Headline November 07, 2016/ ''' *ADVENTURE* -!WOW!- *EXCITEMENT* '''



*MOVING BEYOND THE WORLD*   -a night long trudge and tremble, found me,   well before the first light,  -barefooted, and with my head bowed in shame-
Treading an, up-gradient of a hillock, in the city of Multan, Pakistan. 

This very ancient city, that dates back hundreds and thousands of years, is a city where many great Saints reside in  their eternal abodes. 
I had come over to pay my respects and to replenish my reservoir of faith.

At the Mausoleums   -in the semi-darkness, a light breeze blew. Beautifully manicured lawns and flowers cascaded in all directions. 
And around them slept, hundreds of homeless, the defeated, the lost, the forgotten - on the ground,  in patched and  stitched coverings.

Through the scanners, and a  physical body search, I entered the masterpieces of Muslim architectural efforts.

As beautiful, a hand laden work, that you can imagine. It is in these spiritual surroundings that I found myself praying for guidance and success for the World Students Society.

With prayers over, and after feeding, hundreds and thousands of pigeons, who seem to hoover, flutter and coo all around me, I joined the residents for a few morsels of what they said to me, was their daily breakfast.

I then walked on, through potted holes, littered streets, hanging and naked electrical wires, blocked sewage pipes, drenched smelly pathways, clogged hearts and souls-

To see the first girl students arrive at their schools and colleges. Mostly accompanied by their fathers, on a motorbike.          

THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY -lovingly called, !WOW!, is the best guarantee of virtues,  great values, great accomplishments,  adventure and excitement in your life.

*What could be more adventurous, more exciting,  than helping build a great new world based on love, mutual respect, dignity and justice*.

And  Off ship, Lucas Petersen, discovers his great appetite for adventure taking over: Waterfalls and cable car are a welcome escape from cruise's port of call, for a frugal traveler.    

WHEN I DISEMBARKED AND TOOK a look at Amber Cove, my initial thought was:
''Oh, no!'' 

We had just docked in the Dominican Republic after a full travel day at sea -a fairly smooth, tranquil journey {this was, thankfully, weeks before the Hurricane Matthew struck the region}  through the Caribbean on our ship, the Adonia.

I was on the third day of a week long Fathom  ''impact''  cruise, the goal of which is to engage the several hundred passengers in on-the-ground volunteer activities in and around the Dominican town of Puerto Plata, on the northern coast of the country.

In addition to volunteering, I was excited to do some exploring of the surrounding area. Where we had landed,  however  -an $85 million  ''town'' called  Amber Cove   -didn't instill in me a lot of hope.

The port of call, built specifically by Carnival to entertain cruise passengers [and separate them from their money} is a complex of cabanas, overpriced shops and deck chairs that's about as interesting as a tract housing development.

I knew that I were going to get any real sense of the country during my limited time there, I would have to escape Amber Cove.

Armed with nothing more than some cash, my passport and my cruise card [which I needed to be readmitted to Amber Cove and the ship], I made the long walk to the front gate of the town.

The taxis inside the complex had friendly drivers and well maintained cars, but are on the pricier side, so i decided to take my chance outside on the street.

I was immediately approached by group of men with their personal automobiles, and we began to haggle.

Haggling happens constantly in in the  Dominican Republic, and I would encourage travelers to embrace it. 
Big gestures, overreactions and feigned outrage are commonplace  -just keep a good sense of humour and remember that the price difference probably means more to them than it does to you.

I negotiated a half-day trip around the nearby town of Puerto Plata with a middle-aged man name Modesto Toribio. He quoted me $50.

After a few grand gestures and some faux exasperation we settled on $30. 

Our first stop was the telerico, or cable car, which bills itself as the only one in the Caribbean. The fee is 350  Dominican pesos {about $8} or 100 pesos for Dominican citizens.

The brightly colored teleferico is suspended high above ground like a ski lift. It lurched into the air and I was treated to a gorgeous view of the town town below.

After roughly 10 minutes, we arrived at the top of Mount Isabel de Torres, greeted by an enormous Christ statue.

Once at the top I wandered around the lush, peaceful surrounding national park. You'll probably be approached by people trying to sell you souvenirs or offering to take you on a tour  -feel free to say  no in a friendly and firm manner.

We drove through the center of town, past hawkers of candy, magazines and fresh fruit, until we arrived at the Fortaieza San Felipe, a 16th century Spanish fortress that sits imposingly on the shore, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The old weapons, armaments and homage to Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the country's founding fathers, are interesting [there's also an English-language audio tour], but what was really breathtaking were the grounds around the fort and vistas.

The Honour and Serving of experiences on Travelling continues. Thank Ya all for reading and sharing forward and see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Working The Refs '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!