Flamenco Beach

Wow, this day has been incredible in many ways. Flamenco Beach definitely lived up to its expectations. It’s not google beautiful, since all the pictures there shows a beach cleaned from seaweed, but it was still amazingly beautiful, the sand was fine and white. The water had the amazing turquoise color of the Caribbean sea. Just perfect!

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This Christmas Day started with a bus trip to Fajardo from San Juan. It took about an hour. We checked in and then went aboard the boat. It was a speed catamaran boat, which made the whole trip not as enjoyable as if it would have been a sailing catamaran. I thought it would be nice to go there earlier anyway, but I soon regretted that thought. The 50 minutes it took to get to our first stop was horrible! Just horrible. I don’t know when this happened, when my stomach can’t handle motion anymore. It was very very bumpy because we went against the big waves. And I got really nauseous. Eventually my throat got tighter and I really had to throw up. The nice guys leading the trip gave me a bucket and a piece of napkin with some alcohol on it to smell. After my gagging (but nothing came up fortunately), I smelled that paper for a while and I was fine again. That was not fun.

Our first stop was by a snorkeling spot. We were told it was the Caribbean’s best spot and I believed it. It was pretty beautiful. But, nothing can ever compare to Egypt’s Red Sea. Lots of different colored “leaves”, brains, fingers, and all the other things. Fish also of course. I did not see too many, but that was probably because there were a lot of people in the water at the same time. Saw a few very pretty ones. No turtles though. Apparently they were on the other side of Culebra island where the current was too strong to swim in. I wasn’t disappointed, I have seen turtles. But it would be really cool to swim with them one time.

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Then there was a lunch buffet with a divine chicken salad and coleslaw. Free drinks as well. I didn’t go in the water again to snorkel because it was a bit windy and not too warm. Only 20 minutes later we were on our way to Flamenco Beach which was on another side of the island we snorkeled by. It was breathtaking when we came up to it, saw the beautiful water and white beach. Not too many palm trees, they grew more on DR, here it is something else. I think it is some kind of Acacia.

We had to swim to the beach from the boat, so no towels and nothing. I brought my snorkel and mask and my GoPro. It does not take as good pictures as my phone, but I didn’t wanna bring it. First I went to the two old tanks at the farthest end of the beach with a guy I met on the boat. He was from New York and was here with his cousins. The tanks were left there after Flamenco Beach was a US military testing beach or something. They had been painted though, pretty cool.

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When we came back to where we landed I just sat down where the water rolled in on the beautiful sand. Sat there for a while, filling up my bikini with sand, and then it was time to go. I was sad to go (and I dreaded the trip back to PR main island). The way back was better than the way there since we were going with the waves. It was almost pleasant.

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The bus trip back to San Juan was not fun. I was dropped off last, and because of heavy traffic it took more than two hours when it should have taken 50 minutes normally. And the AC was too cold and I was tired, not a nice ride.

Back at the hostel I took a shower (not nearly as warm as I would have wanted it – it made me miss DR), and then went with my new roomie Stephanie, to a Thai-Indian place a few blocks away from here. I had two appetizers and it was good, at least one of them.

Now I am extremely tired, I have sorted all my photos better in DropBox and tomorrow morning I will start uploading to Facebook. I have a few hours to kill before my last tour (and activity) here on Puerto Rico, a tour of Old San Juan and the fort. I can’t believe I am off to Jamaica after that. And I also can’t believe that I’ve been away from home for two weeks now and only have 10 more days before going back.

Another thing that I thought was really cool about today was all the iguanas I saw on the way to and from Fajardo. When I was driving myself, I didn’t have time to look closer to the trees on the side of the roads. But today I noticed that they were full of iguanas. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but I saw countless of iguanas in different trees. Really cool! There was also a guy next to the road with a goat on a leash. Totally casual.

 

In all, I can definitely recommend East Island Excursion’s Catamaran Trip to Culebra Island. The guys working there were so friendly and nice and helpful. One of them was from Nashville, Tennessee, but he moved to PR nine years ago. He is the fourth person I meet from TN, and three of the four look the same, tall and blonde. Maybe I should move there?

I need to go to bed now, I can’t keep my eyes open. All this sun, gupping on waves, drinks, has made me exhausted. I hope everyone else had a great Christmas Day! Mine couldn’t have been better (okay, I could have seen turtles and not get seasick, but those are minor problems)! Merry Christmas!

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Saona Island

What an amazing day this has been. Except for my stupid stomach that is still very much upset. But for some nice reason it stayed calm during most of the day so I could enjoy it all.

At 7 am this morning the tour bus picked me up. We picked up a lot more people and went to the southeast corner of the island where we took a speedboat out to a natural pond out in the ocean. The water was shallow, crystal clear, and had the beautiful turquoise color. AND, the coolest part was that there were huge starfishes. I played a little with my GoPro, but there was not much to see since it was just sand and water as long as you could see.

We had a photographer among us and he took a lot of pictures. Lots of silly pictures with the starfishes. We stayed there for about 40 minutes. I was in the water most of the time because it was so windy above water and I didn’t wanna freeze. It was very cloudy today and actually not that warm. This trip could have been so perfect with a clear blue sky. But it was still great.

Next on the agenda was Saona Island where we stayed for 3 hours. Apparently one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies was filmed there. It is definitely a “deserted paradise island”. Tons of tourists there today though.

First we had free lunch and free drinks, then I started talking to two German guys, Mattias and Arik, who were nice. We hung out for the rest of the tour. We hung out by the beautiful water for a while, and then I got tired and went to lie down for a bit. Then the photographer came along and wanted me to pretend to be a model again. I am so not photogenic so they didn’t turn out that well. If I were those pictures would have been amazing. I mostly blame that I didn’t wear sunglasses…

At 3pm we were done and hopped on a catamaran and sailed the way back to shore. It took 1.5 hours and there were free drinks (rum and coke) and party music all the time. It was so great! I loved it. It was a bit scary at first to sit on the net above the water, but I got used to it and could relax the rest of the way.

On the bus back to the hotel I talked to a guy from Puerto Rico and he told me that I should get a car while I am there, and he also told me about a few places that I should visit. I am really excited to go there on Saturday.

When I came back to the hotel, I first took a shower, then headed over to the neighbor hotel (which is the same pretty much) Barceló Bávaro Palace (I am staying at Barceló Bávaro Beach) to buy something for my stomach (let’s cross all of our fingers that it works, I am getting tired of this). That hotel is huuuuge. There is a shopping center and countless of buildings with hotel rooms. I took the shuttle train there and back, on the way back I had to go to the other parts of the mega big hotel complex. In total it took 25 minutes to go around it all on that train. It is like a city, all of it.

I had a small dinner, where one of the waiters asked for my number. I really learned today that Hispanic people love white people. On the bus to the boat we watched a lot of music videos, in ALL of them, the guy was singing and adoring a white woman. I wonder why.

Last night I finally watched The Maze Runner, and even if it was a good movie, it was so different from the book.  The storyline was pretty much the same, but all the details were changed, I don’t understand why. The book makes more sense.

I am very very tired now, so I will probably just go to sleep, without reading. Tomorrow is my last full day here on Dominican Republic. I hope the weather will be nice.

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