May 30, 2014
Haïti is beautiful too!
Posted by: stuart
In the media Haïti is famous for many reasons, all of them linked to dreadful things. The island has been through some serious disasters these past few years, you might remember heart-breaking pictures of the earthquake of 2010. Every once in a while a tornado hits the country and the damaged are terrible. You probably know about the poverty, the massacres and the uprising because of the images were given to the world by the Media but do you know what Haiti looks like?
I've just come back from a 2-week road trip in Haïti and my head is full of pictures, smells and tastes. Despite the poverty and the many problems the country has Haiti is for sure one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean. Here is a post to show you that Haïti is beautiful too! Here are some of the beautiful places I saw during my trip to Haiti, for me, it is an aspect of the country that the media should talk about and promote.
Saut Mathurine Waterfall:
If you like crystal clear water, lush vegetation, peace and quiet then Saut Mathurine waterfall is for you. The access to this little paradise is a 45 minutes hike from the nearest village. It goes up and down on a track in the middle of a tropical forest. Along the way, you can discover the luxuriant vegetation, try to catch a chicken, eat more mangoes than your body can cope with, talk with the children or just enjoy the silence.
Port Salut's beach:
This place is one of the most popular beaches in the South of the island, its white sand beach is a natural harbour for the fishermen to store their boats. Port Salut is a perfect place for a barbecue on the beach eating "Lambi sauce épicée, bananas pesées", listen to a Compa concert and dance while drinking a good Rum, be careful with the Rum cocktails, they are treacherous, you will end seriously dizzy after 2 glasses! It is also a good place to take your other half for a romantic evening as the sunset there is absolutely gorgeous.
A few hundred years ago, a young French man looking for adventure took a boat from Bordeaux direction Santa Domingo and never came back. He decided to build a canal, the first irrigation canal in the country. He didn't know it was impossible so he did it. 250 years later the canal is still there and it is still used by thousands of farmers to irrigate their fields.
Walking along this Canal made me realise how important access to water really is for the development of Haïti. I have never seen happier people than by this Canal. This Canal means life, I met kids playing in the numerous pools, laughing, carefree and happy like every kid should be, workers washing themselves after a long day in the fields, elderly people smoking their pipes while gazing at the shimmering water and birds, hundreds of birds singing and diving in the clear water of the canal. A great walk!
L'ile a Vache:
My photo really doesn't do justice to this place. If paradise was a tropical island it would be there because it honestly doesn't get better than the Ile a Vache! If you like deserted beaches, forests, fresh fish - you know its fresh as you caught it yourself - amazing sunsets, beautiful corals and star gazing, then you will love this place even if the electricity works when it does... I've never felt so in peace with myself than in the little garden of the fisherman who hosted me for the night.
Grosse Cayes Island:
Imagine an island where you can't go to without a local because the mangrove around is so dense that it seems impenetrable; an island with only a few hundred inhabitants where everyone is either a fisherman or a farmer. An island where it is always sunny, a place where you have to catch your own fish to eat, build your house with your own hands, a place with turquoise water mango trees, banana trees, a few hens, goats and that's it.
Sounds great right? To me, this island is a little Oasis, the proof that yes, some people in the world still live like Robinson Crusoe on his island...
Haïti has every type of landscape: beaches, lush tropical forests and almost desertic mountains. Les Mornes is quite similar to the landscapes we have in the Alpes de Hautes Provence in the south of France only it's dryer. Last April the farmer was saying that it hadn't rained properly for 8 months already...
I really enjoyed talking to the farmers, looking at the peaceful landscapes of this semiarid region. As you can guess there is no running water so you need to be prepared and carry your own bottles of water with you. And if you want to shower you need to go to the river. It made me really appreciate running water when I came back home...
If, like me, you think that Haïti is beautiful and that it deserves to be promoted on a big scale, feel free to share this post!