Los Haitises National Park
Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
108Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
I got dinner cooking while Caleb went off in the kayak to get some photos of us at our new anchorage, and Pete followed in the dinghy to explore the nearby area
We slept in a bit this morning and made a tasty breakfast while we waited on Caleb to return with the dinghy. While Pete was cooking, two guys from the park motored over to collect our entry fees. As we only had US currency aboard, I had some chatting to do. I definitely feel like I was barely keeping up with what they were saying in Spanish, but we somehow managed to communicate and settle on the price for a couple of days in USDs. ...it was actually kind of fun.
Caleb returned and we loaded into the dinghy. We saw Justin in the kayak over at Eventide so we went over to say hey. Eventide is out of Florida, and it's another boat of kids like us. We had heard about them multiple times as they are also a duo of brothers plus a girlfriend - Jared and Aaron own the boat and Aaron's girlfriend Sally is along as well
The next cove, however, had plenty on offer. It was not just surrounded by cliff faces - it kept going. There were mangroves as we entered and a few different ways to dinghy around. However, seeing as we were three wide, we chose where we could all fit. After cruising in a ways, we could see the cove ending, but there happened to be a dinghy dock! So we all detached, tied up, and unloaded ourselves. It was already so beautiful, and the day hadn't even gotten started.
There was a trail in place through the jungle, and we came to a little hut a short ways in with a map of the area and some information on the park
The scenery was different throughout. To start, we were in the jungle, hiking up and down little hills, some rocky or covered with the big roots of trees. We saw chocolate growing on trees (had no clue what that looked like), plenty of piles of discarded coconuts, and a bunch of crazy plants - including what we called the "horny tree" (hee hee) because it had horns growing out of it. We could hear all sorts of birds throughout, a few clicks of various bugs, and at one point I spotted the biggest centipede I have ever seen - about six inches in length with a black body with something of an outline of bright orange/yellow. It was crazy, apparently quite poisonous according to Captain Sterling, and it scurried away before I could manage a photograph. Too bad because it was pretty cool to see.
As we carried on, our crew of about 13 people spread out a bit
We carried on and came to a dirt road next to an area of farmland. There was a pasture of horses to one side and some bulls kept in a paddock on the other side. Pete, Sterling, Justin, Andy, and I were walking up ahead when we saw a bunch of cows coming our way. We could tell they were being herded in our direction. While Sterling, Justin, and Andy walked up ahead, Pete and I climbed up into a tree to avoid any run ins. Needless to say, the locals doing the herding had a good chuckle at us taking photos out of a tree
Shortly thereafter, we came to the Eco-Resort. It was awesome. The architecture was really cool, all built from stone and poured cement with pools tiered throughout the property. Apparently there are little dams that they open and close, I assume based on rainfall. There were little waterfalls throughout the pools, and the cool swim was so refreshing after the lengthy hike. We ordered some food to share, and enjoyed the delicious, strong local coffee that was on offer. Once we were all buzzed up, Pete and I took a walk up to the actual hotel (the architecture got even cooler) to check out the view. We could see the whole valley over to the bay, covered with various paddocks of farmland with surrounding mountains. Not too shabby.
After getting refreshed, we knew we were burning daylight, so we carried on back. Seeing as we had all poked around on our way in, we were able to carry on at a more reasonable pace. Some of our crew had made piles of fruit on their way in, so by the time we were back to the dinghy dock, there was a huge pile of bananas and oranges and who knows what else. It was a great day of wandering. But it wasn't totally over.
Caleb, Pete, and I got back into our dinghy and took off. The section of mangroves within this cove had an area behind it where we could explore. We went in as far as was safe without bottoming out and took a look around. It's wicked sweet to be able to just scoot around in these little areas - how else to get here other than arriving by sailboat and exploring by dinghy or kayak? Life is good.
We carried on back to Hejira and are just relaxing. We've received an invite to head over to Eventide to check out their boat, so we'll take them up on that in a bit. It'll be good.