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Focus: The pirate hunt is on, and not just in the Caribbean!

6 - Pirates of the Caribbean

The pirate hunt is on, and not just in the Caribbean! © Copyright

'Caribbean' ...the word alone evokes 101 pirate-related connotations. Beautiful transparent waters, beaches of fine white sand lined with palm trees...the Caribbean ocean is a pirate's dream. Its volatile surface hides well-known galleons full of gold, not forgetting bottomless cups of rum! To the northwest of Hispaniola (which links the Dominican Republic to Haiti) Turtle Island was a stronghold for the pirates whom sieved the Caribbean Ocean in the seventeenth century. The 'Fellowship of the Coast' ruled for a good ten years. However you don't need to find Turtle Island in order to go pirate-hinting! With a little imagination one can be in the land of pirates in Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Martinique. They offer secret coves, mysterious boats, a lost treasure chest of gold, brightly-coloured pirates, rum, and a hint of voodoo and there you are! Close your eyes and see Captain Jack Sparrow run along! In the Saint Domingo colony, a UNESCO world heritage site, stop off and admire the 'Fortaleza Ozama', built in 1502 and 1507 under the government of Nicolas de Ovando in order to protect the city from pirate attacks. The Fortaleza Ozama was the first European fortress and the very first military building of America. A must-see is also the Casa del Cordon: first stone-walled house of the Modern world. It is here that the ladies would meet in 1586 to give away their jewelry as ransom demanded by the English pirate Sir Francis Drake. In exchange of the jewelry he would guarantee the city's freedom. Another site to visit is the cathedral of San Domingo which was the very first of the Modern world and was Sir Francis Drake's headquarters. The tour guides especially love showing their visitors the first chapel to the left of the altar, which is where the pirate used to hang his hammock. A statue nearby is also missing its nose, which he is meant to have chopped off with his sword! Stay awake whilst on watch; beware of floating ghostly ships carrying pirates that are still looking for treasure to this very day!

The ghost of Barbarossa in Tunisia Oman: the pirate coast