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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wednesday 20th April - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Another day in paradise. We've had hot, hot weather and glorious sunshine since we boarded this ship back in March and today has been no different. So, at 8.45 this morning, under a hot sun, Peter and I duly climbed onto our respective coaches and counted heads on the "Ecological Encounter" tour.

Actually, the content of the tour was very good. First we had the visit to Three Eyes Park, an open air limestone cave housing three small lakes (pools really). Very pretty, and an amazing place. It might have been more amazing with less people.

One of the lakes had a tunnel at the far end.  These people are using a raft on a pulley system to get there. 
 Then we went to Santo Domingo's botanical garden. A lovely place and worthy of a couple of hours to wander.

Terrapins in the pond came to the edge, because they thought we were going to feed them. 
The spread of the branches on this tree is amazing!
But when you see the roots, you can understand how it manages it.
Quite splendid. 

And finally we finished at the Meson de la Cava, a restaurant inside a cave. The food was good, and cave was very cave like. Peter and I never got to eat inside, being the last to sit down, they had run out of space, so we sat outside. We were happier with that, inside seemed quite gloomy.

So as I said. Nice tour. Shame about the organisation or lack of it. At the first stop, no one explained what we were doing, stood outside the gates waiting. It turned out we were queuing, but I had to get to the front to find out why.   Then, we got to the gardens - complete chaos The guide didn't tell us we were on free time, so people were waiting for a non-existent guided tour, there was a disagreement about prices for the tickets for the land train, the park was big but there were no maps. Confusion reigned and the whole thing was a complete mess.

The restaurant managed us very well - but we were now an hour behind schedule and people were getting grumpy, wanting free time back at port. Our Shorex staff were not looking forward to the feedback. We were lucky though. The bus that went to the Cave of Wonders got rammed by a truck! (Nobody was hurt fortunately).

At the end of it all, we sat again on the veranda at the back of the ship, sharing mishap stories with the others in the "lecturer" category. Some of them were hysterically funny and cheered us up no end.

After dinner, show time in the Darwin Lounge was taken up by "Call My Bluff". They entertainment team don't tell the passengers who the contestants are, but I can say that the whole show is excellent entertainment and very funny. We'd seen it on the previous two week cruise, and although it was sort of repeated, the show is different each time. We could easily watch it again and again, as the jokes and ad libs are new in each show.

So that was the end of another day (finished up in truth with a cup of tea and an episode of Star Trek). Tomorrow is will be our last sea day and therefore it will be formal night. Posh togs again then.

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