Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ecotour Day 3 – Saut Mathurine at Camp Perrin

The blue pool at the base of the non-falling falls.

On our third day of the ecotour we drove to the waterfall Saut Mathurine at Camp Perrin.  Our purpose was to enjoy the falls, walk along the river, and see what the vegetation was like for birding.  Unfortunately the falls have been completely diverted the past year for hydroelectricity!  Not even a minimal flow is falling.  They are doing a great disservice to the tourism industry by shutting off the beautiful falls.  This would be a great place to start the day early with birding (the gray-crowned palm tanager was there), followed by a swim in the pool at the base of the falls (which is cold!), and then lunch at the new restaurant just up the hill.  Bring snorkeling gear to see the friendly fish that gather around the rocks (only saw one species). 

The woman at the gate to the falls said we couldn’t drive the truck down, but we paid her $10 and she let us drive through.  Don’t go all the way down to the end of the road, the rocks are slippery and while not steep, we had trouble turning around.  Park just beyond the restaurant and art shack.  A series of easy steps lead down to the fall, then you can cross the river to go birding in the wooded area.  The hillside above the river is pretty steep and slippery – wear good hiking shoes.  You can also go above the falls which is worth the view.  The path right along the falls is very rocky, steep, and very very slippery.  There is a dirt path up through the wooded area farther to the right of the falls.  

The new restaurant along that road has typical Haitian food – fried meats and starchy foods.  It is made to order, so be prepared to wait and enjoy the view of the falls and trees.  We ended the day with a drive on a steep road to the source of the water.  In our non 4wd truck we made it, but wouldn’t be able to if the road was wet.  This would also be a great place to get to early and go birding and exploring.  The hydroelectric dam is farther downstream near the falls which is worth a visit to see the river and for those interested in hydroelectricity.

Access – Easy walk down the steps to the falls.  Difficult hike to top of falls.  Flattish land along the river.

From the top of the falls.  The algae-covered rocks are very very slick.

The river downstream of the falls.

The steps leading down to the pool.

The source of the river, which is now diverted to the hydroelectric plant.

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