Petite, warm, beautiful. Meet Catalina

Somewhere on the south side of the island

We embarked on this journey before dawn. The trip from the hotel to the bay lasted about three hours. In that period, I managed to curse myself about six times for leaving the hotel. I hate long trips. Stranded in a tiny village, we awaited our next means of transport.

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morning

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town

The cruise

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Looks like it’s going to be a hot day. The crew is more than ready.

Looks like it’s going to be a hot day. The crew is more than ready.

sun ship

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The worst moment. Right before the jump.

The worst moment. Right before the jump.

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underwater

Wrong. The worst moment was when I realized that what they call ‘the most beautiful coral reef of the Dominican Republic’ is actually a few grey stones hiding under a mass of cloudy water. Any fish around? Forget about it. This is my biggest coral-reef-disappointment since my trip to Mexico 4 years ago. Kenia was pretty weak, too. Egypt still holds the crown for best coral reef, with the Thai Phuket reef being the runner-up. This is the only picture I took underwater. What a disaster.

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Catalina

It takes a 30 minute cruise to reach this island from the mainland. Catalina is almost completely uninhabited, save for the natives traders who try to sell you any old junk you can think of, though none of it is worth buying. Once you reach the land, you’re given coupons for all of the local shops, both of them, and then you can go where you want. Actually, you can’t go inland. That area is prohibited. Doesn’t matter though, I’m fine with staying on the beach. It was a pretty productive afternoon, actually. I spent it on pondering things. Everything. Nothing in particular. I have to say, this place looks like it was snatched from a fairytale, but let me be perfectly clear – this is not the beach paradise I am looking for.

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We started our journey back into the mainland two hours before the sunset. Another long trip was awaiting us to get back to the resort and relax after this long and hard day.
I
’m not sure if I’ll go on another expedition. The pictures turned out great, but the reef was a huge disappointment. I hope that I encouraged you to visit the Dominican Republic, though this was never my main goal. I’m not working for any travel agency. Hell, I didn’t even make the right decision with the German agency I booked my holiday with, but I’ll tell you about that later. Anyway, this is a great place for a winter holiday, especially since it’s much cheaper than Thailand and Kenya.

I’m starting to romance with the idea of going back to Egypt before spring, but I’m not sure if I’ll go through with that plan. Furthermore, my friends keep telling me to finally visit the Canary Islands. They say it’s the perfect place for me. Well, all of these decisions can wait. For now, let me enjoy the summer and start longing after the winter.

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