A Life Worth Binge Watching
S2: E12 The Most Excellent Excursion
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter, Abbie and I went on our annual summer adventure. Last year, we went to Riviera Maya, Mexico and stayed at The Excellence, an all inclusive resort. We liked it so much that this year we booked the sister resort, The Excellence Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The resort is fabulous, with pristine beaches and luxurious accommodations. The adults-only property is immaculate and the restaurants would impress the most critical foodie. They had activities throughout the day and top-notch entertainment at night. I highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a trip to paradise.
Although we could have just stayed on premises the entire time, we decided to book an excursion off property. After we checked in, we immediately found the adventure desk where we met the nicest excursion representatives who helped us decide on an unforgettable experience. I hope you are ready for the most excellent excursion of all time!
A representative of the tour company picked us up at the hotel and drove us to La Hacienda Park, which was about a 40 minute drive. Along the way, we drove past a few run down tour companies so we really were not sure what to expect. When we arrived at the compound, we were pleasantly surprised. La Hacienda was the most elaborate and clean adventure park that I have ever seen. We started out by getting our helmets and lockers, then our tour guide led us to the first activity of the day. Abbie and I boarded a chair lift just like the ones you get on to go to the top of ski run. From there, we could see the gorgeous endemic forests and cane plantations from high above. It was truly breathtaking.
When we exited the chairlift, we went from a peaceful, relaxing experience to pure adrenaline as we waited our turn to zip line. The 5 zipline circuit was specifically designed for the park, and we flew high over the most spectacular scenery of the dense forest. Abbie went first and I saw her speed high above the trees until I couldn’t see her anymore. Yep, mama did have a moment of anxiety, but I felt very confident that the lines were safe. Then it was my turn. As soon as I lifted my feet off the ground, the attendant gave me a push and off I went, like a bird in the sky, flying high. What an exhilarating, yet tranquil experience! As I neared the end of the line, I came to an abrupt stop at the platform where Abbie was waiting and laughing at my reaction. We went on the next 3 lines and then all of a sudden it started pouring down rain. Needless to say, we were a bit concerned as we were standing on top of a metal platform at an altitude of over 100 meters. No big deal, we took that last line by the horns and zipped our way down to the final platform where we had to quick-jump off the side to get to the ground. I felt like a superhero, scaling the side of a building!
After exiting the quick jump, our tour guide gave us a shot of a special Dominican drink called Mamajuana, which was very tasty. I was thinking that he probably should have given us that before the zipline! From there, he led us to the stables where we would begin our horseback ride. The horses were extremely docile, and we rode through the beautiful countryside to a barn that housed a few cows. We dismounted our horses and walked our way over to the barn and then each of us took turns milking the cow! After we each had a turn, we mounted back up and rode to the next stop where we would learn how coffee beans and cocoa beans are dried. We then sampled hot chocolate, coffee and had another round of mamajuana shots!
When we returned to the complex, we had an authentic Dominican feast before heading to our last adventure. Our tour guide led us down a path to where we chose a dune buggy to drive. Abbie drove first, as I held on for dear life as we went speeding down the muddy road, over multiple potholes and mud pits. At some point, we stopped at a natural river to cool off and wash off some of the mud. Then we hopped back on and it was my turn to drive. Whoo hoo, I was Evil Knievel maneuvering the narrow pathways of the trail. We were covered in mud! After we got back to the complex, we rinsed off and enjoyed a couple more Mamajuana shots while we waited for our bus to bring us back to the resort. What an absolutely incredible day! If you are ever in the Dominican, I highly suggest this tour.
For more photos and videos of our adventure, go to my Facebook page, @Alifeworthbingewatching
Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly, inspiring women everywhere to follow their dreams of adventure.
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