I've flown to and from my country with Martinair (when I moved) and Air France (back and forth) and I can highly commend Air France's service.
I usually fly standby, which means that I get on the plane after all paying customers have got on and if there aren't any seats left then I don't get on board. I've been lucky enough that there's always been plenty of seats so I get mine not as late as it should be, and that those seats next to me have been empty so I can sleep most of the flight on all of them :D The last time I, along with other standbys, got to fly on their Business class (Alizé).
Let's start with the food. Airplane food isn't usually the best or the tastiest. Air France's has been good but sometimes too "gourmet'ish" (especially on Alizé). Their seats are comfortable, even when you're lying on 3-4 seats with the arm rest not all the way up. I've enjoyed their NRJ music mix and their movies, even tho they're not the latest. I like seeing a TV showing how far we are from the destination and all the facts of the trip. The flight attendants usually (try to) speak in Spanish, for those passengers who don't speak French (I get along) and they're very service minded. And last but not least, I haven't had any problem with my luggage on either leg of the trip.
From Bavaro (near Punta Cana) you can take a bus going directly to Santo Domingo (without intermediate stop) in 2 hours for 170 pesos. The come back takes 3 hours because the bus follows a different path.
The bus is comfortable with air conditioning (too cold !!! take a jacket with you) and the ubiquitous music (only merengue !!!)
Taxi are more expensive.
The bus makes a brief stop just to make the passengers stretch their legs or have a snack or go to the toilet (toilet ????....I can't describe the toilet...).
In this pic you can see the refresh point and .....the sausage hanging up !!!!!
This is one of the many hundreds of bridges around the country, the Dom. Rep. has lots of rivers and waterways so they are very common place, unlike in the western part of the country near the Haiti border, this is where many bateyes are located, they were built to house seasonal Haitians sugar cane workers, but later many of them settled there, thus having family, there're many Haitians-Dominicans there, the gov has a hard time of educating people not to cut the trees to make charcoal with it, desforestation it's a continuing problem there, also many poor dominicans do this in the mountains and woods, hence the lack of waterways and green in that part of the country.
In Santo Domingo the traffic is chaotic. With chaotic I mean there are no rules. If you go by car take care to other cars. It's very hard to understand if there is the highway code. It's better to take a bus or a guagua. If you take a taxi, agree upon the price before leaving.
Plane is the best way and fastest way. But if u have alot of money, and your not in a rush, u can take a cruise.
Car is the best way. Cabs are expensive, even in U.S. dollars.Also buses offer a good means of transportation.
I still dont get the picture, cause if we would have flown only the people who had to go to Puerto Plata would have been in a bus for 4 hours. When we came in the airport of Santa Domingo we had to fill in the document for getting in the Dominican Republic and getting out. Everybody on boart of the plane still had to do this, so can you imagine about 500 people in a row waiting to get this form and fill it in???
As you can see Frans and i had a nice pleasant flight..no ups and downs so far....just had a nice meal! Cant remember what...but i do know i had a plastic knife and fork, cause of what had happend in New York on the 11th of September.
This is something i do like...the way the plane is flying...its nice to see where you are and where you are going. Always near New York you get some turbulance...and if the sea is coloured light blue you have a nice flight!
We would have flown about 11 hours and an other 2 traveling and waiting to get to Punta Cana. We first would have gone to Puerto Plata and after that to Punta Cana....this screen in the plane is telling you the hours and minutes till you get there...if something is frustrating its this screen...you are sour of all the sitting and then you think you are halfway...nope...still 7 hours to go...!!
Finally all the busses were there. All the people going to Puerto Plata had to stand one side and the ones to Punta Cana on the other side....When all the people to Puerto Plata were gone it was time for the Punta Cana people....but there was enough space in just 2 busses. About 12 people needed to sitt in the middle of the bus. Frans and I were 2 of this 12 people and refused to do this....and i am glad more people refused..so an other bus was opened and we could go with this bus (with just the 12 of us). To make sure our suitecases would be in this bus, we placed them ourselves in this bus. And there we went...4 long hours of driving through the Dominican night. I think the driver we had was ready for Formula 1 driving..we sat in the front of the bus..and i couldnt look out straight away, cause we sat really hight...but i could see the strange manouvers he made....hell what a driver this was! But we came to Punta Cana in one piece...only 1 bus was missing! We never found out what happend to this bus..maybe the people in it had to celebrate their holiday in Puerto Plata instead of Punta Cana!
When we get through the costums, we had to wait till all the busses arrived to bring us to Punta Cana or to Puerto Plata. We sait there in a big empty hall with nothing to do for about 2 hours, knowing we had to drive about 4 hours in the dark. And if you have been in the Dominican before you also know the roads are not the same as in European or USA countries...
We took an express bus from Puerto Plata to Santiago, and from there the direct bus to Santo Domingo. Remember to have something warm to put on your shouders, as it might get cold becuase of bery good work of the aircondition system.
We rent a taxi which was driving us around for at least half of the day. The prices're reasonable, speciallyas we were five. And don't worry, you can fit even 7 in the same car.. have seen even more people in it when going around Santo Domingo. Just remember to agree on the price before starting the trip wih the taxi.
A view of a traffic sign, this one is located when coming into the AILAS--Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo.
ONE MORE BEEING BUILT NEXT TO THIS ONE, TOO MANY TRAFFIC JAMS ON IT TO BE PRACTICAL ON THE ONE TAKING THE PIC FROM, I GUESS IT'LL GET EASIER.
A view of city streets, notice the bridge across the street it's for people to cross the street without disrupting traffic, or getting hit by it.
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