The morning brought Ana. The tropical storm was clearing Puerto Rico and due in Punta Cana by evening. Whitecaps covered the sea and from the balcony we could make out the orange flag flying through slanting rain. Our solo catamaran venture was not to be. All boats were beached and chained. Sunglasses were necessary, not for sun, but blowing sand. Shelly found a small coconut tree washed up on the beach and we strolled hand in hand in the company of a dozen other gringos who found a half full glass in these conditions, possibly only because the rain had filled it. Honestly, compared to the Oregon coast it was still paradise. For one thing you could wade in the water and still feel your toes.
But our time was short and the mood of the resort mirrored our emotions. It felt like the end of summer camp. Chiefly because of the rain we were the only ones outside their room. It was only those leaving who filled the hallways and lobbies. We said our goodbyes, left our propinas with staff members we had befriended and found our van to the airport.
The airport was a rude reintroduction. Two hundred gringos in a queue, one American Airlines employee to check them in. Quite a shift from the pampering we had left so recently. We softened the return to reality with a bottle of wine the hotel had gifted us, inexplicably already opened. It helped, but we only made a small dent in it before we reached security and passed the bottle off to a very grateful gardener who was outside the airport formally, but separated by a three foot stone wall. We made his day. Actually, his joy made my day as well. The rest of the trip was a routine, but rough awakening to western incivility.