Drive from Port Salut to Les Anglais
Trip Start Jan 29, 2009
11Trip End Feb 08, 2009
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Where I stayed
Hotel Du Village
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to roosters 'cocka doodle dooing' which would be a reoccurring theme every morning in Haiti. I came prepared with ear plugs which helped but didn't completely block out the noise. Shortly after 6 a.m. the locals were up and moving. This was also a reoccurring theme. I decided to get up after the noise was shooting past my ear plugs and there was no chance for additional sleep. I walked out of our room and onto the beach--it was sooooo beautiful. The palm trees, sandy beach, and amazingly blue Caribbean water. It is hard to imagine that such a beautiful country has no tourism!! I walked a short distance on the beach and soaked it all. This was our calm before the storm.
The one thing I forgot to mention in the previous blog was that gas was few and far between in Haiti and we had two trucks to fill in order to make it to Les Anglais and back to Port Au Prince. This was only one of several obstacles that occurred on our trip. We stopped numerous times at gas stations and people would just wave you by. Haiti is currently experiencing a gas shortage due to not enought gas being delivered into the country. There was some gas in the city about 30 minutes back so before we left for Les Anglais, our drivers headed back to the previous city to get more gas while we ate breakfast and repacked everything. One of the local women was walking by with a basket of goods on top of her head so I kindly asked if I could give it a try. It was much harder than I thought it would be. See the attached pictures.
After eating breakfast, we were lucky enough to see many of the locals fishing. This consisted of 25 people stringing a net out about 40 yards off the shore in their home made canoes. The net was handmade and the top of the net stayed afloat with old cut up flip flops. The Haitians were amazing at improvising and making things with few resources. You will hear more about this in the next few entries along with the home made toys the kids would make. Anyway, once the net was placed, it took easily 45 minutes to pull it to shore. A few people from our team chipped in to help. We were all so excited to see what the catch of the day was and to our dismay, there was hardly anything in the net especially after they had to divide it between 20 people. I couldn't believe how much work it was and they barely got anything to eat out of it....the team work among the Haitians was impressive. Some pictures are attached.
Tout Bagay (our travel support team) was able to get gas and then we were off. We set off for another what would turn out to be long drive. The road conditions got a lot worse and we were not able to use many of the bridges due to the approach getting washed out from the hurricanes last summer. Plus, our water pipes that we had to bring from Port Au Prince kept bouncing off our truck so we would have to stop and reposition them.
While we were driving, we learned that the coastline was undeveloped because the Colombians use this part of Haiti for the drug trade and they won't allow any development to occur in the form of hotels for tourism. It's really sad because it was so beautiful and could be a revenue source for the people. We continued on our drive and came across a truck that had rolled down the embankment toward the ocean, which we were quickly informed that that was a truck bringing $500 worth of food for us for the week (Picture attached). Apparently, the steering column went out and the truck went down the cliff the night before. The truck did stop right before the ocean. The good part is that the two men survived but the bad news was that all of our food went to feed the fish.
We finally made it to Les Anglais but we were exhausted. I started a new blog for our arrival to Les Anglais so go to the next entry please...