Much remembered Puerto Plata!

I visit Puerto Plata and stay at Fun Royale with my sister Susie and brother Ariel, who are residents there.

Much remembered Puerto Plata!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by sylvia13 on September 3, 2006

I went to Puerto Plata in 2003, but instead of going with the family, this time I decided to go by myself. I have a special relationship with the country, as I lived in Santo Domingo for 12 years and I still have a sister, brother, and nephews who live there, as well as many friends. The flight was longer than normal, as it stopped in Barbados first. As we approached the POP airport, the sight of the blue sea, the greenery all around, and the María Isabel de Torres on the side was just too much for me and tears just rolled down my cheeks! It is true that I left that country many years ago, but I am still a Dominican at heart, I guess!

I was in the country when Infratur first started developing Puerto Plata for tourism, and it is incredible to think how much the place has developed since then. It has become a world-class tourist destination now!

I find that time in the DR has like another dimension: there seem to be more revolutions per minute and things are very intense, sharp, and clear! There was so much to do and so many people to see that I had no time for any jet lag, as I had to live every day to the fullest!${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay}

Fun Royale-Tropicale Beach Resort

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by sylvia13 on September 5, 2006

I came out of customs but saw no known faces around, so I waited and then suddenly I found myself staring at my nephew Jorge and my sister Susie sitting next to him! We greeted and then my brother Ariel also arrived, with his smaller son Eduardo in tow. Susie organised a stay for us in the Fun Royale-Tropicale Beach Resort in Playa Dorada, and I enjoyed the drive, a wide road with no markings and everybody just passing each other - no big deal! So typical! The drive to the hotel took only a short while, but it was enough to immediately give me the feeling of the place once again, and I felt lucky to be there!

There are many hotels in Playa Dorada now and everything looked so lush and beautiful! I soon realised people in our hotel were very friendly and always smiling. My nephew Nico had arrived in the hotel before us, and I recognised him straight away, a mixture of his brother Danny and his father Raul! Good looking, a bit chubby, but very simpatico!

We had dinner in the hotel, with plenty of salads, avocado, and nonalcoholic drinks. We all got a room for ourselves, and I enjoyed mine, as I could spread out. Each room was quite large and had a balcony with flamboyant trees outside. I found I was having a kind of relaxing kind of exhaustion after I arrived and the shower that evening was beyond words, as there was no shortage of water! The air-conditioner was set at full blast, thanks to Nico. I kept my watch on Dominican time, so I went to bed at 4am, Austrian time, but did not fall asleep till well past 5am.

I woke up early and eventually found Susie and we had breakfast together. I enjoyed a couple of cups of hot coffee, plus tropical fruit and Danish pastries.
Fun Royale Tropicale Resort
Playa Dorada
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Maria Isabel de Torres Gondola

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by sylvia13 on September 5, 2006

Nico wanted to go up the mountain that day, but Susie decided to go to the beach instead, as she has vertigo. Together with Ariel, the boys, and Nico, we went to the gondola station and found some musicians playing there. I noticed the gondola was built by a company in Milan, and I discovered that the Christ on top of the mountain was a present from Italy, a smaller copy of the one in Rio.

We talked to some Dominican Yorkers in the gondola, and they could all speak perfect English and Spanish! Once we were up the Isabel de Torres, we enjoyed the views, visited the boutiques, and walked around the tropical gardens. Even though they told us the mist usually rises around 4pm, that day it came much earlier and we were caught in it! It was nice though to be there, as well as to enjoy the lovely cooler breeze, plus the seagulls flying around! We took lots of pictures, making sure we got the many flowers of bougainvilleas.

Nico was nice to me and carried not only my bag but my camera, and was also in charge of putting me in second gear when we walked uphill. We watched a magician, and that was fun too! We then bought water and drinks, as it was kind of hot that day.

Pico Isabel de Torres
1 Km West Of Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Returning to Santo Domingo by road!

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by sylvia13 on September 5, 2006

We leave the hotel, and in town it was interesting to see election posters for candidates I used to know well before. We soon start driving towards Santo Domingo, and I realise that even though it feels as if I had been there for weeks, it hasn’t even been 48 hours yet! I noticed the look of the highway has changed, and I think how different it is that it doesn't go so close to dwellings anymore, as well as avoiding little villages on the way, which was a pity, in a way, I thought.

We soon arrive in the city, and I notice how much it has changed, and it is almost unrecognisable in parts. In the evening, Susie and I go to a huge supermarket near her home to get some supplies and to the bank (7pm) to get some money. I notice the supermarket is plagued by trolley traffic jams inside. I count the number of cashiers, and they have 45, with four people working on each! Part of the problem might be the pin-code reading machines, as most of the time they don’t work and cashiers need to type the code themselves. I also count the number of shopping bags, and the two of us got 20. For dinner we had pan de agua with tomato, cheese, and avocado, all a treat for me. There was an earthquake close to midnight, but, as I haven't had much experience with earthquakes lately, I thought it was just my bed moving!

On the way back, I discover that Puerto Plata was an area affected by the earthquake and even the airport had some damage. We look for news of yesterday’s earthquake in the local papers on Internet, but find nothing, only in the Miami Herald. I spend a few days in Santo Domingo visiting friends and Ariel volunteers to bring me back to the Puerto Plata airport. On the way, we stop at a Cibao restaurant and enjoy having what I cant have anywhere else, a typical Chivo con Yuca (goat with yucca), which we drank with some beer and I found delicious.

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