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Trip report - the caveats #286753
07/28/2022 05:11 PM
07/28/2022 05:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
D
diver67 Offline OP
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diver67  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
These were minor things in a whole week of beautiful people and beautiful places.

Travel
Biggest stress was covid tests and approvals day before leaving. But all worked out. Approvals came within 2-3 hours of submission. But still really stressful to test negative and get approvals that close to leaving. When we got there, my wife’s email would not download her QR code. They didn’t care and didn’t even look at them (they were checked in the States before we left). Lady at entrance just stamped our negative tests that we brought with approval to proceed. Saw masks in a few random places while there, mostly check-out people in grocery store. But almost nowhere else and very, very few. The most was in airport and was still maybe 1 in 50. Interesting that when you did see them, it was mostly a family unit. Not random. Also, we never bothered with temp checks. I don’t think anyone is monitoring.

Car Rental
Rented with Leisure and they were great as always. But first time I have had an incident. Crazy scooter tried to pass me while in a round-about (shopping day in the Salt Pickers one) and the rear of his scooter contacted the front of my car causing damage. He had damage too but blamed me for being a tourist and went on his way saying well, you will have to pay for that. Still waiting on process, but my credit card says it will pay for all. Will update when I do that and see how Leisure handles me.

Orient Beach
Seaweed – we watched on Thursday afternoon as a huge mass of sargassum came in. About as wide as the swim buoys and reached from those buoys to the beach. Amazing thing was that it only took minutes to come in. The chair workers even came out quickly to take pictures – probably to tell their boss that they were about to have a big job to do. Bad thing is, all the rest of our days there had seaweed on the beach. Even all mulched up in the surf so that everyone had to walk all the way down to end of beach in front of ruins to get in and cool off or take the occasional 'break'.

The beach was missing more sand since I was there last. The stone bedrock was exposed on some of the places along the beach where you walked and many rocks in water anywhere you went in. And the shoreline at the Club O end was up into one of the old cabana ruins now – part of the rope fence is fallen into water.

Almost no one in water just visiting and playing. And usually only a select handful walking the beach. Peaceful, but just quiet atmosphere.

Which was the other bad thing – everyday, if you went past the set up chairs and umbrellas, there were locals hiding in the ruins (and some even coming out much closer) to spy or follow certain people. They would move according to who came down their way that they liked and I saw one guy ‘take care of himself’ while following a couple.

There were cruise ships in four of our days and they mostly walked on through or partly participated late in the day. No real issues with them this time.

And two four-wheeler tours came. They were mostly ok – just made it crowded for a while and one group was pretty loud.

Shopping
Hated the badgering. You could not look anywhere and just browse and think about what you might want because it was constant and from every place. Several were nice. But just still forceful. Several (skin care place, some folks selling timeshares) would engage you in what you thought was innocent sincere conversation, then start in hard on you. Wasn’t for us. Didn't;t need anygting anyway. smile

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Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286756
07/28/2022 08:26 PM
07/28/2022 08:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,780
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,780
Central Florida!
Thanks for the report. Sorry about the seaweed. I really hope that Club O will be able to rebuild at some point.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286771
07/29/2022 05:44 AM
07/29/2022 05:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,468
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
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Colour1  Offline
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Posts: 1,468
Westchester /NYC
Thanks for posting! Sounds like the sargassum was pretty bad during your trip to Orient beach. SMH


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286773
07/29/2022 07:00 AM
07/29/2022 07:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 362
Sarasota, Florida
deputydog1157 Online content
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deputydog1157  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 362
Sarasota, Florida
Sad to see what is happening to Club O property. It appears to me that the powers to be are trying to get rid of the best naturist resort and beach in the Caribbean, First the ban on rebuilding after Irma, which included the Club O area. Then the rocks by Pedro's were removed which acted like a sea wall and changed the washing ashore of sand and the incoming tides. Based on diver's report, that action has appeared to allow mother nature to consume more and more of the area so that the beach is narrower and some of the cabana buildings are now being swallowed up. Add to that the ongoing disputes amongst the owners and you have the real potential of never seeing a Club O type of resort again and the government removing the clothing optional designation. We never had the opportunity to experience staying at Club O but were so hoping that it would be rebuilt so we could. In less than 2 months it will be 5 years since Irma and there has been no movement there. It is a real shame but seeing and reading of the civil unrest, the lack of a "functional" airport and the perverts openly servicing themselves by Papagayo's, it would appear that 2019 was our last visit to paradise

