Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ecotour Day 4 - The road to Duchity

What do you mean it is an easy walk?

For our final day of the ecotour, we decided to go higher in elevation to see different vegetation and possibly go birding.  The point of this trip was the journey and exploration for future ecotourism, and we were rewarded by finding a wooded area for potential birding beyond a somewhat difficult rocky path beyond a somewhat difficult rocky road outside of Duchity.  Duchity is a small town about 8 miles as the crow flies NW of Les Cayes along National Highway 7.   It is marked incorrectly on GoogleMaps, and is in the Grand Anse Department to the north at 18.433023, -73.901338.

Natl Route 7 construction.
In Haiti you report distance by travel time, not miles.  The paved highway is under construction, so with over an hour of construction delays and one stop at a wetland, it took about 3 hours to reach our destination. One of the AUC students that is active in the Audubon Center of Les Cayes joined us so that I could introduce him to the world of ecotourism.  During our longest construction delay he taught the gathering children about the importance of birds to Haiti.

Rough spot in the road.
The road leading into Ducity crosses a large river which would be fun to explore.  Sturdy shoes would be beneficial to navigate the large rocks.  When we reached Duchity I called a friend who recommended a friend who pointed us to a guide who could take us to see birds.  That's what led us to the rocky road and path.  The walk was easy at first and we got to see rural life.  Then it turn more difficult in our sandals (Tevas etc.), though the Haitians kept insisting the end was not far and the walk was easy.  I finally insisted that I and my visitor with a bad knee needed to stay put on some large flat rocks while the rest of the group went ahead to see a spring.  That group returned with grapefruit (chadik) and reported that beyond the spring was a potentially good forest for birds.  Despite not seeing birds, we enjoyed seeing rural life at a rocky 2000 ft. For the next trip we will be ready with an early departure from Les Cayes, sturdy hiking shoes, and plenty of snacks and water.
The spring.  Beyond there is a potentially good birding place.
Grapefruit for all.

When we returned the guide to Duchity he showed us what he said was a cave entrance behind a house in town, then insisted on taking us down the highway back toward the river to show us the old road.  I knew better than to believe him that it was a short easy walk down the rocky hillside to see this old road and stayed on the highway with my visitor while the rest of the group followed the guide.  My friend who went with the group said it wasn't much of a view and the path was difficult.

We started our day at 7:30am and made it home in time for the 5pm meal provided by our guest house. 

This post concludes the 4-day ecotour I arranged from my visitor from Michigan.  My visit to Haiti was not yet over, so stayed tuned for following posts about a lake and a guesthouse in Port.
Teaching about birds.
Cool formations at the road cut.

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful that your AUC student took the opportunity to teach the kids in the area!