After my 25 hours in the air and airports and a guilt trip laid upon me by a WestJet staffer for not giving up my seat so a family could sit together (I planned ahead and wanted THAT seat, they didn't prebook...how does that make me wrong?), we landed uneventfully at La Romana. Processed the forms (they've added a new one since August) and luggage collection (airport staff removes the luggage as it appears on the carousel so you just have to walk up and take yours, no waiting for the spinning wheel), I boarded the bus with the biggest bunch of complainers I've had the privilege of traveling with. One bright faced girl got on after them remarking on how wonderful it all was and I embraced her as my own. It was fun having a friend for the drive since the 25 minutes turned into about 2 hours. As we approached the Chavon represa, we found a traffic incident. One of those big gas trucks had lost power and was stalled--in the middle of the road--just a bit down the hill from this: …webshots.com/photo/2397396150064234328TbiWfs It stopped traffic both ways for over an hour as a grader tried to push it off the road. We were stopped pretty much exactly at this spot …webshots.com/photo/2137196500064234328uexkRN so had a great view of it all, made better when we all got out of the bus to hang out roadside with a varied cross section of road travelers.
I arrived at Cadaques Caribe after sunset because of this so found a lovely little village of buildings without much meaning to me at this point so I enjoyed my "first night at a new hotel" feeling of disorientation and getting lost. I find that's the best way to find the shortcuts and to know for sure which paths NOT to take while looking for the correct one.
This is a new non-All Inclusive property of apartments. It's relatively small so there aren't a bunch of people buzzing around, very peaceful and tranquil but those I've encountered seem up for a good time (it was karaoke night on the beach). I had a grilled chicken breast with a few grilled veggies which was all extremely delightful when beside the beach and watching a profile of Dominican musicians on the big screen. As a non AI, I had to pay $2 for the water I got with dinner. Not surprising, but good to know. They include the tip and tax (a total of 26%) in the price that is quoted on the bill they present.
The apartment that I was lucky enough to secure sleeps 5, has a kitchen, living room, dining table, bathroom with shower (with hot water which isn't always a given in off-resort accommodations), a good amount of storage and a most charming loft bedroom up a flight of stairs. It's beautifully appointed with one of my favourite themes and certainly appropriate for what it is...representations of the water world. There are lots of shells and lighthouses and fish and seaweed and warm sand colours. It goes for $80 a night. Of course I'll have pictures to share! It is located between jungle on one side and the National Park on the other. Pricier than the resorts, but for an exclusive place like this is, it's not surprising (again) that the internet is $20 a day or $50 a week. I'm about to watch a friend's group performing through a live stream so being able to catch that pays for the internet cost in itself.
The staff seems great, but I expected nothing less. Repecion speaks great English but the dining room servers seem to not speak any. (English is about the 4th used language in this area of Bayahibe.) The menu is entirely in Spanish and the quoted prices are in pesos. I've seen one fellow who used to work at Dreams La Romana, making the place feel familiar and homey.
I'm here until February 4 when I move on to the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace.