None of my close friends and family was sure why exactly I wanted to visit the western most side of Hispaniola, also known as Haiti. Like most people their minds had been beset by images of rallying city folk advancing the streets with machetes in hand, spirits flying loose and free from voodoo ceremonies taking place around the clock, acute poverty and so much political turmoil that Haiti would forever remain a no-man’s land for leisure travel.
Yes, ongoing political instability has been an issue the country has been dealing with for years and while all those images combined make for great nightly news stories and horror films the greater Haiti does not live up to the negative hype or stereotypes. Sorry folks, this is not going to be your guide to slum tourism or the darker side of the country. My primary reason for visiting the country was to explore the brighter opposites and there are many.
During the next few days I will share with you the details of my journey into Port-au-Prince, the long drive to island paradise known as Jacmel, as well as arts, culture, cuisine, events and perhaps I’ll even suggest a place or two to stay. It would provide me with much delight to learn that one or two curious travelers find inspiration over the next few days to haul off to Haiti and in my wildest dreams many more travelers, but not all destinations are built for everyone.
For those who have decided to read further, I applaud your interest and invite you to continue down to a small selection of photos taken in both Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. Feast your eyes now on monuments, colorful tap-taps, beach hideaways and more.
One of my greatest beliefs is if you feed the people food and wisdom they’ll always look for ways to come back. Tomorrow I’ll start by exploring one of my favorite topics on any excursion: the local delicacies.
Tomorrow: Kreyól Cuisine