Back To The Future

Dear Jim,

Please can you fix it for us to go back to the future where we belong, even just for two weeks to fortify ourselves for the next 16 week term at school?

Yours sincerely,

The Madventurers

Dear Madventurers,

Not a problem.  Just hop on a bus and go about 100km up the coast to the town of Cabarete and you will find yourselves right back where you belong.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Jimmy Saville OBE, MBE, BBC, RAC, ABC, YEB etc


Well Jimmy was right, what a difference 100kms can make. Not quite in the 21st century but Cabarete is definitely a good 20 years ahead of Nagua and that’s good enough for us! No trash lining all the streets and littering all the beaches. The air smells clean, there is proper underground drainage so the streets aren’t margined with other people’s dirty bathwater & chickens blood and most residents here are acquainted with the function of the dustbin. (We don’t ask much of our holiday location, fresh air, clean streets and an absence of dead chickens and we feel right at home!)

Our villa is appointed with all the mod cons of the near 21st century including HOT WATER (Oh the joy after months of cold showers is beyond description!). We are also connected to mains water rather than a roof-tank as we have in Nagua so we also have WATER PRESSURE. Not something that most people from the developed world would get excited but you can only appreciate this if you have lived without if for a while. Water flows from the tap at the rate you would expect as opposed to a slow trickle. At our home in Nagua it can take a good 2 minutes to fill a saucepan of water sufficient to boil pasta and getting shampoo out of children’s hair takes the patience of a thousand saints.

The villa is in located in a quiet road lined with palms, plantains and bouganvillia. It’s one storey with vaulted ceilings and tiled floors to keep it pleasantly cool (no need for the numerous ceiling fans and air conditioning for us hardy Naguans, used to neither!) and French doors at the back lead to our own bit of paradise for 15 glorious days – a tropical garden of mango and plantain trees and our own pool. The children swim in the sea every weekend but have only had the luxury of a pool swim twice since we arrived here so they have only stepped outside and glimpsed the pool before they have all stripped off and jumped in “nakey shakey” style.

We left the children splashing around (we have lived here long enough now to not be completely pre-occupied with health and safety so don’t feel the need to watch them in the pool!) whilst we went to explore the bedrooms and bathrooms and to make sure we understood exactly how to get the hot water! As we were unpacking, the cable man arrives to connect us up to 250 channels of (trash) TV, both Spanish and American. The children think all their birthdays have come at once having only been able to watch TV twice since we arrived! All four sit on the sofa, snuggled up in soft clean towels, saucer-eyes unblinking, watching Spanish cartoons. They amaze us with their understanding as they keep laughing out loud.

When we have unpacked we are finally able to drag them away from the pool and TV to explore our new neighbourhood, the coastal town of Cabarete.

According to the agent, our villa is a 5 minute stroll from the beach – and without Zach it more or less is. With Zach it’s at least 20 minutes.  He is 3 so is unable to walk in a straight line. He has to zigzag the whole kilometre, stopping at least every 30 seconds to pick up and study a leaf, stone or stick of considerable interest. But the sky is deep blue, the sun is shining, the neighbourhood is new to us and we are definitely in holiday mode so it’s absolutely fine.

Cabarete is little more than a coastal road that stretches for about 2 kilometres and is lined on both sides with and eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, shops, market stalls, and boutiques. We quickly familiarise ourselves with a couple of fantastic bakeries selling delicious Danish pastries and muffins the size of a tennis balls. I quickly developed a dangerous addiction to the chocolate variety and my daily fix of two or three at around 2,000 calories each required me to spend the first hour of each day running up and down the golden beach.

Aside from Rich’s “moon-sledging” (see separate post) we spent our days lazily beside our pool or at the beach collecting shells, building sandcastles, wave jumping and body-boarding.

If the beach is stunning by day it is simply magical by night; all the beach bars and restaurants come alive right down to the water front. It’s a wonderful assault on all the senses; soft music drifts from each one (no merengue blasting out at ear-drum-bursting volume) palm trees are festooned with fairy lights and lanterns and enticing smells of garlic, seafood and tropical fruits, and still sand between your toes. It is exactly the stuff honeymoons are made of (although I suppose most people don’t take 4 kids on their honeymoons!). The most taxing decision, where & what to eat tonight. Although not that taxing – what do you want for dinner kids? “Pizza” is always the unanimous reply.

It goes without saying that our 15 days passed all too quickly and nobody wanted to come home. Everyone is as brown as a nut and so relaxed we are having trouble standing up. As we got into our time machine to travel back to 1973, we are all agreed on one thing; we are definitely going back to the future again soon.


  1. Ted & Liz says:

    Hi to you all,
    Now this is more like it, if you were to arrange a couple of weeks there, I am sure P & D would love to come over to see you……
    Pleased you had such a fabulous time there, pity you can’t get work there instead of Nagua!!!
    Weather in the UK has become cold after a mild few weeks but is nice, provided you wrap yourselves up.
    Peter & I plus two others who have given up playing at Hallamshire had a game at Tinsley on Wednesday and are playing Beauchief & Tapton next Wednesday & Friday (subject to weather). We are enjoying the change of courses.
    James, Nicole & Ava are due here next Sunday for just over two weeks so we are looking forward to their visit. Ava will meet her four cousins for the first time, should be interesting !!!! She has her first birthday celebration with us.
    Well that’s about it for now, pleased Doreen has mastered Email & Skype, also replying to your Blogs.
    Best wishes from us both.
    Love Liz & Ted xxx

  2. Okay … we’re coming over!!! When have you got your next time off work?!? Goodness, what a location! Looks amazing. So glad you were able to have some quality time, in ‘luxury’, with the kids. You so deserve it!! Richard, bravo for your consistent updating and blogging. It is a total pleasure to read up on all your adventures. I can’t tell you how envious I am of you all. I was just saying to Alison in an email, that I am sure there must be some tough times to deal with, and many ‘highs’ and ‘lows’, but what a magnificent experience you are giving your children – and yourselves too – and I applaud you both whole-heartedly. Enhorabuena a los dos!! Esperamos la próxima historia!! Muchos besos para todos. XXXX

  3. A-maz-ing! Looks and sounds delightful. Now that’s my kind of adventure ;)

    Caroline x

Speak Your Mind