Last edited by deputydog1157; 07/29/2022 07:02 AM. Reason: spelling


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Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286781
07/29/2022 09:11 AM
07/29/2022 09:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
D
diver67 Offline OP
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diver67  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
I did notice that the folks there (whether Cedric on purpose or the guys clearing seaweed regular) have built kind of a berm where the orange chairs end. Possibly burying seaweed there. You cannot see over it. And they do not clean the seaweed on the other side of it which can get deep on bad days. So it did not stop people from walking from the other end (and you would not want to). But it did make kind of a 'natural' break from one side verse the other like the rocks used to.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286912
08/02/2022 07:34 PM
08/02/2022 07:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 73
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johndana274 Offline
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johndana274  Offline
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Posts: 73
We were on the beach the same day as you when the seaweed made it to Club O side. Was kind of cool to watch it come in although quite a mess for the crew to clean up. The young man waiting tables at the Perch said most that didn't make it to shore because of the quantity on shore pushing it back out would be working it's way down the beach and did notice before we left that that was happening. He said they would have it all cleaned up by the next day, don't envy that job. The birds followed the seaweed the whole way into shore and obviously knew what was going to happen once it hit shore. The small fish would try to get away from shore and would end up on top of the weeds making it easy for the birds to pick them off.

Spoke with Cedrick about the Club O rebuild. He said the dissension among the owners is over and only waiting for approval from the government on where and when they can rebuild. This was confirmed by the owners of Paradise Peak where we stayed on the last part of our stay.

As far as sand on the beach or lack of, we to noticed that there was some rocks when getting in the water. I'm sure it's like other beaches and comes and goes although behind the 2nd set of chairs closer to Papaygo there was a sign on a pole and as far as my limited French could tell it was mentioning the diminishing sand. There was a picture of the beach and showed the line of sand in 1946 and then showing different years and the progression to year 2022. Also noticed like the original poster that some of the poles holding the rope had fallen into the water.

One of the days we were there, there was a small amount of seaweed that was on the beach so we walked down towards Papaygo to get in the water to cool off as there wasn't any down there. My wife was more observant than I and did notice a guy enjoying himself leaning against one of the ruined cottages as we were in the water. At least he was a little more discreet (although it was obvious what he was doing) than our "friend" at Happy Bay a couple years ago.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: johndana274] #286918
08/02/2022 08:29 PM
08/02/2022 08:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,780
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,780
Central Florida!
johndana--that is really good news, that the Club O owners have resolved their differences. So hope they are able to rebuild soon!!!!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #286923
08/03/2022 08:53 AM
08/03/2022 08:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2022
Posts: 9
Kelly G Offline
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Kelly G  Offline
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Posts: 9
+1 on the Orient beach observations. I spent a week there in June, my first time since pre-irma, and found the beach to be much smaller than I remembered. I know sand comes and goes, but this was a pretty big difference.

The beach was also a lot quieter than I recall. Probably 2/3's of the beach chairs were occupied in the C/O section, but there weren't many people in the water or socializing, just quiet and perhaps a bit more peaceful than in the past. I know June is generally lower traffic as well, but I've been there before in July so that's what I'm comparing to.

My favorite strip of beach was the small strip of sand on the other side of Papagayos. I like how the water is warm and calm, and if it's windy it's definitely less windy there. Getting there now is a challenge, especially as a female. Walking through the water is tough unless it's super low tide with the rocks in it. Going through the ruins and I ran into the locals hanging out in Papagayo and some of the broken down chalets. Every day I was approached, only one chatted me up and he was nice enough, but his intentions were clear as all I can say was he was standing at attention and I didn't need a place to hang my towel if you catch my drift.

Good to hear they are possibly progressing, but I'm sure like many others, I'll believe it when I see action.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #287034
08/06/2022 11:12 PM
08/06/2022 11:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 17
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Mchuho Offline
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Mchuho  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 17
Hi Diver67, I saw that you rented from Leisure car rental. I just arrived today and also rented through Leisure. However, the charge on my Amex came through not as Leisure Car Rental, but as Jimmy Fitzpatrick. Is this unusual and should I be worried that AMEX won’t recognize this as a car rental charge? I’m concerned as I want to make sure I am protected under the Amex car rental protection program.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #287047
08/07/2022 10:49 AM
08/07/2022 10:49 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,298
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 16,298
Auburn, WA
Are they charging you before you return the car or is that only a swipe to hold on your car. Most rental agencies don't do the final charge till you return the car.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #287081
08/08/2022 09:53 AM
08/08/2022 09:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
D
diver67 Offline OP
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diver67  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 22
Arkansas, USA
Mchuho - looks like my Chase card shows it as Leisure Car Rental. I think that is the owner and I also think that might be the hold. Not sure. Mine was charged when I picked it up. I got a Chase alert email that same hour for the international charge.

Re: Trip report - the caveats [Re: diver67] #287151
08/10/2022 12:28 AM
08/10/2022 12:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 17
M
Mchuho Offline
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Mchuho  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 17
Thanks diver67… you are absolutely right..the first charge was under the owner’s name and is still pending and soon to drop off. The actual charge went through as LEISURE car rental and has already posted onto my account. Thank you for the clarification.


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