Sunday, 24 January 2010

A Rocky Start

I LIVE!!!!

That's really saying something too, by the way.  Yikkes, this trip got off to a bit of a bumpy start my friends.  We got to Pearson airport at around 3:45 Saturday morning, figuring that we were giving ourselves plenty of time for a 6:20 flight.  The line-up at the Skyservice check-in counter was UNREAL!  By the time we got to the check-in counter it was 5:00 and we noticed that the conveyor belt behind them that transports luggage to the waiting planes was inoperative.  The luggage was just being stacked haphazardly in front of the counter.  I thought to myself "Exquisite, I'm going to arrive in the Dominican Republic without any luggage."  We got our bags checked and proceded through a fairly quick and straight-forward security point and got to our gate with 40 minutes to spare... cutting it pretty close by airport standards.  We boarded the plane at around 6:00 in fairly standard fashion.  At 6:20 when we were expecting to take off we were informed, unsurprisingly, that there would be a take-off delay due to problems with the airport's baggage loading system.  We were there on the plane sitting at the gate for an hour and a half waiting for them to load our baggage, until eventually the pilot came on and said that we'd got most of the baggage and would have to leave.

The flight was actually pretty quick due and good strong tail wind and we got to Puerto Plata in good time, only an hour behind schedule due to our wait.  We waited at the baggage claim hoping desperately to see our luggage... we didn't.  We had to put in a claim for our luggage so that when it eventually arrived it would be sent to our hotel.  It made for a pretty rough day yesterday since we had no change of clothes, no bathing suit, nothing.  Fortunately we filled the day with exploring the rather massive resort grounds, and called it an early night.

Good luck this morning though, as both of our bags arrived.  It was spectacular being able to have a shower and change into some clean clothes.  It felt like that first day after a long camping trip.  Clean at last!

Now armed with our bathing suits and snorkeling gear we headed straight for the beach.  We had a pretty good tour around straight out from the beach, but we weren't able to get far.  It got shallow in a hurry, and with the bottom covered in an appealing mix of coral and urchins we didn't dare try to get through the breakwater.  It's unfortunate as I've got new fins and really wanted to try them out in some semi-deep water.  I think tomorrow we'll try a different approach and see if we can get into the deeper water on the far side of the reef.

My next experiment came in the form of an attempt at blogging.  Oh the things I do to keep you people entertained.  Apparently there's some WiFi to be had in the lobby of this lovely place, so I took my laptop out to see if I could get connected.  Unfortunately the plugs they use here, despite being North American 110V, appear to be some kind of adapted European plug.  They look like a cross between our plug and the ones I was encountering in Iceland.  The big difference?  No ground plug.  And so, as in Iceland I find myself unable to plug my laptop in.  The only difference is that now I have no adapted since I wasn't expecting to need it in a 110V country.  When will I ever learn?  I'd like to point out that if I was smart I'd have thrown my laptop out the window 3 months ago and bought one of these cool new Netbooks with the 10 hour battery life and I'd be fine.  Grrrrrr...

So, I'm on a rental computer right now in this little "computer lab" they've got setup on the resort.  This, of course, mean I won't be uploading any pictures from my camera.  The $8 USD per hour price tag seems a bit high to me as well, so don't expect too many of these blog posts.

Tomorrow we're just kicking around the resort again.  We may try to grab some of the kayaks around here and get out past the breakwater to get into deeper water for snorkeling.  The next day we're going out in the morning on a zip-line tour.  On Wednesday we're going out to the appealingly-named Paradise Island on a snorkeling tour.  We've made no plans beyond that, trying to leave a little bit of flexibility in our week.

I will entreat to post again at least once more this week, though I wouldn't expect too much beyond that.  So far the weather has been about 28 degrees and sunny, quite contrary to the constant rain that was predicted.  Wish me luck on a continuation of this trend.

My time is running out, so I will be on my way.  I hope all is well with you, my loyal fans.  I'll see you all in a week.


Jabbles said...

Happy to hear you got the luggage. Hope the weather stays nice. Do you think you will have a chance to scuba?
For my contribution to you blog I found this site
A guide to electricity/outlets around the world.

Aunt J. said...

The woes of travelling but it made for an interesting blog.
You should have been daring and gone to a nudist colony - that would have solved your luggage problem!