Select Traveler

NOV-DEC 2016

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24 N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 and I enjoyed was "The Story of You." Overall, there is a different, fun personality aboard a Fathom cruise. During a session, our impact guide, Michelle, shared with us how she trained and worked as a gymnast, so in an impromptu vote, our group decided we wanted to learn how to do handstands. FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA Besides the ample opportunities to help, Fathom has also included some amazing experiences to explore and relax in the Caribbean at- mosphere around the province of Puerto Plata. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to travel into the mountains on a tour to see La Isabela, located in the northwestern part of the province. The town was es- tablished by Christopher Columbus and was one of the fi rst European settlements in the New World. I enjoyed seeing the variation form the urban landscape; our bus made its way down dirt roads that seldom see automobiles. At one point, we even got stuck behind some boys herding cattle between fi elds. Once we reached the ruins, we were able to see the stone founda- tions, the only structures that remain of the fl edgling town, as well as the explorer's grave. It was a particularly powerful feeling for me to stand on the bluff overlooking the ocean and see the same timeless view that Columbus saw as he made such a lasting impact on our world. Rather than traveling inland as I did, Graham embraced his love of the ocean and went deep-sea fi shing. Unfortunately, the group didn't land any big catches, but Graham still had a blast spending the after- noon with Captain Bartolo. After tasting a freshly cut pineapple that had been hanging on the tree that morning, my husband informed me that he was ruined on store-bought "fresh" pineapple forever. MAKING AN IMPACT On our second day in the Dominican Republic, we had what was, hands down, our best experience of our trip: our impact activity. We got up early Wednesday morning to load onto the bus to San Marcos, one of the poorest areas of the city. A short time later, we arrived at Photos by Graham Ricks Decorative street art and colorful buildings are a regular site in the Dominican Republic. Rum ages at the Brugal Rum Factory. Statues of historical fi gures adorn Puerto Plata's central park. Colorful cabanas line the beach in Amber Cove. Motorbikes and baseball are a way of life in the Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata Amber Cove

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