Sunday, February 05, 2012

A day in the life: Bonbon Beach

I decided to visit the beach today. I figure it's February in the Caribbean, so I needed to head to the beach. Well, not exactly. Sure, I knew the beach is nice. But I was actually more interested in taking my bike outside of Jeremie Township. I got my bike a year ago and hadn't actually taken it out of town... or more precisely... out of my comfort zone. And that needed to end.

So I visited a beach that I last visited when I first arrived in October 2010. That way I knew with firsthand knowledge that I could do it. And I did it. No problems whatsoever and I did get a lot more comfortable switching gears on the uphill, downhill and rocky, pothole-filled road. And it's those potholes and ditches that make the ride so nerve-wracking.

Since the most of the road is a combination of limestone and clay -- with close to no pavement -- it's extremely difficult to see the danger zones. Unless you know the road well, you really need to drive fairly slow because it's so treacherous.

So slow I went. And enjoy I did.

Here's one view of the road that lie ahead of me on the way to Bonbon Beach:This section happened to be cemented because of the steep incline. Without the pavement, this section would be an impassable washout.

Here's the view of the Caribbean from the top of the same hill:Nice, huh?

Before I actually arrived at the beach, I knew that I had to cross a river that passed through downtown Bonbon. Actually it was two as it turned out.

The water was deeper than I had recalled, so I turned off my bike and walked around to see the best place to cross. Within a minute a mototaxi driver was running across the river and offering to help me by driving my bike across the river himself. He hopped on my bike and drove across as I dipped my feet in the warm river and walked across. Each river was calm and only a few inches deep. Although the muffler was partially submerged, the tailpipe exit stayed above water. So he simply kept the bike in 1st gear until he go to dry land. Easy peasy.

For his entrepreneurial-spirit, I gave him a buck. And since I'm so cheap since I wanted to experience the thrill, I decided I'd fording the raging class 5 rapids on my return! lol.

About another quarter mile on dry land and I made it Bonbon Beach!Here's the view to the left:And below is a slighter closer shot of the cliffs you see above:Here's more a view of the beach to the left:And a view of Bonbon beach with a view of Bonbon Town, a fishing town, on the left side.And the whole beach and town are basically nestled a beautiful little cove:This photo doesn't do the cove justice, so I encourage you to use your imagination!

Tim White

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