Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 2 – Moulin sur Mer and Musee Ogier-Fombrun

This continues my 3 day road trip around Port au Prince and the Artibonite Valley.  After church on Sunday Day 2 we hit the road around 2pm and drove National Route 1 which follows the southern coast of Haiti’s northern peninsula.  From Tabarre PAP it took us about 2 hours to get to the resort Moulin sur Mer.  There’s a sign right along the highway pointing the way to the resort, just keep driving til you reach the resort gate.  You park inside the gate then a little cart comes and takes you to the check-in booth.  Riding the little cart made me feel like I was at Disney World!  A room for 2 with 2 beds was $156, an affordable splurge to relax at a clean beach.  That price came with a great breakfast of fruit, rolls, omelet, and juice (with real butter!).  There is a higher price that includes dinner.

The room was great – nothing fancy but it did have hot water!  The grounds had a lot to look at - a pond with geese and giant land crabs which entertained people like me and Rhoda.  Miniature golf, a swimming pool, a cage with two monkeys (!), a small playground, racketball court, and a giant chess game.  There is a little gift shop with mainly swimwear, toiletries, and medicines.  But we were there for the beach!

There are several mini-beach areas.  At the edge of the roped off swimming area next to the man-made ‘island’ are rocks with sea urchins and fish, but jet skiers were going back and forth just beyond us, churning up the water and making it difficult not to get sloshed up against the rocks.  Why couldn’t they go farther out?  They have the entire bay!  The hotel offers kayaks and snorkeling gear to rent, and there’s a marina right next to it to rent jet skis, store boats, etc.  We swam, had dinner, then the best part came after dark when we were hanging out on the little ‘island’ where fish were attracted to the lights!  It was so exciting to see all the fish, clear water, no jet skiers.  Next time I’ll try night snorkeling.

Food was Haitian restaurant fare, a bit more upscale I suppose, but since I am a vegetarian I can’t comment on how it compared to other places.  For vegetarians I recommend a cheese sandwich with mushrooms and onions on the side to put on the sandwich which came on a great baguette.  Even better was the dessert, Twa Let, which caused some confusion.  Twalet – a toilet?  Or Twa Let – 3 milk?  Fortunately it was cream-based desserts (see photo).
We got up for a sunrise swim.  No jet skiers!  Clear water!  And then a great breakfast.  We checked out at 10 am and went to the plantation museum right across from the main gate.  This Musee Ogier-Fombrun was closed for renovation, but we were able to walk around the grounds and see some of the exhibits in the entrance way (and oddly there is a small pool and a bar – I suppose for the hotel patrons?).  With my museum studies degree, I was horrified to see letters written by Toussaint Louverture, Haiti’s revolutionary leader – in the entrance way – under glass but still exposed to light and humidity.  Here is a photo to preserve the letters for all eternity (or until the end of computers).

We left the museum around noon and traveled to Petite Riviere via Saint Marc.  Stayed tuned for the next posting about that journey.

The turn from Route 1 to Moulin sur Mer.

The island lights attract fish at night!

A good place to do some light snorkeling - sea urchins and fish.
And you can do some light birding - sandwich terns!
The marina next to Moulin sur Mer.

Historic letters.

Letter by Toussaint Louverture!

1 comment:

  1. So glad that you took some time to relax and enjoy the Tres Leches.