Where do I start?  As it is with any story there has to be a beginning, but this one will have two.  The first one was my original plan which had to be cancelled because of a hurricane, so the second beginning will be the detailed one.

My travel arrangements were made well in advance, and man was I ready to go to someplace other than Iraq.  I had just returned from working a contract in the city of Baghdad and was long overdue to lie in the sun, walk the beaches, and have several glasses of rum.  BUT, about five days before my flight, Hurricane Irene developed and was going right to my beaches.  The airlines cancelled my flight for three days, so I rescheduled the trip for a week later.

Finally, I was making my way to the Dominican Republic.  I’ve been staying at a hotel (Blackbeards Adult Resort) in Costambar which is a small community north of Puerto Plata (airport code POP) for a few years now and was ready for that glass of rum.  I arrived at the airport on-time, and for one of the very few times, I’ve got checked baggage.  After waiting for about 45 minutes for my bag, I got in line to let the airline know where I would be staying so they could deliver my bag.

After telling what seemed like every taxi driver at the airport “no”, I made my way to my waiting driver.  When we got to the van I was greeted by another passenger with “where the hell the have you been?   I told the driver to leave you.”  As it turned out the guy was in a hurry for the same thing I was, and he got a little impatient.  He turned out to be ok and I showed him around a little and introduced him to some of the locals.  Anyway we got all checked in and the rum was waiting.

So, as my trip continued I drank my rum, danced with some of the local ladies, walked the beach, and took a couple of touristy type road trips.  If you do get to the Puerto Plata area I do recommend taking a trip to “Mount Isabel de Torres cable car (Teleferico)”.  The views from there are outstanding.  Make sure you make the trip early in the day because the clouds have a tendency to roll in after lunch.  I’d also recommend going to “Caberte Beach”.  It is one of the best wind surfing locations in the area, but it’s basically a tourist area.

Blackbeards is a small hotel with about 20 rooms, a restaurant, a pool with poolside bar, and a small disco.  The staff is always friendly and speaks English.  I have never had a challenge with any part of the hotel and have recommended it to several people.  The beach is about 2 minutes walk, a general store, pharmacy, and golf course are about a 5 minute walk, and the staff can call a taxi to take you to town or on excursions.

Even though the trip started out a little on the shaky side it did turn out good.  With the passing of the storm there was a quite a bit of debris on the beach but the water had cleared and the sky was it’s typical blue.

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