Medellín to Santo Domingo

Last stop on the tour…
And I’ll be honest, the only thing I’m thinking right now is, “How short a period of time is it reasonable to be back at home before I start planning to go away again?”

The stomach bug in Havana was a bit of a speed bump but hey, it gave me something to write about at lest. Otherwise it’s been an amazing trip. It just seems to get better and better and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to travel and see the world.

I didn’t write much in Medellin… Everything went incredibly smoothly without any incident. It’s a great place for an urban vacation. Among Medellin’s many virtues is the incredibly laid back, low stress and mellow vibe of the city. I put that down to the fact that pretty much the entire population of the city is stoned… But hey, I’m not judging nor saying that’s a bad thing. And as the taxi driver on the way to the city from the airport said, “Medellin… Mucha rumba!” And he wasn’t lying. For the last five days or six I pretty much lived without a conscience… Partying like there’s no tomorrow and eating as if obesity, cholesterol and heart attacks didn’t exist. But hey… I lost weight and I feel great! It makes me think I’m doing something wrong with all the brown rice, celery juice and Bikram Yoga I do at home.

The flight to Santo Domingo went well, except that the guy at the Avianca counter who checked me in must have been on his first day on the job, or he was stoned, or both… It literally took 30 minutes to check in. He made me change the flight because he didn’t think I’d have enough to to transfer. 90 minutes seemed reasonable and the airline allowed me to book it anyway. Despite the fact the time keeping is not the Colombian person’s forte, Avianca run an incredibly tight ship. Then he studied all my onward tickets for ages and had to call other staff members over to inspect them as well, like he had never seem a ticket before… Anyway, finally everything was ok and I was off.

  
The flight went well and landed in lovely Santo Domingo at about 5.30 p.m. Out of all the cities so far, Santo Domingo has by far the “heaviest” entry procedure. You get the full narco-pedo treatment… Photograph taken, all ten fingers fingerprinted, luggage sniffed by dogs and then everything x-rayed again. It was smooth sailing though and once I got through Kénol, the guy I’m renting the apartment from, was there waiting to pick me up. 

  
I only chatted to him briefly in the car but he seems like an incredibly nice guy. He’s from Port-au-Prince in Haiti and is in Santo Domingo studying medicine.

We arrived at the apartment in about 30 minutes. This is my street for the next nine days…
  
The apartment is fabulous…. Two bedrooms plus lounge and dining with a gorgeous dining room table.  

   
 Kénol has a Haitian friend who has offered to be my personal chef, (for a price of course) … I’m thinking of taking him up on the offer just so I can feel like Madonna for the next nine days. And I’m in love with the dining room table!

I only arrived a couple of hours ago and just had a quick walk around the hood. I’m staying in the Colonial Zone, which incidentally was the first European settlement in the new world… It looks nice but out of all the places I’ve been to so far… and this is just my first impression… it has a bit more of a dodgy vibe than the other places. Anyway, we’ll see.

  
I’m always comforted when I see this sign…

  

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