Haiti Travel Diary Part 3: Traveling to the Highlands of Haiti
During my recent trip to Haiti, I took a local bus from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, to a city called Hinche. The close quarters and lack of proper ventilation made the bus ride uncomfortable to say the least. However, the views of the countryside made it all worth it. The bus sped along, beeping almost constantly to pass slower vehicles and alert pedestrians in populated areas of its arrival. From Hinche I took a car ride to Cerca Carvajal, a small village.
If I had to describe Cerca Carvajal in one word I would say charming. The charm starts at the paving stones that line the main streets and continues with the hand-painted storefronts. All against a beautiful mountain backdrop.
The homes were humble, their owners always warm and welcoming. I never felt like an outsider, though everyone could tell I was a foreigner by the way I spoke. I speak more about the homes in Cerca Carvajal in my post about its architecture.
Baby piglets could be seen following close behind their mothers. I had never heard a conversation between goats until visiting Cerca. The cutest thing I’ve ever heard was a conversation between a mother goat and her kid, going back and forth, neither interrupting the other. There were horses and donkeys, their riders transporting goods.
Experiences You Should Try If You Visit
I fell in love with passion fruits (below) during this trip. They are called Grenadia (Gray-nah-dee-ah) in Haitian Creole. They looked like dried up tennis balls on the outside. Inside they revealed a purplish pulp that is blended with water to make the juice. Nothing was better than passion fruit juice after a long hot day. Simply amazing!
Locals sold goods on wooden stands (below). They sold everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing, soap and everything in between. I made sure to purchase some passion fruits from a vendor.
An unforgettable experience was visiting Basin Fon, which I roughly translate as “Deep Basin”. It was a river that flowed into a large basin of water. I started by walking down a dusty trail. Next there was skimming the edge of a steep hill. Finally I crossed over large rocks. It was well worth the trip. These pictures really don’t do it any justice. In person the waters were a deep teal or turquoise.
If you are looking to see a side of Haiti other than the city, definitely check out Cerca Carvajal. It’s about a 2 hour bus ride from Port-au-Prince. It cost me about 300 Haitian Goud (less than $7 USD) each way. You won’t be disappointed.