Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Go Surfn' Now, Everybody's Learnin' How, Come On and Safari with Me!

I love the beach boys!

Day 2 of my vacation to Punta Cana  (see day 1 here)

We had scheduled surf lessons with  Rafael and his team at Macao Surf Camp.

By far, it was my favorite day of vacation!

Rafael picked us up and drove us the 30 minutes to beautiful Macao beach.  His english was impecable. We talked about the economy, the day to day life of the average Dominican, and he showed us various landmarks along the drive. 

We drove through "towns" and very rural areas.  There were lots of cows and mango trees.

Then, we drove up to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.

They provided us with rash guards, which smelled pretty musty. After a 10 minute lesson on the beach,

we stretched,

and headed into the water. 

We were each assigned an "assistant instructor".  None of them spoke english.  All they knew how to say was, "Ready. Get up! Get up! Get up! Get up!  Get up, lady!"  Which was sufficient enough.

I loved them.  They carried our boards, and when we were too tired to paddle out, they pulled us.

I showed my assistant my gratitute by giving him a view of butt cheeks.  I have no clue how professional surfers in legit big waves keep on their swimsuits.  I couldn't keep my from washing off or up into my butt crack in one foot waves!

After 2 hours of non-stop surfing, we took a break on the beach and were served fresh coconut water


and posed for some pictues. (there was a photographer who captured all these great, but not so flattering pictures)


Back out for more waves....

After 4 exhausting, fun, challenging, awesome hours, we hung up our boards and our stinky rash guards and ate bananas. 

Rafael drove us back to the villa.  We had a pit stop at some random shack that his partner wants to rent for surf camps.  Thanks for that, Carrie.

Surfing leaves you famished. On the lunch menu: tuna fish sandwiches (we packed tuna from the states).  Then back to the beach.  Our alleged friend and ex-pat, Bruce, who we had met at dinner the night before, stopped by to chat.  I asked him about Acquas, a bar & grill I had read about that had 2 for 1 happy hour.  He said it was a 15 minute walk up the beach, so we made plans to go for dinner.

Big mistake.  After getting cleaned up and dumping pounds of sand from my swimsuit (it was the same one I wore surfing), we started walking.  We walked, and walked, and walked.  There are guards at the beach of each resort to keep non resort patrons off property.  We attempted to ask every guard we passed where the Acquas was, but none spoke english and had no clue what we were asking. 

Finally, one guard seemed to understand.  He sent us up onto the property he was guarding and told us to go that way.  I assumed it was just a quicker way to the restaurant.  This resort was AMAZING.  It was the Melia, and I would recommend it to anyone going to Punta Cana.  Being that it was off season, it was a ghost town.  There was no one at the sprawling, ridicoulously gorgeous pool (I was soooo tempted to jump in) and the restarants and bars weren't even open. 

We passed another security guard.  He was the only living soul I had seen since the security guard back at the beach.  We continued to walk aimlessly.  It was dark and I started to worry that we had no clue where we were going.  There was another security guard.  He stopped us and tried to speak to us, but of course, there was a language barrier.  He pointed to his wrist and we realized he was asking for our bracelets.  We tried to explain we weren't guest and we were just trying to find Acquas.  He told us to stay, well, he motioned for us to stay and walked off. 

He came back with what I can only assume was his supervisor.  The supervisor was speaking to us very fast and in a fairly hostile tone.  He motioned for us to follow him, but he was in a golf cart.  So he drove his golf cart, and we walked beside him, fearing we were going to a Dominican prison.  Flashbacks of "Locked Up Abroad" were going through my head.  We reached the end of the path and he parked his golf cart, got out, and started walking.  We continued to follow.  We reached the beach and in a shooing motion, he directed us off property.

We trekked the almost hour back to our villa and ate at the pizza place on property. The Presidente was much needed after our adventure.

Linsey and I split a small chorizo pizza.  It was okay, but not life changing.  Earlier in the day, I had Nutella gelato at the same restaurant and it was phenominal. It was smooth and creamy with a little bit of texture from some hazelnuts.

FYI, we finally found Acquas.  We saw it from the boat while on a snorkel excurstion (more about that to come).  It was 20 minutes by boat and about 3 resorts past the Melia.  I would estimate it about an hour and a half to two hour walk from our hotel. Damn Bruce!  He didn't show his face the rest of the trip, so we never got the opportunity to tell him he almost got us thrown in a Dominican prison!

Have you ever had a scary experience in a foreign country?

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