Beach-walking – Dominican style.

I’ve a great many different hobbies and favorite activities – just like anyone. But one of the more unorthodox is long-distance beach-walking. What that?! Easy: Take any sandy beach – and stomp along it barefoot for as long as possible…

Does that include walking back all the way barefoot too? It does indeed. And I’ve never needed alternative options, which are, btw: (i) take a cab; (ii) take a taxi-boat by sea; and 3) be carried in/on some kinda carriage by porters (no WAY!)!

As regards some of the folks who may want to join me on such a barefoot beach-hike, I often have to feel sorry for them! Like I did recently in the Dominican Republic where we had our regional (North, Central and South America) partner conference: in-between work some colleagues joined me…

So we headed on down to the beach, looked left – not much happening down there, and then right – and decided that was the better option. The main reason: there was a tangible destination > that far end of the beach (with the trees behind it) where it seems to just end. Endpoint decided, off we popped…

Aha – turns out that endpoint goes by the name of Punta Natipablo (and it’s here), and by the looks of it there’s a good path that follows the shoreline several meters back from the beach. This was great news for us since we’d already experienced here plenty of unfriendly sand, pebbles and rocks.

Punta Natipablo was just four kilometers away – easy-peasy. Of course, there’s the additional 4km getting back, but still – perfectly doable. The going was real nice too: fine white sand, ocean air, nice weather, and interesting on-beach attractions along the way. The going was sun-safe too: all of us lathered in factor-50 (yes, I learned my lesson – long ago!)…

We pass plenty of folks bathing in the sea. We also fancy a dip – but can’t: beach-trekking in wet kit never a good idea.

Suddenly… ->

Not to worry, we figured – onward; after all, the destination was set and fixed. And anyway, I felt safe with a heavy camera in hand should things get… out of hand somehow ). Also – it’s not as if I looked like easy prey to bad guys – even from behind ->

Another great reward for taking the camera: photos like these ->

All good, until…

We started to hear music, which only got louder and louder the further we walked. Soon enough it was really loud; but worse than that – there wasn’t just one source of music: there were many, and all playing different tunes. The definition of a cacophony. And it came from these here boats:

So, why the party? And then I noticed just how shallow the water was here. That meant the sea was really warm – hot even – 30°C or more. And that attracts folks seeking something similar to a hammam or sauna – lots of folks ->

Party time indeed. And all because of this:

Floating snack-bar-and shop: coconuts and shells (but whether you can take shells with you when flying home we didn’t know) ->

We finally make it to our destination. Turned out it was a non-descript bend in the shoreline – not a punta/point, but never mind: main thing – we made it. A quick photo thereof… ->

…And about-turn and back we plodded ->

…All the way back to our nice hotel. Btw – why here in the Dominican Republic? Simple: I like having our partner meet-ups in lovely locations around the world where it’s warm and friendly ->

…Preferabley in locations where there’s sea nearby – for our business partners often come with their families (which makes such events all the more successful and popular).

Just how I like it: the beach is fairly empty; everyone’s at the conference! ->

Before the event, but all set up and ready to go ->

Ooh – we sure got the location, location, location right again: just look at this! Paradise! Oh, how I love my job ) ->

No wedding today. Conference tomorrow.

Nice sunset ->

The sunrise wasn’t up to much:

Still before the conference started, I figured a march in the other direction along the beach would be in order ->

Off we popped…

Oh, how I love beach-walking. And it can be anywhere; even in on a beach in Kamchatka – not the most beach-walking-friendly place in the world. Indeed, there we kept our boots on as it’s hardly plain sailing trekking (there’s rocks, shale, whale carcasses, abandoned ropes and fishing nets, and occasionally – bears!) Whereas here – this was on the other end of the spectrum in terms of comfort: beach-walking heaven!

