Archive for July, 2010

The Punta Cana Resort is as glamorous as any modern “all you can eat and drink’ plantation-style resort. The secluded yet relatively inexpensive hot-spot offers more than 100 acres of golf courses and miles of pearly white sandy beaches. Designed to house thousands of tourists, the place is ghost-town resort, this time of year.

The seaside along this highly-gated, impeccably manicured, over-rated sand spot along the Eastern Coast of a mostly sunny Dominican Republic is off-limits to locals. This part of the Dominican Republic is sparsely populated. The largest big-town is nearly an hour’s drive away—in between there are small little villages with carcasses of butchered hogs hanging on the front porches of little homes that also serve as types of butcher shops in communities where the only work is at a resort—far, far away.

With the exception of professional hotel staff employed by the Punta Cana Resort, one should not expect to encounter many locals while staying at the Punta Cana Hotel. It is nearly impossible to get a sense of what the real Dominican Republic is like while staying in this secluded ‘peace’ of the Atlantic Basin. Unless one rents a car or finds another means of transportation, there is nothing to be explored within walking distance from the gates of the Punta Cana Resort.

The French are like cockroaches here, and if one can stand the arrogance, this travel destination is certainly one of the best high-class tropical destinations in the Western Hemisphere, if one is seeking solitude.

Finding ‘necessities’ on the Punta Cana Resort is nearly impossible, but with the right taxi driver– one purchased for an entire day for only $100– travelers can get out and find the things needed to make any vacation more relaxing.

This island recently riddled with a deadly earthquake in Haiti does not shake on the East Coast. One should not fear the walking dead in Punta Cana. Voodoo is far, far away, yet there is something rather mystical on this side of the rocky island squeezed between Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Trade winds on the east coast calm the worries of one’s troubled soul. My lover B. and I were recovering from a recent trip to jail. I still hand many black and blue marks on my body from the fight we were in with our upstairs neighbors. The place is certainly a sweet get-away for financially strapped families with children, or for those without who are looking to spend sometime alone– absolutely alone– Gilligan’s Island alone!

Punta Cana Hotel is well worth the cost of just $120 per night during the off-season. Continental breakfasts are served seaside from 7:30 am – 10:00 am daily and are included in the price of a room. The cost of a single shot of Swiss vodka at one of several bars on the near vacant resort is $25. One should avoid using electronic room keys as credit cards to purchase cordials at Punta Cana. Cheap Aged Dominican Rum can be purchased at a little gift shop on the resort for just $15.

Although the shallow, pristine Caribbean waters attract very few swimmers along the miles and miles of beachfront here, it is refreshing to relax in one of many hammocks strung in the tall palm trees for which Punta Cana gets its name. In no time, one’s mind is free of the rush of modern life. Although bored out of their minds, vacationers are left with the option to simply stare at vast sea where waves crash at least a quarter mile out to see. Waters are free of the obstruction of many bobbing heads swimming in the spirit of holiday at a trendy beach here. There is a soft grass that grows in the shallows along the beaches here. One can walk nearly a quarter of a mile into the sea before the clear, green waters reach one’s belly button.

Most vacationers at Punta Cana Resort spend vacation time inside expensive private huts which are, in a sense, perfect little summer vacation homes for people vacationing with kids. Due to the lack of action at the resort, the place at times, particularly in the early morning and late evening, is nearly empty and one can walk for miles on the beach without having to say ‘hello’ in French or listen to complaints of boredom from little kids. One should be cautious of golf cars here, for children of vacationing parents who are sick of their kids rent the little hot rods. The place, in mid-afternoon, becomes like a go-cart racetrack.

The best kept secret about the Punta Cana Resort are twelve lagoons found along a path through a jungle on a private marine sanctuary found within the compound. Due to the lack of vacationers and restrictions on locals from visiting the area, it is possible to go swimming in the nude in these lagoons which were named by native Indians as “The Enchanted Eyes of the Isle”.

“You got a black and blue mark on your ass,” my lover proclaimed as I got undressed to go for an early morning swim in the green lagoon.

“At least the one on my eye is fading,” I replied. “I think this water has healing, medicinal properties.”

Anyone in need of a bath in a mystical river that cleanses the soul should visit the Punta Cana Resort. Travelers searching for real fun in the Dominican Republic should make every attempt to get off the plantation and explore other parts of Voodoo Island. The bugs along the bank of the lagoon bite black people more than white folks, according to my lover.

All that is needed to have a real good time here is a well- paid taxi driver and a willingness to flow with the Trade Winds. There are sacred mushrooms to be found by good taxi drivers that offer a real chance to escape the madness of modern life.

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There is a black and blue mark in the form of the Nike logo planted under my left eye. The bruise that has formed is not purple, but dark black. The mark of shame runs from the corner of my already sad lower eyelid, across my high cheek bone and curves upward again, coming to a symmetrical point just under a piercing hazel stare.

 I saw stars when the mark on my eye was planted, but I did not realize damage to my radiant glow had occurred because there was so much blood pouring from my scalp at the time. I thought for sure I would die in this incident.

 I was holding the wound on my head when I awoke on the floor in the hallway outside of my apartment door.  A gang of three young men and one older step-father was the cause. They live upstairs. I was awoken from a hot afternoon slumber by the voice of my lover late Monday evening. He cried– “Charles, Help!” I came running as fast as I could. I ran into the hallway into the midst of an argument that had yet to fully erupt. It was my head that received the brunt of everyone’s anger that day.

 Perhaps the pool of blood that had trickled from my scalp was enough to scare the four angry men and my lover from fighting any longer. I crawled on my hands and knees across a dusty floor of the hallway. A long smear of blood was left in my wake. I made it back inside the apartment where crumbs of corn chips laying at the foot of the sofa were a welcome relief to these sad eyes. I collapsed upon the chips, my head seeping the salsa, and every inch of my consciousness was still dizzy from being struck on the back of the head by a blunt object.

 Someone shouted the police were coming. The neighbors ran upstairs. My lover helped me to our sofa. I was so hot. Salty blood had mixed with a layer of sticky sweat covering my body and I felt as though I were being suffocated as my forehead began to sob heavy red tears of anguish.

 “Let me go,” I cried to my lover as I pulled off a yellow UCLA shirt I was wearing and wrapped my head. The police finally convinced me to let go of the shirt.

 “Do you remember who did this to your head,” a policeman asked.

 “What did they do to my head?” I asked, feeling with my hand, the back of my head. I didn’t see who did it.” I replied. “It happened so fast.”

 “They cut you with something. This is a typical gang marking,” the policeman explained. We have to take you to the emergency room, but all of you are being arrested.”

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