Leg #19 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to Kingston, Jamaica 9 December 2014

December 11, 2014

In the afternoon at Punta Cana we had a surprise. Colombian music came from a small wooden platform on poles. Sophie danced already one hour with a group of guests and servants of the hotel before Urs and I even discovered her solo tour.

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Punta Cana – Westin Hotel

The Colombian lady France, of whom I wrote yesterday, took the lead from the official dance teacher and we all danced like we were only 18, or perhaps 30. After all it is difficult to be your own impartial witness, agree?

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our Dominican beach

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South American dancing lesson

We finished the day with a dinner at Punta Cana in a kind of American copied artificial small village. We felt in the Dominican Republic like we felt six years ago in Fiji. Sitting in a sort of guarded beautiful resort, surrounded by poverty.

The next morning i.e. 9 December we got our taxi, drove to the airport where Pilatypus was repositioned in favour of a Gulfstream. We were standing again on our feet and felt humble when walking to our Avionetta (expression used by Sophie) i.e. a very small aircraft. My defense is that we get anywhere in the world with this Avionetta at a speed of 260 Nm (nearly 500 km per hour).

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ready to start the engine at Punta Cana International Airport MDPC

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abeam Santo Domingo

We had a good flight, though with a different NFP [Non Flying Pilot]

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our PC12-Crew over Port-au-Prince, Haiti

At Kingston the fun really started and thus day would become our longest day. The hotel booked was perhaps 40 km away, as the travel agent in Paris informed us, by air but in reality at 3 hours driving from the airport. Sophie believed that our taxi driver was on drugs and she asked me to have a good look at his eyes. I did so but I did not see anything extra ordinary so I told her she was seeing ghosts. Later it appeared I looked at the eyes of our agent instead of taxi driver.

Tour de France Mont Ventoux

After the taxi driver did a good job, but he had indeed a problems with his eyes. We had to keep his head in a weird angle to be able look at the road. No complaint from our side. We had to circumvent the John Crow Mountains National Park by going first NWN, the pick up routes 3 and 4 along the North coast to reach the Trident Hotel just East of Port Antonio, once an important port for the export of bananas when it still belonged to the British Empire.

The drive was impossibly long, at least two times as long as our flight to Jamaica. At the very end of the trip we were blocked in the village of Port Antonio since all the roads were renewed exactly at the same time, which reminded me very much to the usual way of working of the Gemeente Amsterdam. I never had an idea of this similarity.

What this trip learned is that the island lives in poverty, like most of the African countries we visited in 2012. Later we had confirmation from local people that there are hardly any jobs on the island of Jamaica. All people we met during our trip, be it at the hotel or in the streets, were extremely kind and pleasant.

Hotel Trident looked like an oasis. Not only because it took us so long to reach it, but also because it was by far the most luxurious and most expensive hotel sofar. Like I wrote earlier the GDP in poor countries is inversely proportional to the price of services/hotels. Perhaps I could write one day a thesis on this subject and promote to obtain a Doctor title?

Joost Heikens one day you have to tell the WINSOME how you spent your days when living in Jamaica for eight years.

After resting, swimming several times, dinner, swimming again and a breakfast, we left with another taxi. This concluded our most expensive stay of less than 24 hours at a single place.

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… and finally at our beautiful TRIDENT Hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica

From Port Antonio direction Kingston

Post by Harry Heijst | December 11, 2014 |

1 Comment

  1. …..once back I would like to “air” an idea of how to solve the–surely one of the greatest–rich/poor–problem on this planet, to give you some food for thought on your next trip, where-ever that may bring you…have a good one, the three of you, and of course a safe onward journey!
    who made your site??

    by michiel | 13 Dec 2014 | 13:21