The meeting concluded and we huddled around the table reviewing the construction drawings. I looked around me for the first time and took a deep breathe as I thought of the prospects that awaited my weekend in the Dominican Republic. This weekend I happen to traverse to Dominica Republic to rectify a drawing that Contractor Jorge was working on completing. This of course was not a planned visit as it was necessary for a meeting to be held with the contractor to adjust a engineering design we had been working on. Hence, it proved better for me to visit Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic than Jorge to come to Jamaica. Let me start from the beginning, having left its cruising altitude and started its descend into the Punta Cana airport, the Paradiscus in Bavaro, I stretched over to look through the window from the aisle seat in the airplane.
Punta Cana is flat, much like South Florida, minus the high rise buildings, with the airport situated in the middle. The plane touched down and taxied for what seems like an eternity, we filed out and deplaned in a very old fashion manner, using steps from the plane to the tarmac before boarding a waiting bus to the terminal building.
The airport terminal is a steel frame building with a high hip roof that is covered with Cana, or what is referred to in Jamaica as “thatch roof”. Part of the arrival hall was air conditioned and I assumed that this would be what the rest of the terminal building would be like. As I made my way to the Immigration area, I felt the sudden rush of the hot humid air and the sweltering heat of Punta Cana.
The lines to purchase the US$10 tourist visa snaked for what seems like 3 blocks, as there was only one officer serving two lines from two different directions. Eventually I reached the head of the line some thirty minutes later, but what seemed more like an eternity. I paid the required fee for the tourist visa, and made my way to the another line for the inspection of my travel documents. I got up to the immigration officer, who didn’t even bother to look at my passport, only checking to ensure the tourist visa fee was paid before waving me through. I proceeded through the airport trying to find Customs, but there was none. So, after about 45 minutes or so I was finally outside.
I scanned the crowd looking for Jorge and it was not long before I saw him making his way over to where I was waiting. I got into his vehicle and my eyes and brain started to absorb everything that Punta Cana had to offer. On arrival at the hotel, I was blown away by the view that this country had as the sunsets were picturesque and the architecture was impressive . Visiting a few sites over the island I basked in the presence of the well constructed beautiful stair cases, high vaulted sealing and rustic smell of the aged material. From one of these sites I got a little history from the tours, The Dominican Republic is a country on the island of Hispaniola also known as the island of “Santo Domingo”, locals are referred to as “Santos”. Located in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths portion of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population the D.R. is the second-largest Caribbean nation, after Cuba of course, with 48,445 square kilometres (18,705 sq mi) and nearly 10 million people, one million of which live in the capital city Santo Domingo.
The following morning I woke up early for my usual morning jog, but this time not on the roads in Coconut Creek but on the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana that are set back 60 metres from the shoreline. I jogged for awhile ensuring to witness the sunrise as it broke through the eastern clouds of the Dominican Republic. it was breathe taking and relaxing and a great way to start the day.
I have never written about my travel experiences before because frankly I never have the time for writing mundane posts about places I have been. However, I turned 51 some weeks ago and when you get to that age you start to take into account your blessing. Hence, during my trip to Punta Cana I took the time embrace the country, people and culture. During this embrace I found beauty in every nook and cranny I encountered.
Travelling is a privilege that many will never experience for various reasons and I am grateful to be blessed to have had the Dominica Republic touch my soul. This will have a lasting impression in my hearts and mind. For that I thank God, but enough said from the life of a Journeyman Consulting Engineer.