Something to declare: Dominican Republic; power cuts in Cyprus; grown-ups' club; Heathrow hold-ups
Saturday 13 August 2011
Destination of the week: Dominican Republic
The Caribbean's largest island, after Cuba, is Hispaniola – and the bigger portion, the Dominican Republic, will be celebrating Restoration Day on Tuesday 16 August, marking the beginning of theaction to recapture the island from the Spanish in 1863.
The weather this month is hot, humid and stormy, but if you are seeking a bargain there are plenty around. Thomson is selling an all-inclusive week at the Grand Paradise Samana, departing Gatwick on 24 August, for £747, including transfers. For comparison, BA scheduled flights from Gatwick (via Antigua) for similar dates are selling at £903 return.
Warning of the week: Power cuts in Cyprus
Thirteen people died last month when a cache of confiscated munitions exploded next to the island's largest power station, pictured. "As a result, the electricity supply on the island is under considerable strain with the expectation of daily power cuts of up to two hours," says the Foreign Office, adding: "There will also be pressure on the water supply as the island's desalination plants have been switched off." But the latest travel advice bulletin also says "the power cuts will not affect hospitals or emergency services, and many hotels have their own back-up generators".
The tour operator Sunvil provides more detail: "As the power shortages in Cyprus and power cuts continue, the electricity board has now split the island into 22 regions and given an estimation of when the power cuts will take place. For those staying in hotels, there are no reports of power cuts as they have backup generators."
Its customers in self-catering accommodation and small inns are provided with estimates of when the cuts will happen – though the company warns: "Our own reports from the ground do not always correlate with what the electricity board has proposed. Sometimes there are no power cuts at all and other times there are three or four."
Bargain of the week: Grown-ups' club
The all-inclusive tour operator Mark Warner (0844 884 3642; markwarner.co.uk) has designated two September departures from Gatwick to Lakitira in Kos as adult-only, and removed the normal single supplement. For the week of 17 September, the price is £744 per person, and for 24 September £720.
Tip of the week: Heathrow hold-ups
This weekend, Europe's leading airport gets a taste of the potential disruption that next year's Olympics could bring. British Airways is warning passengers that tomorrow's London-Surrey Cycle Classic Road Race, part of the trials for the 2012 Games, will disrupt roads in south-west London, including access to Heathrow and the M25: "If you are travelling to or from Heathrow airport on this day, you are strongly advised to plan ahead. Tube services to and from Heathrow airport will run as normal but they may be busier than usual."
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