"Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive...then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Over the Mountain

What a great hike!  We left Port au Prince Saturday morning at 6am to drive up into the mountains with five friends.  We set off at 8:30 and followed a path we'd taken a few months ago.  This time we continued to the top of the mountain.  At 6,000 feet, one of Haiti's two National Parks contains one of the only forests left in the country.  We stayed overnight at a small lodge there.  They fed us well and Sunday morning we were on our way down to Jacmel and the beach.  We covered the 6,000 feet down in 5 1/2 hours on what the lodge owner called a "goat path".  It was one of the hardest hikes we've done but definitely worth it!  Our days at the beach were cut short by the need to get back to Port au Prince for hurricane preparations.  Hopefully we won't have much to write about for that.  Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.

Lots of people and these donkeys were loaded with carrots on their way down to Port au Prince.  Not surprisingly, we had them for lunch and dinner at the top.

Look closely - the baskets are full of live roosters hanging quietly.

La Visite National Park.  Despite the big road, there are no vehicles other than the Ranger and a few motorcycles. 

10 miles and almost 5 hours to hike up - we were glad to arrive at the lodge.  The Calla Lilies in the vase on the right are growing wild all over near the lodge.

Wood (made into charcoal) is still the most widely used fuel source and as you can see from the photos, deforestation in Haiti is very real.

The top 1/3 of this photo shows the river coming down from the mountains into the sea.  We were warned to get across the river before the storm hit.  When we arrived at the bottom we rode in a tap tap across it - water came into the back of the truck and it hadn't rained the night before.  Hard to imagine the amount of water after it does rain.

Al posed with coffee beans growing just for him.  He loves his Haitian coffee!

One of the many things we hiked through or past was this banana grove.

While hiking down the edge of the mountain a herd of cattle with big, sharp horns were coming up.  We teetered on the edge of the path hoping they wouldn't get too excited about us being so close!

Finally at the beach!  This beach house has been rented by a friend of a friend for a few years.  It was amazing to sleep so close to the water.

Other friends had driven the four hours from Port au Prince (it is a different route, but it's crazy that we hiked there in 10 hours) on Saturday and had food, water and a cold beer waiting for us at the beach.

Our friend Leah (second from the right with her husband Jake) loves Halloween so for the first time since we've been together Al and I dressed up - we carried our mummy costumes up and over the mountain so we could wear them for 10 minutes.  We had some good laughs.  I'm second from the left and Al is in the middle.  Our friend Ann is on the far left.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    This is Smita from India , We are creating a new website about Haiti and trying to promote tourism. I was wondering if you could let me use the Images on the current post. if you can please contact me at my google account or reply to this post. I am not posting my email as it would be full of spam by evening due to the spam bots :).

    Thanks in advance.