You just have to be careful: you have to gauge your stamina levels and make sure they’ll be up to covering the distance you’re planning. Also – if going from a hotel beach to a certain point and then back again, you need to make sure you remember what your starting point – for us, our hotel’s beach – looks like, since hotels can look very similar. Best is to find a landmark nearby that won’t move while you’re on your beach walkies. Here, we chose this here blue-and-white floating thingy:

By the way, I’d done barefoot-beachwalking here before – 10 years ago! I remember that walk was a great one – so it was time for a re-runwalk…

I wanted to leave earlier before it got too hot, but, alas – it rained heavily early morning. Not that that’s was a bad thing for the animal kingdom – for example for this here birdy whose fishing successes were bound to improve no end ->

Above the beach – attack formation of pterodactylus pelicans ->

And what kind of bird is this?

Along the way, an unexpected sight: a “pirate ship” with three powerful outboard motors on the back waiting for young tourists. I never knew they had such motor technology back then… ->

Passing this ship, I pondered upon the decency (rather – lack of) of the pirates that would sail in something it was modelled on. Pirates were low-life thugs, plain and simple. Yet today, they’re all romanticized, lionized. Odd :)! My piracy musings had only just begun when this here colossal cloud seemed to catch us up – tailing us as it had since we set off this morning ->

Now, back to the beach-walking concept…

Yesterday was a warm-up: 5km there; 5km back. Today’s walk was the real deal – race day, as it were. And I set myself a personal record for beach-walking! One of my travel companions – TB – and I covered around 23 kilometers of beach! Taking us more than five hours, we did 11.5km one way, then 11.5 the way back. Woah!

Not that it was easy – by a long stretch. The beach tended to not be flat (as in – on a gradient away from the sea), which started to hurt the legs somewhat after just a few kilometers (due to the unusual exertions thereupon): after a while of walking lop-sided, we really wanted to walk in the opposite direction to restore balance (and when we finally did turn round at the endpoint, we did so with the longest of “aaaaaaahhhhhhs”:).

And as luck would have it, we were blessed with ideal beach-walking weather: there was only the briefest of light showers of rain, and since it was overcast most of the day, the sun didn’t fry us to a crisp! ->

So – what was our destination this day?

…It was the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where we stayed and had three of our own conferences back-to-back in 2014. I guess I chose it as our destinatino as it was a known entity, but I also wanted to see perhaps how the hotel complex might have changed in 10 years…

Another reason I chose it was that it was the last in the line of hotels round here. After it – the hotel-zone beach ended, and it’s also much less appealing: there’s no coral reef protecting the beach and it gets bashed badly by oceanic waves. Basically – it was just too wild for us, and anyway – 11.5km (x2) was plenty already!…

However, last time I did take a chance on the no-mans-beach – all the way to that there hotel under construction (which appears to have since been abandoned). I recall the security guards there looking amazed that a tourist had walked so far along the non-hotel-zone beach! ->

After refreshments at the Hard Rock Café Hotel, it was time to start out back…

Along the way, photographers offer to take pics with their parrots or sometimes iguanas. Offer other folks, that is; they mostly ignored us once they noticed my high-caliber camera in hand )…

A little disturbing ->

Rain-season skies: sensational shapes therein! ->


We bought just ice cream and were on our way…

Nearly there!…

We arrive – worn out and with sore legs and chafed feet. But boy was it worth it. Time for a lie-down – preferably in a bath, or perhaps even on a masseur’s bench. TB was in full agreement ) ->

Back to the work part of our jolly business trip to the Dominican Republic…

Our Americas partner conference was a belter – and more well-attended than even during pre-covid years: very encouraging given the ongoing geopolitical interference we suffer. It just goes to show – we’ve demonstrated to everyone what we can do and how we continue to strategically achieve our objectives, no matter what. In all, 195 representsatives from our partner companies were in attendance from 22 countries – including both the U.S.A. and Canada. Way to go!…

And – just as I like it: a packed hall all the time! ->

PS: conference memorabilia. Even though I gave up smoking eight years ago, and tend not to drink “exotic” hard liquor, I still fully approve of these mementos! ->

And that was that: Dominican-2024 – done. Let’s hope we’ll be back for more of the same…

PPS: in this pic over the city where we landed for a connection when flying home – how many airplanes can you see? ->

The rest of the pics from the Dominican Republic are here.