I have now visited country #63 so far! It could not pass up the opportunity to visit Haiti, learn a little, explore a little and maybe even go for a run!
No, I did not fly down, I had to take the opportunity to take the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas cruise ship down south. It is a huge ship, which is not my preference, but I cannot complain about its itinerary.
The main positive is the cool new shows like the ice skating shows which were quite spectacular and 5 star…the downside is the ship is so focused on premium features. Half the ship is filled with restaurants that are premium service only. Many require $25+ per meal if you eat at them.
Now, back to Haiti. Of course, I snuck in a 10K run throughout the restricted resort areas that are isolated from their rest of the island and local village Labadee.
It is a combination of a beach run, a trail run and a little resort running.
If you explore the edges, you can find some cool hidden treasures like the old fort and gun emplacements that nobody else will show you. Did you know that Christopher Columbus landed in Haiti on December 5th, 1492?
I also went over to the local Labadie Bay village and visited Norm’s Place. The waters are so blue and clear, I believe this is also a great diving and snorkeling place although I did not have enough time to explore that here in Haiti and the dive facilities are very limited.
Now, many people think that this area is only for cruise ships because it is isolated. Not true. It is isolated for everyone who have lived here for hundreds of years. There is only one road and one way out for everyone and most of the villagers have to take a boat back and forth just to get to the one road because there is no path along the coast.
In the village, you can learn a lot about the culture and history and traditions. Check out the massive earth oven that was created and used by the Spanish many many years ago, but is still part of the tradition and history in building huge fires to cook things deep in the hills of the surrounding mountains.
And of course, I got to learn and experience a little of the historical music, dancing, medicine, religion and voodoo! Voodoo is no longer a dominant religion or practice, but still lingers and influences many things in the local culture and daily life even if it is subtle.
A very fun visit and wonderful experience.