The Nigerian Passport gets no Caribbean Love
I’m back…. I’m back…..I sincerely apologize for being MIA from the blogging world for so long – a lot has been going on around here. Back to business….The Nigerian Passport gets no Caribbean love, but I still love me the Caribbean.
I’m proud to be Nigerian – I love my country and all, but you can’t love traveling and have a Nigerian passport – ko possible (it is not possible). Something about that green booklet gets no international love….Please get this passport off me *sigh*
Anyways, I had a wonderful trip to Jamaica, but the visa process was a hassle. I had the worst experience with the Jamaican and Brazilian embassy (will talk about my trip to Brazil in another post). If you are Nigerian, and you need to travel to any of these countries, give yourself at least 4-6weeks for the visa process. Now to the fun part, I visited the Caribbean islands of Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
Where I visited and Where I stayed: Dominican Republic
I visited Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. I absolutely love DR; reminds me a lot of Nigeria – the trees, the flowers, the buildings, etc- the vibe was very African. I visited Puerto Plata with a co-worker for 3 days. I stayed at Viva Wyndham Tangerine Resort (all- inclusive hotel) in Cabarete-Sosua. Sosua is the main city in the Puerto Plata area. This is where you can find all the bars, shops, restaurant, etc.
The hotel food was pretty good, and of course the drinks were great for the weekend getaway. This trip was a much needed vacation from work stress in NYC. I didn’t plan to do any touristy stuff, I simply wanted to rest and get a feel of DR – the people, the place and the culture. I just wanted to relax, think, and enjoy the beach (If you want a clean beach/beautiful water experience, DR is definitely the place to go).
How I spent my days:
The weekend went by pretty fast. Since we didn’t plan to do much, most of our daily activities involved us chilling at the resort, by the pool and the beach. The resort had a lot of activities planned for its guests. They have daily work out sessions in the pool – for adults and kids. They also had nightly entertainment – the workers performed choreographed dance routines and fashion shows every night. I made friends with one of the workers at the resort called Baby. He was very helpful in giving us tips on what to do in Puerto Plata.
We met some guys from NYC during dinner on our first day at the resort- they quickly became our weekend crew. We all went out to the beach bars and clubs on the strip in Sosua. We went to a foam party in one of the beach bars – this was really cool, though I had to deal with washing my hair after and you guys know what they say about a black woman’s hair and water 🙁 . We rode back to the hotel in Moto Conchos (a.k.a okada as it is called in Nigeria). It was an amazing ride back. As I said earlier, I didn’t do much on this trip to DR, but I promised myself I’d go back to explore more cities in Dominican Republic. Cheers to DR!!
Where I visited: Jamaica
The weekend after, I went to Montego Bay (commonly called MoBay), Jamaica. MoBay was pure bliss. Although I had a hard time getting their visa, it was totally worth it. This was another solo trip for me. I didn’t know what to expect in Jamaica but I was confident that I’d do fine (I was actually glad I came alone). Jamaica is so beautiful, I guess any of the Caribbean countries are. It also reminded me of Nigeria – the environment, the people, the culture, and the music.
It can be an expensive place – it depends on how good you are at negotiating (trust me, I got around the pricey stuff – again don’t fall for the first price). The water in MoBay is beautiful, but the water is slightly polluted – not as pure/clean as the beaches in DR. Also I did not like the mosquitoes 🙁 (omg they had a nice time feasting on my heavenly and milky skin *arghh*).
Where I stayed:
I stayed at the RIU hotel (recommended by my co-worker). I got a good deal that weekend, the hotel cost about $300 for 3 nights – all- inclusive stay. The resort is nicely located, close to the airport and not too far from the tourist strip. The resort was really nice – the staff was friendly and helpful. The resort store was pretty expensive (I guess touristy price) – no way I’m paying $15 for bug spray (I’d rather the bugs bite me than pay that *hiss*). Also, the food at the resort wasn’t great at all – there was nothing Jamaican about it. I ended up eating out at local hole in the wall restaurants (now that’s some authentic Jamaican food). The resort also had nightly entertainment shows for its guest.
How I spent my days:
On my first day, I signed up to go zip-lining with this tour company called Jamaican Zipline (best and worst decision ever). The resort has a tour desk, and you can book tours/activities there. I was really feeling adventurous this weekend – not sure what I was thinking.
I spent a lot of time at the main bar and the pool bar. On my first day, I met this really nice Jamaican guy, he was very shocked I traveled alone. He gave me tips on how to be safe in the city, what to do and where to go. I met his friends and we all had a great time drinking and chatting while watching this cute couple get married at the resort.
Later that night, I went to grab dinner, sat at the main bar and was hunting for night-time activities. Some random guy walks up to me and there I go again, I met another nice Jamaican guy. He was visiting Mo-Bay from Miami with his brother and cousins (they helped me out a lot with negotiating taxi rides, getting local food, e.t.c ). So that night I hung out with them – we went to the tourist strip. They took me to the place where I could get some good street Jerk Chicken. I started my night with some jerk, then headed out to Pier One (famous tourist club). Pier One was amazing, great music, and so on (something about beach bars and clubs get me hyped).
The next day – woke up so exhausted – I had to go ziplining at 7am. It was a half day activity. I definitely had my sunglasses on that morning – practically sleep walking – but I had paid $100 to zip-line so I couldn’t back out. Another group of 3 also signed up to zipline from the resort, so we got picked up by the tour company. Again, I made new friends – we later found out we all lived in the Northeast region – they live in the DMV area (I still keep in touch with them). We went zip-lining – let’s just say I don’t want to talk about my nervous and almost passing out experience – but I made it, the view of Mo-bay from ziplining was amazing. At least, I’m here blogging about it. I met amazing people ziplining. It was a very diverse group – older African American couples from another hotel who were such troopers (they were pretty impressive ziplining, meanwhile I was over there shaking my legs away), and another group of Caucasians from another hotel too.
After a long day ziplining, myself and my new friends from the resort decided to go to the pool bar to hang out. It was fun, we stayed in the pool for the rest of the day – the guys from the night before, friends from ziplining and their friends, hung out all day – drinking, dancing, playing games, having good convo (great times indeed). We later went to dinner, and then headed out to the tourist strip. We went to this beach bar called Margaritaville. It was raining hard that night, so going out that night was a bit crazy – most of the bars have an open roof structure – so when it rains it’s not pretty. We ended up leaving the bar earlier than expected (we had a long day anyways, so we just called it a night).
The next day was travel day for me, back to reality. I just relaxed for the most part in the morning before heading to the airport. I must confess, I did have a blast in Jamaica – it was a very chilled, adventurous, fun, weekend. IT was a “whatever happened in Jamaica, never happened” kind of weekend. Contact me for more details 🙂