Well, we're back now anyway! Actually, we got in yesterday afternoon, but after spending nearly 2 hours waiting for my luggage because the airport was having conveyor belt issues AGAIN, I wasn't really in a blogging mood. I made a few journal entries on my laptop offline during the trip, but even there I wasn't feeling so hot for most of this week and really wasn't able to summon much enthusiasm for writing. I'll repost my two "Offline Logs" here for you guys now:
Offline Log - January 26th, 2010 - 5:15 p.m. local time
I'm writing this in WordPad. HELP ME IT BURNS!!! Sorry, being disconnected is having some fairly adverse effects on my mind. I have become entirely too reliant on the internet and find myself feeling fairly distressed when so removed from my loved ones, and a majority of my hobbies. Some may call this a sickness, I choose to think of myself as being ultra-modern. Thank you.
As previously evidenced I actually could get online if I wanted to, but it's a bit pricey and I take forever to type anything because of the strange keyboard (again!) Today I've found a way to plug in my computer, and I can even get WiFi... of a sorts. You know that your internet connection is bad when GMail loads a special screen that essentially says "Sorry dude, this isn't happening." I'm making the assumption that Blogger isn't going to like me any better. I may attempt later in the week to log on for one shot and upload all of these Offline Logs if I've amassed any great number of them. I've got to say, even though I'm disconnected it feels good to be getting my thoughts down.
Let me try to bring everyone up to speed. I honestly can't remember where I left off but if I remember correctly it was Sunday and so we had our luggage and all was well in that regard. That evening after my blogging we were just hanging out by the bar and ended up chatting with a couple Canadian guys, Steve and Trevor. That made for a pretty entertaining evening of purusing the various resort bars, but in my eagerness to immerse myself in the tropical vacation vibe I began drinking margeritas, daquiries, and all manner of other horribly sweet things, as well as eating more than my fair share of fresh fruit, and actually ended up feeling rather nasty the next day. I've since riened in my enthusiasm for sugary crap and am beginning to feel better.
Monday was spent in a fairly similar fashion to Sunday, except that we didn't get to do any snorkelling since the wave action picked up into something quite fierce. We bounced around between the pool, the beach, and our room, making a stop over in the gym to mitigate the damage we're doing in the restaurants. All in all it was pretty laid back.
Today we had our first excursion. We had to get up pretty early, which was a pain because the departure time for the trip ended up being so close to the opening of the breakfast buffet that we didn't have time to get there. Fortunately we'd been warned in advance and had stashed some sandwiches from the previous day's lunch buffet. Not a great breakfast, but it was sufficient. I think the entire excursion would have been a bit better if our resort was on the other side of Puerto Plata. As it was we were picked up first, followed by guests from about a half dozen other hotels around town. It was easily an hour before we really got underway, and then it was about a 45 minute drive up into the mountains to get to the Zip Lining spot. At least the views were spectacular for that part of the drive. The zip lining itself was a blast! I had a lot of fun and would gladly do that again! The whole outfit was very professional and all the equipment appeared to be in good repair. I never really felt that I was in any danger. The only injury of the day was caused by a girl putting her hand (which was to remain firmly grasping her harness) in front of the pulley mechanism that was guiding her down the line. Ouch! Despite the awesomeness of the excursion though, I can't really recommend it to anyone at the Riu resorts in Puerto Plata. What ends up being close to 4 hours of driving there and back just cannot be justified by a really fun half an hour. Well, maybe it can, but I didn't have THAT much fun.
I'm going to wrap up for now. We're meeting Steve and Trevor at one of the alla carte restaurants for dinner at 6:30. I'll try to write again tomorrow.
Offline Log - January 28th, 2010 - 2:15 p.m. local time
Okay, so I clearly failed to write anything yesterday, but it was kind of a busy day. We went on a full-day excursion to Paradise Island, and it didn't leave me with a lot of writing time... or energy. There was about an hour bus ride to the port where we got on some small motorboats. From there it was about a 45 minute ride out to the island, which is really just a large spit of sand in the middle of the ocean surrounded by reefs. It's a really picturesque spot, and a great place to spend some time lounging around and snorkeling. We spent about 2.5 hours there, which was really the perfect amount of time. We were able to snorkel, have a light snack, play in the sand a bit, snorkel again, and then head out before the lack of washroom facilities became an issue.
From there we took a different route back, heading straight for shore and following the narrow paths between the reefs and mangroves along the shoreline. Our fearless (or insane) boat captains had the motorboats going full bore and it was a fairly pulse-pounding ride back, tons of fun. We ended up on a different beach from where we started and they had a lunch buffet setup for us. We hung around on the beach there for awhile before jumping back on the busses and heading for a small shop where they showed us how they make cigars. After that brief detour we headed back to the resort.
It was a pretty fun day all around, although I think if I were planning things I would have changed the order around to hit the cigar shop first, then lunch, then the long route to the island. The mangroves, lunch and the cigar making were a bit uncomfortable when covered in salt from the snorkeling. Still, it was a fun time.
Today has been a different story. The mild discomfort that I was attributing to too many sugary drinks has been getting worse. It's pretty clear by today that Graydyn and I are both quite ill. Trying not to let it stop us... but it is. Fortunately our doctor provided us with a three-day regimine of anitbiotics for just such an event. We both started that this morning, and I'm hoping that after tonight's round of medication that it will start to kick in and I'll be able to enjoy tomorrow, since it's our last day here. For now I'm going to go have a nap and maybe head down to the pool later in the afternoon if I'm feeling better.
And we're back to the live writing!
As for Friday, well we didn't really end up doing much. Our hope was that we'd be able to get in a final snorkeling run off our beach, but the North wind that was a nearly constant fixture of the week had the waves in a fury and they were recommending against going in the water. I fear no meager waves, but they would have stirred things up so badly that the visibility would have sucked anyway.
Sadly, in the end it turned out the the best day for snorkeling at our beach would have been the Saturday that we arrived... and our bathing suits and snorkel gear was in our luggage that we didn't get till Sunday morning. *sigh*
Well, I think that's enough writing to digest for now, so I'll leave off with that. Pictures to follow either tomorrow or the more traditional Tuesday. I took some cool videos while zip lining too, and I'll post those at some point too.