Crossing Haiti!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 15:17

In the morning, walked to the bus station just down the street from my hotel.

The curt staff said that there was only one bus leaving that day, and only going to Dominican Republic. Another one the following morning.

I decided not to go, preferring to see Port-au-Prince before leaving the country.

By now, I felt fine being in Haiti.

After checking out of the hotel, I went out walking.

In the packed streets, I drew attention everywhere I went. Again, I started to feel uncomfortable.

Asked around for a bus station to get to Port-au-Prince.

Someone indicated the way.

I walked there, found a building with a bus schedule painted on it. But the doors were locked.

Asked someone else, who indicated that I should walk further down the street.

Got to another building, this one with a shuttle bus outside.

I went in, and in some chaos paid to get on the bus. They even said that my bike could go on a separate shipment the following morning.

Unsure whether the bike would make it, and not too concerned, I got on the van.

It was a struggle to put all my bags in the van, and find a seat.

As I sat down in one seat, a big angry man in a nearby seat was yelling at the staff person who assisted me. My Haitian Creole is still rough, but I think I repeatedly heard the words "white" and "you're talking shit".

The staff let me on, and we set off!

I wasn't entirely sure in the rush that this bus was actually going to Port-au-Prince.

On the basis of the scary things I'd heard about Haiti, I asked myself if they wouldn't pull off on some side road and kill me.

We drove through some countryside, some small towns.

Haiti is quite a beautiful country. A mix of arid and tropical, it has numerous plants that I haven't seen before.

Early on, we got a flat.

The driver got out to fix it.

As we carried on, I felt more safe.

We listened to tons of pop music. I like Haitian pop, it's catchy and has cool timbres.

Partway through, we stopped for lunch, delicious!

Continuing on, the ride lasted longer than I expected, but was more beautiful.

We finally did get to Port-au-Prince, at night.

Tired and worried, with too much weight to carry around easily without a bike, I left the station.

Walking through dense crowds, unsure of where to find a hotel, I got to a large intersection.

A motorcycle taxi driver asked if I wanted a ride. I had wanted to walk, in part to make sure I stayed close to the bus station so that I can return quickly to pick up the bike, and in part because I was scared in a big city I just arrived in.

I got on, and we drove off.

After a scary but short ride, we arrived at a hotel. The driver asked for around as much money for driving just down the street, as I had just paid to ride across the country!

In the cool hotel-resto courtyard, paid the same amount again (around ten dollars, not too much) for a hotel room.

The people of Haiti seem decent and trustworthy overall.
For some reason, my electronics keep going off the clock. My laptop now shows a half hour later, and my phone shows an hour later.

My laptop for some reason thinks it's in Caracas!