Michal, Monika, Jan and Evit in a car with dying battery to discover the “most beautiful” beach on Haiti
Who is Monika and Michal? The Slovak university has two project on Haiti: one at the north (we mentioned that in the article about Mole Saint Nicolas) and the second in Jacmel where M+M do the logistic job. Monika was before on some development project in Africa and she is doing the needed praxis to finish an university. Michal is able to speak (and get understood) with Haitians in Slovak, he is a manager working on some small airplane project. They are easy to recognize on the pictures – they are always clean and often wear new clothes – we are the dirty ones next to them :)
Ashore we eat a big portion of oatmeal. We depart before 7am and the first stop is at some ruins next to the sea. One older guy makes a guided tour for M+M and because we don’t understand French we just walk around – there is not much to see… only part of the first floor with arch-shaped ceilings, stairway and some walls. The next stop is in a small willage, where we drink coffee from the old lady in common mugs and eat a small pan with it. The milk to the coffee costs two times more than the coffee. It is with too much sugar, but tastes perfect :) We are trying to find the Mathurine waterfall, but we miss the turn and end at the top of mountains (20minutes lost but the view is great). We are hungry and tired when we finally find the waterfall and there are too many tourists which doesn’t add any good feeling to this moment. It’s not bad but probably not one of the nicest places in Haiti. Simple a 60feet high waterfall with a lake where you can swim (this part is perfect). We eat, swim, make pictures and watch children jumpping from 30feet to the water and then continue further…
The roads are good but some short parts are being rebuilt now. In Port Salut we have to pay the entry to the beach. It is only one way road and because we want to find the best place we go all the way till the end, make a turn around the town and get back – but fortunately without paying more. And how the most beautiful beach on Haiti looks like? Nice – palms like from an ad picture, white sand, sometimes nice grass (great spot for tent), not many people and 10minutes from us a square with food and drinks. M+M go to water (we have enough of swimming in the sea from the 3months on the boat) and despite the spike (from the sea animal which I don’t know name for:)) in Monika’s foot they are able to be there for 2hours. We just dicover the surroundings, eat our last cans of sauerkraut and potatos and with Barbancourt bottle we watch the sunset. Before we go to sleep we drink 5 more bottles (small ones, but most of them drink the guys). We leave the tent for M+M and lay down just on the mats under the sky. In Jan’s state is the fresh air very welcome :)) After 2 hours begins to drizzle, but we just cover ourselves more with the dawn sleepingbag (when it is wet, it doesn’t work). After another 30minutes it starts to rain so we move to the car where we spend the rest of the night.
In the morning we go for a walk to the town. M+M turn back after 20minutes and go rather to the water again. The market is not happening today, but we are able to find the coffee seller. Coffe is in gigantic mugs (but with the same amount of liquid inside). The way back is much faster, because we need to use a bathroom and Jan is getting head ache – hangover is coming. Unfortunately the bathrooms are still closed so we go to the sea. The water is shallow with big waves and full of sand so it’s not possible to see the botton where are sharp rocks and the animals with spikes. Jan steps on one and this with the hangover makes his mood really bad. Our rating of the beach is low: nice to look at, but that’s all!
All our things are packed but the car will not start – the battery discharged. M+M seek the help in the hotel where they give them the battery charger but nobody knows how it works. After one hour comes a “car mechanic” with a second battery and we move the car to the hotel. Jan looks at the charger but the battery is not charging and turns it on the correct mode. We really doubt about the skills of the mechanic, but at the end (of doing nothing) he gets the money. After 2 hours is the battery charged and we move. It is getting dark when we have the last pause before crossing the mountains. Michal wants to start the car, turns the key … and nothing happens.
Haitians rather don’t go out in the night and we are here like this in the middle of nowhere. Monika stops the first car at the road with a young black guy in pants from Dolce&Gabana who speaks perfect English. Right away he starts to ask questions – flat tire, battery, or? We are so surprised that at the beginnig we are not able to answer fast. He looks at the engine, finds the problem, pours water on the cables, tightens the screws on battery, the car starts and he leaves. 4,5minutes and everything works. We are still absorbing this situation – he was our Haitian angel. Without any other problems we get to the gate of the hospital in Jacmel. There their hyperactive dogs greet us. They are a little bit more fat because in 4 days they ate food prepared for 2weeks. We are so tired that we just drink one beer and go to sleep.
The next days we make the tour at the hospital and in one room we find the scale. Three months of doing nothing at the boat and eating just rice and beans resulted in minus 5kg since we left USA :). With their emploee Max we drive to Basin blu (blue waterfall). It’s a normal Haitian road – really steep. We need to have the guide because of ropes for securing on one place on the way. But when we get to that point – the rope is just there at the rock – it’s not provided by the guide! He shows us how to get to the waterfall and where we should leave our clothes – to get to the waterfall we need to go to the water and cross a rock. We climb up the rock and then jump to the water again. The water is in this time of year not crystal clean (it’s brown) but it is still a great experience.
On the way back we stop at the market to buy some food for dinner. It’s a real mess here – lots of people on small place, many stands and unbelievable amounts of goods and garbage around. The market is in the streets of the old town which makes it more interesting. M+M go back to the hospital and we stay here to buy some things for Cubans (soap, notebooks, pens) and see the center a little bit. Jacmel wasn’t destroyed by the earthquake. The buildings would need a new paint but you can see the history here. Everywhere is garbage but thats just the nature of Haitians.
Before the sunset we meet the Slovaks again and also the doctor – Ludka – who just came from the trip in USA. We drive to a small bay where are many paintings displayed on the rocks. M+M and the doctor go to water and we buy art for our future home :). Our favorite is clear but we don’t know how we’ll deliver this “small” piece to home. We decide that Rado will definitely have some more place in the luggage :). We enjoy the last rays of sun, talk with a “local” Danish guy and go back for the dinner. It’s really delicious – a lot of meat, rice, platans. During the dinner we discuss our travelling with Ludka. And who is she? A nice and little bit more talkative lady who is already retired but likes to go back to her profesion at these projects in foreign countries. In summer she travels by bicycle (and also by other ways) in Europe.
The alarms wakes us up really early because we want to get back “home” around 9am. We say goodbyes, makes pictures and then get to a small VAN with 15 other people + driver which takes us suprisingly fast across the mountains with steep slopes to Dufort. There we buy coffee and bread with spicy peanut butter (mamba) and we stop an empty tap-tap to Richard’s place in Grand Goave. I was hoping we will go whale watching which should be really close but Joe doesn’t want to go to the sea (even when he promised me this before!).
The final packing of our packed things takes another 3 hours. I make the last dinner – rizotto. Only Jan really likes it – Joe as usual doesn’t like our boat cousine and Richard doesn’t eat too much of it either. We drink a bit and go to sleep – this time not to Dove, but in Richard’s house. I’m not sure if that were mosquitos or something else but in the morning my skin looks like I have some skin alergy. This was for sure the most intensive blood-donate night on Haiti.
The next day before 8am we are already in streets of Port-au-prince to be on time at the airport. Last memories on this human jungle, saying goodbyes to our nice host Richard and our captian Joe. One last picture and let’s continue in our trip to Cuba.
The airport is new. We refuse one girl who wants to take some of her luggage (she probably thinks we don’t have enough). We go through the security control with a bottle full of water and in the plane we choose the seats next to the airscrew. Our co-travellers call with mobile phones and send messages during all the flight – this fortunately doesn’t influence any important parts of the plane and we sefely land in Cuba.
We are greeted by a gigantic sign SANTIAGO DE C BA!