Phew….well that’s been a busy week. Being a keen Survivor fan for years, I stumbled across a twitter that Ms Parvati Shallow was next door in Haiti, so invited her to the north coast of the Dominican Republic to show her the area. A client of mine kindly offered her a free villa in Sea Horse Ranch and I took on the role of concierge exploring the area between Sosua & Cabarete and a quick trip to Cofresi. A bonus, was meeting Alex Boylan (producer and winner 2nd season of Amazing Race / 1st adventurer of Around the world for free) and my new buddy Zsolt Luka (camera man) who is an absolute gentlemen.
We started her weekend off gently with some paddle boarding in the Cabarete lagoon. This was followed by stand up paddle boarding in the ocean and kite surfing on Cabarete bay with my friend John from the Method Lodge on Kite Beach. In between this time the heavens opened up and it rained for about a day and a half, so we had to give ‘cock fighting’ a miss and instead made cup cakes to celebrate our shared birthdates (my mate Parv’s & mine).
Monday morning, all was back to normal with the weather and we headed out to Oceanworld, Cofresi whom kindly offered a dolphin swim for Parvati. I was looking forward to the shark encounter, but running low on time we headed back to Kite Beach, Cabarete to continue with the Kite Surfing sessions.
The following day before heading across to the monkey jungle, we visited a local charity that has excellent support from both private individuals and companies on the north coast called the Dream Project. I like Dream, it really shows how a commitment to an investment in education and tutoring can really have long term effect for the local population. It’s been great watching the success of this charity over the last years.
Stunning afternoon at the Monkey Jungle with the sun shining and nice breezes. Chuck Ritzen the owner showed the crew the medical facilities in attendance by Gerry (dentist and client of ours) and Bob Konigsberg (a doctor and real estate associate in our office) and we then moved on to play with the monkeys and Zip line around Chuck’s gorgeous property. An added bonus of this visit, was that Chuck kindly offered to take Parvati to Santo Domingo in his plane and then pay for a ticket onward to her next destination around the world.
Never having been really involved with a reality tv crew before (except for 1 episode of ‘Place in the Sun’ about 10 years ago), I was very impressed with the production and how un-scripted the time was. It really was a case of me offering up suggestions and taken them somewhere on a moments notice. I also never really knew when the camera was on and being used or what would end up on-line (hence I sometimes look gormless on the show). The intensity of the editing (Zsolt Luka) is incredible so they can get it on line for you to watch asap e.g. a days footage edited in to 5-8 min overnight. These guys are working non-stop. I don’t think a normal show works at these speeds. If any of you guys out there can tempt Parvati to your corner of the world over the next couple of months, you will really enjoy meeting the crew who are incredibly warm, fun & friendly to be with.
It also served me a reminder on how much there is to do in my back garden! Unfortunately we ran out of time for canyoning in the waterfalls (Damajagua) , whitewater rafting in Jarabocao, snorkeling, diving, deep sea fishing or simply sun-bathing (I do not really need any more color, my color is gorgeous, but I do enjoy a book on the beach), and it gives them a reason to come back for more.
You can check out where she is on her journey now at www.cbs.com/world and see the videos on line
The dark rings & blood shot eyes in the videos are a result of introducing the crew to ‘Servicos’ on the streets of Sosua and late nights on Cabarete beach coupled with trying to keep on top of work and my personal life. For those of you who are questioning why I was not in the water….I have put on a few pounds in the last year and hell would freeze over before I would allow that to be captured for your viewing pleasure!