic trip ... everything from the long bus trip out, to the fantastic snorkeling there .. it was great!
A Tarantula walked up my arm. A Boa Constrictor wrapped itself around my neck. I ate Mangos fresh off the tree. I walked in a cactus forest. I met children who looked at me with eyes full of wonder (I've not seen this look in a child's eyes since my own children were in diapers). I swam in water that was clean, clear and didn't smell of oil. I met people who were genuinely happy to see me - not for what I might do for them, but simply because I was there.
I have fallen in love with a country that I feel fell in love with me. I will go back ... again and again and again. And one day, Dominican Republic will be my home.
 

johnsr

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Apr 13, 2002
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Excellent!! You managed to put into words the exact feelings that we had upon the return home from each of our trips to the Dominican Republic. As I tried to make the point in my review that it is the people, more than the lovely resort, that keep us counting the days until our next trip! By the way that would be 68 days :)
Thank you for such an eloquent report!
John
 

Tony Cabrera

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Sep 24, 2002
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Hello, Keith&Cris, you truly discribe, how (we dominican) really are, and I thank you for that.
gracias
Tony cabrera
 

jose?to

The thread finally snapped...
Jun 19, 2002
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Keith&Cris,

You seem to have captured the essence of our people. Your report is very eloquent and I thank you for it. As a Dominican who has lived in the US for quite a while, I am also looking forward to the days when I can go back home.

Jose?to
 

MommC

On Vacation!
Mar 2, 2002
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dr1.com
Ahhhh yes! Another one bites the dust!! I don't think I've ever heard so clearly how one feels about the island.
 

puppylove

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Nov 24, 2002
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Keith, you put into works how I felt when I visited DR! It brought back memories and tears of joy....

Sharon
 

Art Covey

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Jan 2, 2002
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Welcome to the world of the doomed !

You will now be forced to visit DR1 daily to read other trip reports as you plan and scheme on how to return. You will face STRONG withdrawl pains as the days pass without a return flight booked and no firm return date. You will read EVERY Trip Report with envy, as I read your report and wish "PLEASE ME NEXT" NOW you are truely DOOMED.
GREAT REPORT, wish it was me!
Art
 

Tony Cabrera

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Sep 24, 2002
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Keith&Cris, there is nothing to analyzed, we dominican have it in
our heart, and when nice people like yourself step your feet onto
our soil it is go straight to your heart. Hope one day you move to
our DR!!.
Thans
Tony
 

MommC

On Vacation!
Mar 2, 2002
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Impossible to analyze!! It must just be enjoyed to the fullest - again and again and again and ..............ad nauseum!
 

Jan

Active member
Jan 3, 2002
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www.colonialzone-dr.com
Brought tears to my eyes when I read your report. This is why I had to move here to live I hope forever. Noone from home understood why I had to be here. But I'm here and so glad I made the decission.
My mom is coming to visit me I hope in Feb. then she hopefully will see why I left my home, friends and family to live in my new home. This is my home now!
 

Escott

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Jan 14, 2002
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I never am in a funk about coming home. I have my next trip already schedualed before I depart to the DR or at least one in the Future. I went on Thanksgiving for a week but had a Christmas trip already booked as I also have a Samana Santa trip booked even now to look forward to.

Trust me you never feel the funk this way when another trip is just over the horizon.

Check out American Airlines last minute fare if it applies to you where you live. They are great for a 5 day trip out of the blue.
 

hollywood north

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Dec 11, 2002
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Back from Paradise

oh....you have so succinctly described EXACTLY how I feel every time I return....I cry on every flight home, (have to exlain to the flight attendants it's NOT about a man!!!) Unlike Jazz, who is so fortunate, I cannot always have the return trip on the horizon.

It truly is a land I love and reading the posts and participating on the board at least helps me feel in touch.

Although I travel to many opther countries, I never feel so sad as when I leave DR. And never so happy as when I land there again!

dubld-hoping to see mi pais preferido soon!
 

H_ey

New member
Dec 22, 2002
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Phew.......i thought i was slightly strange when i came back from DR in Nov 02 cause I felt so sad!!!! But now that i have read all of your reports I can breathe a sigh of relief that I am infact quite normal!!! I had the most amazing holiday and I have been recommending anyone (including complete strangers!) to go there on their hols!

One of the things I truly loved was the way the locals are so proud of their country and so appreciative that people come to visit, they make you feel so welcome - that is definately one thing that England is lacking.

I will definately be trying to go back asap.
 

JanH

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Dec 26, 2002
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Your first paragraph summed up what my husband and I felt both times we went to the DR this year. We have been back home in Kentucky for 3 weeks and we are still depressed. Couldn't get in spirit of decorating for xmas - did the minimal thing.

We have definitely decided to buy a vacation home around the Sousua area when we go back in February. We're staying 2 weeks this time and have already lined up several realtors, based on houses we've chosen off their internet site.

When we went in November, we fell in love with the Dominicans. They are not only friendly and laid back, but have a deep respect for others. They are very courteous to tourists and among themselves. Regardless how poor they are, we never saw any with tatty clothes. Everyone looked clean and even though they sat on the front porch of a metal shack, they were happy. We in America have no idea how to be satisfied with the way we live and just be happy.

We hired a driver from the resort (Casa de Campo) and rented a car. He spoke pretty good english. He surprised us at the end of the trip by showing us his home. His wife came out to the porch and said hi. He was so proud of his home (very small), but said they had just come from a 2-room house. We were so moved. I think that was the turning point for us. We are now on a mission to buy the vacation house and eventually when we retire in 5 years, we will buy a larger house and live there 6 mos out of the year.

Thanks for being so eloquent with your trip report - I couldn't have written as well.
 

Keith&Cris

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Aug 22, 2002
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Two weeks later and my black funk hasn't lessened one bit!
JanH - my thoughts exactly ... I can not get RD out of my mind! We will be buying a place there for sure ... and living in paradise at least from November to March each year. That is my plan.
If you have time, please call Michael Muller at 809.854-2353... he's a very nice fellow, knowledgeable about north coast real estate and has quite a few contacts you might find helpful.
Right now, I feel as though I am away from home. I feel displaced. And I ache to get back home.