Friday, July 19, 2013

Bassin Bleu

One of our day trips while in Jacmel was to Bassin Bleu. Hidden in the hills above the picturesque town, Bassin Bleu consists of a series of natural rock basins arranged in cascade, successively pouring water into one another.  

(Since it was a truly spectacular day, I decided it deserved a post all of its own.) 

Early on Saturday morning both families  piled into a land cruiser. Our morning commute began by passing through Jacmel's  town center. 

Reaching the outskirts, we barreled our way through a busy market.

The market sprawled out to the edge of a busy river. In the river people were washing themselves, their animals, their laundry, and their motor bikes! It was also being used as the local watering hole for cattle. 

Since there was no bridge, pedestrians waded through the nearly waist deeper water to cross over to the other side.

Our driver, who had obviously done this before, zigzagged through the river to find the shallowest route. 

Safely on the other side we were immediately greeted by billows of dirty smoke. Apparently our route to the basins cut right through the local dump!

I tried not to breath as the smoke billowed through the open windows. 

Thankfully we were soon past the dump, and the landscaped changed to jungle. Looking out the window I admired the majestic palm trees scraping the azure sky.

The palm trees eventually gave way to acres of banana trees. 

A short while later we parked, got organized and prepared for the 20 minute hike.

Every now and then we would stop for a quick break.

We soon reached the lowest of 3 basins.

The second was larger than the first.

We stopped to watch water from the second basin cascade down to the first.

To reach the third basin, Bassin Bleu, we had to descend down a steep rock wall via a rope. 

Our Haitian guides, who have done this numerous times, helped carry the kids down.

Bassin Bleu was beautiful! 

We cliff jumped, swam, and admired the natural beauty of the towering rock formations covered in lush, tropical  vegetation.  

After we all had ample opportunity to splash and play we hiked back down to where the land cruiser was parked. 

Back in the land cruiser we snaked our way down the mountain, around the jungle, past the banana and palm trees, through the smokey haze of the burning garbage dump, into the churning river and safely out the other side. 

We passed the markets,

and explored the town, 

until we reached a picturesque hotel up on a cliff. There we paid our driver, bid him goodbye and headed to the restaurant for a bite to eat.

The view from this deck was also spectacular. 

Down by the shore fishermen pulled in their nets filled with treasures from the sea. 

The kids enjoyed the pool,

and we enjoyed our lunch of burgers, fries, sandwiches and spaghetti. 

When we were finished it was time to catch a ride back to our hotel. 

Since our first driver was no longer available and the tap tap drivers we called were all busy, we divided ourselves up between five motorbikes. .

The engines revved and off we went.

We cruised slowly through the streets.

I smiled up at the sun as the wind whipped through my hair.

"Yeah!" said Justin, always up for an adventure.   

A short time later our hotel gate was in sight once again. We were back safe and sound!

What a fun day!

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