The Bahia Principe has a little shopping area as you enter the resort (they call the series of shops, internet cafe and doctors office "Pueblo Principe" ... and you can get everything here! Tourist T-shirts, locally made handcrafts, vanilla, coffee, shoes, fancy dresses -- the whole gammut!) Its all within a 2 minute walk from the hotel lobby, and there is a disco, casino and cash machine all located there too -- for that just like home feeling!
The Doctor owned a parrot, who would sit outside the office watching the people go by (and once in a while , this parrot or another one that was mostly teal blue, or a really big iguana thing -- gack! ) would come into the resort with a photographer and you could have your picture taken with them for a small fee -- I am scared of birds and lizards, and snakes too, so didn't jump at the oportunity to have a very large, very creepy creature sit on my shoulder in close proximity to my eyes!) But this bird was very pretty, and the zoom on my camera is a wonderful feature!
There is another area as well to shop ... an area called Pueblo Indianna locates a few minutes up the beach. There are a series of huts rented by the resort to local vendors (and it is not for the faint of heart ... there is some hardcore bartering going on there).
This is Alex, who now has nearly all of our spending money (hence the big smile!). We bought several of his paintings (he is a painter as well as a vendor) and a lot of other little trinkets and rum.
We did a morning snorkelling excursion ... we were picked up in one of these boats
and our guide Friday (pictured)and the captain, Crusoe, took us to 4 locations and we got to snorkel twice. We toured Gri Gri Lagoon and saw snowy egrets, vultures (pictured) and a few fellas fishing for oysters (pictured), and then stopped at a small marina while Friday ran into town for some ice (T also jumped off the boat at this point, ran into the town for some rum, and when Friday got back and found out T went into Rio San Juan alone, his eyes got big and he started speaking Spanish very quickly and gesturing to Crusoe wildly with his hands as they both ran up the stairs and split up to search the town for T. We had been to Rio San Juan before, and didn't think it was a big deal for T to go looking around unaccompanied ... but Friday sure looked relieved when he found the big Canadian man all in one piece ;)
We went to Swallow Cave (which looks a lot like the caves at the Ovens in Nova Scotia, but the water is warm and very very deep turquoise blue), then up the coast to look at some of the rich people's homes along the coast, snorkelling (we baited the fish with crushed banana -- Friday called them Monkey Fish, because they love banana. I have pictures of the fish but not digital ones ... they were all colours - blue, turquoise, yellow, striped, purple ... just awesome!)
Superbowl fever was sweeping the resort when we arrived ... they had a big screen tv set-up in the theatre area where the nightly shows took place, and had snacks and drinks for everyone who wanted to watch the game. They even had a table set up where staff would make you Coco Locos (basically a rum punch served inside a fresh coconut -- yummy! But beware the effects of coconut milk!).
There were men there rolling cigars as a demo and to sell (they couldn't get us to buy any - non-smokers the pair of us - so one man gave me a really nice cigar as a gift).
There are so many stories from the trip, but I don't want to be totally dull and bore you to death ... so I think this is it for the trip pictures and trip tales.
Pretty isn't it ... it is a blue margarita that I had at the Mexican restuarant our last night at the resort. Reminds me of the sky, the pools, and the ocean ... and is going to be my computer's wallpaper until spring thaw comes!
P. S. What about knitting in the south? you ask ... I took some bamboo yarn to male a pair of socks, and also some SWS to knit a purse for my MIL (her Christmas present! eek ... I am so slow and lazy and burned out on purses!) but didn't knit much while I was there. Too many hazards for the yarn -- sunscreen, sand, spillage/stains frm rum punch and screw ups from drunken knitting, so I knit at bedtime one evening, and on the plane ride ... but kitting was on my mind in the DR - here is proof (blurry, overexposed, slightly drunken ... but still proof!)
P. P. S. Still having issues with spell check - stoopid blogger! (or maybe stoopid me for not knowing how to fix the spell check problem!)