S: OUR HONEYMOON - JUNE 5-12, 2011
FC: OUR HONEYMOON
1: CAYO LEVANTADO, SAMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | JUNE 5-12, 2011
2: FIRST DAY - TRAVEL | We flew from Toronto to Samana airport, then took a shuttle to the check-in desk on the main land. Next up, a ferry to our island!
3: OUR FIRST VIEW OF CAYO LEVANTADO FROM THE FERRY
4: We had a huge suite, with a massive bathroom, huge soaker tub, king sized bed and the biggest balcony ever! | HOTEL ROOM
5: VIEW FROM OUR BALCONY
6: That's Tracy!
7: HOW DOMINICANS FISH... 1) Surround school of fish with boats 2) Jump into water 3) Slap water repeatedly while fisherman in boats close off fish with nets
8: DAY TRIP TO LOS HAITISES NATIONAL PARK | Driving in the Dominican can be scary! Buses, cars, trucks, cyclists, pedestrians, horses, dogs and livestock all share the same roads. The rule seems to be: If it's bigger than you, get out of the way...
9: Our trip started from Samana, where we caught a tour boat to head across the water to Los Haitises. On the way we passed this bridge, which goes nowhere! It was built in the 1960s to connect several small islands, and a cafe was constructed on the second island it reaches. Political power changed hands and the bridge was never completed. The cafe is now closed and it's just an interesting feature of the area.
10: SIGHTS OF LOS HAITISES | The park is full of birds! We saw tons of pelicans and other seafaring birds called frigates. The makes would puff out their chins and sing to attract females. | There are hundreds of islands on the coast of Los Haitises. Different geological events are marked by sharp changes in the rock face. Talk about cool science!
11: Our tour guide called this island "Bird Island", and with good cause! He pulled the engine out of the water and revved it up, to gives the birds a fright and make them take flight. Then he got us away from there FAST, before they all pooped on our heads. | Local seafood - CRAB! | The pelicans love hanging out in the water next to the fishermen. Every now and then they'll grab the fish before they get hauled into the boat from the net!
13: CAVE PAINTINGS The Native Dominican people lived in Los Haitises for a number of years. They used the caves as hospitals, homes and temples. The different drawings represent animals, medicine men, babies and gods. This one is just a monkey. | MANGROVES The coastline of Los Haitises has large sections of mangroves. These mangroves serve several purposes. They help mix the ocean salt water and river fresh water in the area, they're a great habitat for fish and other sealife, and they help protect the coastline from tropical storms and winds.
14: We passed these old posts on our way back to Cayo Levantado. Once the footings for a pier built to service the English plantations, the birds have turned them into a great place to hang out, feed and nest.
15: Arriving back at our resort Home sweet home...
16: EL LIMON WATERFALL | After a few days of rest and relaxation we were ready for more adventure, so we went on a horseback trip up to El Limon waterfall
17: The ride took us up a muddy, rocky path, including crossing a couple small rivers | Everyone was accompanied by their own guide, who would help make sure your small Dominican horse stayed on course and didn't budge in line. They also pointed out lots of interesting plants and animals along the way.
19: We thought this waterfall was so beautiful that we commissioned a painting of it from a local Dominican artist. It's hanging in our bedroom, reminding us of this awesome experience every day!
20: ATV TOUR/ PLAYA RINCON
21: On the hottest day of our trip we did an ATV tour through some Dominican backroads to Playa Rincon | Our 'trusty steed'!
22: We stopped to take some photos where we had a great view down to the bay where Playa Rincon is. | Playa Rincon is supposed to be one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the Carribbean. Some people even say it's in the top ten in the world!
23: PLAYA RINCON | There are two sides to Rincon - the tourist side where the photo on the right was taken, and where the food shack is, and the local side (bottom right). The local side had a freshwater pond only about 20 steps from the ocean. The water was refreshingly cold, and it was great for washing the salt off!