Declan’s Haven Haiti Diary 2015 -Day 2
It’s amazing how an idyllic island in the middle of the Caribbean can be so poverty stricken when it’s only 3 & 1/2 hrs flight from New York. When you think of the canaries or the south coast of Spain and Portugal and how their economies flourished from tourism.
Haiti has had such a troubled history and is so badly run, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It takes an entire day to get to our lodgings.
We are up at 5.30 for a 6 am departure from the hotel. That’s two mornings in a row where it’s still dark getting out in the morning. It’s a trend that’s set to continue as I have heard that we have to eat breakfast at 6am and be on the boat by 7am.
Our flight departs at 09.30 from JFK for Port Au Prince. The airport is like a cattlemart. People standing in queues everywhere and between TSA, customs and security it takes over 2.5 hrs to get to the gate.
We land at Port Au Prince at 1pm local time and the first piece of great news is that Dundalk have beaten DLS Palmerstown and are now going senior next season.
There have been several improvements at the airport like a new terminal building, pretty basic but functional. They still take your bags off one of the two luggage belts and throw them in a heap for you to collect. Those that packed chocolate now realize what a bad idea that was as the temp outside is 33deg and the bags have been out in the Haitian sun for a while!
The bus takes us from the airport south to a place called La Caï where we take a boat to Île a vache which is to be our hike for the week.
We drive through Port Au Prince and while you can see new buildings popping up around the place, it’s still a squalor and will take generations to improve.
The bus driver obviously has a death wish as he drives at 70 miles an hour on the wrong side of the road and only pulls in when an oncoming vehicle is almost on top of him!
We stop at a supermarket for refreshments and water and inside their security man is carrying an over/under pump action shotgun – no mercy for shop lifters here!
Back on the bus and an hour later we are pulling into La Caï where another boat (a rib which seats 30) takes us to the lodgings on the island.
I check in and crash face down on the bed at 10 pm. Lights out!
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