Thursday, November 17, 2016

Holiday to Sosúa and the North Coast - Part 4

It was time to leave Sosúa and what a surprise. It was raining. We said goodbye to Casa de Compai and the amazing taps –

including the one in the kitchen which had a green light on it when the water was on,

and the pool we never had a chance to use,

and set off in a very smart taxi, driven by Charly to head to Tubagua Eco Lodge.

We turned right out of Sosúa on the road to Puerto Plata then turned left in Montellano up the so called carretera touristica. The road goes over the mountain to Santiago and has a bad reputation for being in a poor state of repair, but apart from a few areas where there was no tarmac it was fine as far as we had to go, and it didn't take long to arrive at Tubagua in the pouring rain.

Charly helped us with our luggage down to the main living/dining/reception area where we were met by Tim the owner, who is the Canadian Consul for the north coast, and Tania, the American guest services manager. It was cold and wet and the view which Tubagua is famous for was just cloud.

Still we settled down for a long chat with Tim over hot coffee and a bottle of very nice red wine appeared from nowhere an hour later which helped warm us up!

The lodge is Eco with a capital E. Built on top of a mountain with stunning views (so we were told) everything is hand made with local wood. There is a choice of accommodation from what is called the long house with basic 2 bedded rooms and an outdoor washing area

and even an outdoor toilet – well you look at the view while you poo, which Michelle tried out.

There are palapas which are open sided rooms with beds upstairs (via a ladder) and down, and cabins which have their own bathroom.

Given the torrential rain we were pleased to have a cabin.

All of the food we had was basically a fusion of  Dominican and super healthy and we had a fabulous meal of fish in coconut sauce, with an amazing salad, rice, beans, fresh vegetables and avocado, plus a little more red wine, which we ate in the kitchen as it was warm and cozy.

Tubagua really does feel like a home from home, with no standing on ceremony and you can ask for whatever you need and the staff, Tim and Tania will all do their best to help you.

It was then time to go to bed, and suitably kitted out with borrowed raincoats and an umbrella, we ran back to our cabin.

On entering our cabin we discovered we had a guest. A dog, who let him/herself in and refused to leave.

Michelle and I both love dogs, and were grateful for the extra security although having said that I felt as safe at Tubagua as I do at my house, and given the torrential rain it seemed fair to let the dog have a cozy night with us.

We called the dog Sanky as it was spending the night with two foreign women, and true to form in the morning it followed us to breakfast expecting some goodies.I should point out for those who don't like or want dogs in their rooms (like husband Danilo - but chickens are OK) the dogs are an optional extra and are kept away during meal times and not normally allowed in the rooms unless requested. For those who want a pet friendly hotel - this is definitely the place and no issues about bringing pets and the dogs were very well behaved. For me it was a special treat to be allowed a dog in the living area next to the bedroom.

The sun was out and at last we saw the famous Tubagua view and OMG what a view, from Playa Alicia in Sosúa to the east

to Pico Isabel del Torres above Puerto Plata in the west, and in front of both, the Atlantic Ocean. It really was stupendous.

The main eating and relaxing area is perfectly set up to enjoy the view and you could literally sit here all day long although there are also plenty of other areas throughout Tubagua where you can curl up and enjoy a book or just while away the hours. There are books and magazines everywhere and it is a place for feeling totally at home, at one with nature and the environment and total relaxation - even in the rain.

Breakfast was fabulous, fresh coffee, yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, eggs any way, potatoes, bacon or sausages, toast and a variety of jams and all cooked to order. If you need coffee as soon as you open your eyes in the morning - no problem just yell out of the window and a flask of steaming coffee will be delivered to your room.

We checked emails, with the excellent WiFi, gave Sanky the odd bit of bacon and sausage as payment for services rendered (as a watchdog!) and set off to explore before it started raining again….which it did.

Part 5 tomorrow.