Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Honeymoon Part 3: "The Real Dominican"

We knew before we even got to Punta Cana that we would want to go on an adventure (or excursion)  we just didn't know what we wanted to do.  The first full day we were at the resort we had an introductory meeting with our travel agency and they provided us with a book of adventures to choose from.  We had a hard time deciding what we wanted to do and in the end it came down to an afternoon cruise on a party boat or a day experiencing "The Real Dominican."  Because we are huge nerds (mostly just me this time) we decided to go with the second choice.  Now I'm smart enough to know we didn't really experience a day in the life of a "The Real Dominican"  but we did learn some things, met some new people, saw some of the island beyond our resort and had an enjoyable day so I think it was a success.

Just after breakfast we boarded this truck/bus thing:

and our tour guide "Rudy"  immediately started serving drinks. We decided with a tour guide/bar tender like Rudy it was sure to be a good day.  Once we were all loaded with drink in hand we were off.  Here is a view of the countryside on the way to our first stop:

Our first stop along the way was a school.  Rudy explained that kids go to school for a half day each day in a one room school house and then another group of kids comes in the afternoon.  It looked like there were probably kids in the classroom from about 1st grade to probably about 8th grade. We spent about 10 minutes at the school before loading the bus again on to our next adventure.

We drove on some interesting "road" and a couple of times I was a bit worried we were going to get stuck but we managed to make it even after getting stopped by a herd of cows:

Some more pictures of the country side:

Our next stop was a "restaurant" owned by the tour company where we had a traditional Dominican meal, learned how cigars are made, and saw some wildlife:

Pineapple Plants- I had no idea each plant only produces 1 fruit 

Making Cigars

Lunch- fried chicken, rice, tomato salad, and potatoes- Very yummy!
After lunch we went to a coca bean and coffee bean farm where we learned how both are made.

The cement pad is where they dry coffee beans

Coffee Beans

Coca seeds- raw seeds are very slimy right out of the pod!

Coca beans and pods
After we left the farm it was off to the beach to enjoy some boogie boarding:

It was a very fun day and while most people probably think I am crazy for going on an educational adventure I thought it was the best of both worlds.  We got to enjoy beach time and learned some new things, but yes I can admit I am a giant nerd and Nick is a trooper for going along with my nerdiness.


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