Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – February 2013

Graeme and I holidayed in Punta Cana in December 2009 (2009 Dominican Republic blog entries)

This time around, it was my wife and I who were hoping to enjoy a bit of warmth and sunshine away from Ottawa’s snow-covered landscape. To travel south from Ottawa, we need to find a tour departing directly from Ottawa or else, as an alternative we drive to Montreal or Toronto to get alight from either of those two travel hubs. On this occasion, we found a Sunwing tour departing from Montreal that fit our schedule. Our flight was scheduled to leave from P. E. Trudeau airport at 9AM so, once we factored in the required three hours for check-in and the 2.5hr drive from home to airport, we decided to drive down to Montreal the day before our flight departure date and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express where for a relatively small extra fee we could park our car until our return from Punta Cana.

The drive from Ottawa to Montreal would normally be uneventful. Not this time, though. High winds and falling/drifting snow reduced visibility in some places to close to zero and added a bit of extra excitement of our trip.

People are thinking about Spring

People are thinking about Spring

One interesting thing about having a blog that includes lots of photos is the insight that it can provide into what the general population might be thinking about or planning to do. In the Fall and early Winter, the number of views on winter vacation locations tend to increase and our blogs from past trips to the FloridaDominican RepublicMexico and Cuba begin to be viewed more often. During the summer months, by contrast, those blog entries are rarely viewed.

Rolling Waves - Punta Cana  

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Weather, weather, weather!!!

Weather, weather, weather!!!

A Jamaican friend of mine once commented on how funny it was to hear Canadians asking what the weather would be like in Jamaica. Except in hurricane season, the response would always be the same, “Today should be about the same as yesterday. Tomorrow should be about the same as today.” Continue reading

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Heading Home)

If you slip and miss the floor you end up in the pond.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Heading Home)

Tough to head home to winter weather and slippery footing after spending a week having fun in the sun, but someone has to do it!

“Don’t worry!” “I won’t be long.” “Just a few more photos” “I’ll be back before the bus gets here.” 🙂
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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Got all my ducks in a row

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Some days, when I am out photographing, everything just lines up right and I have no problem getting the shot that I want. On other days, nothing seems to go right.

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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Our tour bus for the day - 17 adults, a guide and a driver - THE FAMILY

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Today, I was a tourist going on a tour of Santo Domingo. (location) Our tour bus would be our mobile home-away-from-home from 6AM to 8PM. – 17 adults, a guide and a driver – THE FAMILY! Look Ma – No Washroom – No problem FAMILY – we’ll just stop at the next tourist shop!!! How convenient. There’s one now —– A comfortable ride but a long ride in each direction. Up before dawn and arriving back at the resort after dark.

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Rhinocerus Iguana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinocerus Iguana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The resort houses a few of these large lizards in a caged-in area. I don’t normally like to photograph creatures in confined quarters but made an exception in this case since these are pretty restricted in their territory and it was very unlikely that I would be encountering one in the wild.  As I was trying to photograph the iguanas, I had a battle with a rather large Euphorbia type cactus with very large spines and my self-inflicted wounds meant that I had to shorten my photographing session and head for the first aid kit.

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Bavaro Princess, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Bavaro Princess, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Some days, wildlife isn’t the only thing that I photograph.

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Flora and Fauna, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Security with a smile - Punta Cana - 2009

Flora and Fauna, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Photography of manicured lawns and tightly clipped hedges was not my interest so I would occasionally wander off through the hedges to see what wildlife might be in the more unkempt areas of the resort.  Security staff and gardening staff never gave me any trouble but did keep an eye on me from time to time :-).

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Bavaro Princess, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Adult Green Heron (Butorides virescens) - Punta Cana - 2009

Bavaro Princess, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The first day in Punta Cana was arrival day so I spent the day flying, arriving, checking in, unpacking, finding the restaurants, and wandering along the beach.

Lying around on a beach all day is not my style – I prefer wandering around with a 300mm lens and photographing wildlife. Walking up and down a beach with a 300mm lens among bikini-clad sun worshippers can get me into more trouble than looking for wildlife so I tend to look for wildlife when carrying the 300mm. Continue reading