Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A day in the life: The journey to Pestel

Since first arriving in Haiti, I wanted to visit a small town about four hours to the east of Jeremie... and if possible, jump in a boat and head to the offshore island of Cayemite. I'd seen the Town of Pestel and Cayemite during the flight from Port-au-Prince to Jeremie, but for more than a year I had been focused exclusively on my online classes and had no time to travel. Pestel was beautiful from the air. It contained some of the more dramatic karst mountains of the now-famous Haitian fault line. I had to up close and personal. By March 2012 I found time to join some friends and rent a truck for the group adventure. Our plan was to leave early with the intention of leaving enough time to find a boat, visit Cayemite and return to Jeremie the same day. We set out around 7am.

Here's some of the early morning jungle view as we careened over mountain tops:
Soon after, I snapped these mist-filled scenes during a quick pitstop to check for a flat tire:

Heading down from the mountains, the first coastal town we passed was Corail with its own beautiful port:
The town even offers a written history for visitors:
After leaving Corail, we headed back into the mountains. At one point we encountered a "traffic jam" as someone was clearing the road of debris:

A common scene on this major Haitian highway... the pile of rocks is most likely locally collected rocks that have been placed in a pile for the various construction materials vendors who drive the highway, looking for raw materials.
And at this point, we were heading downhill and began seeing more and more people carrying goods. So it was obvious that we were fast approaching Pestel on market day!
Tim White

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