23/05 – 30/05 2010 Dreadlock holiday/Island Style
My flight from Lima to Miami is uneventful apart from me having a stinking cold, experiencing a bit of turbulence and getting a grilling at US immigration and being asked how I felt about the new Conservative government. Miami has to have the dullest airport that I have ever been in and if I liked shopping, I would be incredibly disappointed and it didn’t help that my flight to Punta Cana was delayed.
The humidity hits as soon as I get out of the aeroplane and the airport itself is just a big grass hut, but a rather nice one at that. The luggage takes ages to arrive (island time) but Ig was there to meet me and I was whisked off to her lovely flat not far from the airport. By this time I was feeling decidedly ropy and I head off to bed and I didn’t get up until 11am the next morning.
The DR shares the island of Hispaniola with the Republic of Haiti. Its 48,734 square kilometres encompasses tropical rainforests, soaring mountain ranges, mangrove swamps and several hundred kilometres of Caribbean coast. It has close to 9 million residents and the population is a mix of African and European ancestry and there is also a sizable Russian mob here. Literally.
Punta Cana is situated on the east coast of the DR and boasts a 40 km stretch of hotels and beach resorts and it is known as an honeymooners island so I hope that I didn’t pass on my cold to the couple sitting next to me on the ‘plane. Although this would be the worst of their worries as it is now Wednesday and it has virtually rained non-stop since I got here (not that they will be venturing out the of the hotel room, I’d imagine) but I cannot say that I am that bothered as it is nice to be in one place for a while, catch up on my reading and get rid of my cold. I managed to have a dip in the sea yesterday whilst swigging a beer, so life isn’t that bad. We also went to see Ig’s husband’s photography exhibition which was very good and has given me inspiration to do something with my photography.Ig’s son is dying to take me surfing at the weekend, so that is something to look forward to as I didn’t have time to do it in Oz or NZ.
The next day and in-between rain showers, we visit the local market and I buy some nice colourful paintings and we also stop off at an organic food stall run by the Foundation which also houses some bee hives and two of them belong to Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta as they both have private mansions on the island (‘celebreeties’). This is not known as an agricultural region due to its dry temperature and lack of soil but the Ecological Foundation is taking advantage of organic waste produced in gardens and in the local kitchens to make compost to grow organic vegetables. The Foundation has initiated worm composting to increase compost production, as well as the producing the honey.
There are some lovely colourful road side shops and small eateries but unfortunately because of the weather, I am unable to take some photos. Ig’s husband stops off at one of the stalls and we buy some beers to have on the balcony of the flat and watch the ‘planes go by:it’s all quite fascinating as you can see them coast down the runway just above the trees and they look like shark fins.
It’s Thursday and I had thought about heading down to the capital, Santo Domingo, but since I am still trying to shift my cold and the weather was looking grim, I might as well hang put. Besides, after being on the go for the two and a half months, I really feel like some down time and as it happens, it is a nice sunny day and it means I can see a bit of more this area in the sun! I cannot believe that my world trip has nearly come to an end and I have to go back to Londres and ensconce myself into reality but before I have to think of that, I take a dip in the complex pool and see a ‘sundog’ and it’s the first one I have seen and it’s quite incredible. I see it as a good sign and when I get a chance to check my emails, I find that I have an interview with an American firm for a law job, so finger’s crossed.