Monday, March 12, 2012

Dom Rep adventure - Part 1

It all started on friday night when Henri came to pick me up and take me back to Max. We had dinner and I went to sleep in a tent that offers wonderful protection against mosquitoes. I set my alarm clock for 4 in the morning, but rain woke me up at 1. It rained for one hour (not one drop inside the tent) and I had

a hard time going back to sleep. So at 4, I went in for breakfast and we left at 4:30 next morning. Got to Port au Prince very early, in time for juice and chocolate croissants, then Villa Creole in Petionville to board the vehicle that would take us to DomRep

with the dinghy and motor recovered from Anse d'Hainaut.

Following a dispute betw

een truck drivers, the main border crossing had been closed now for almost 10 days and many hundred of trucks are stranded there. So, our guide and driver Berthold, who is the boss of the largest german Non Government Organization in Haiti, took us through a secondary crossing with very little traffic since the road is only a lousy dirt road. The crossing was done with no more than a friendly waving of the hand and no stopping of the car, at bo

th the Haitian border cr

ossing post. At the Dominican border post, the agents were too busy on their computers and we left w

ithout checking in. That suits me fine. My passport is full, except for a half page that I want to keep as I will need it to go in and out of the Bahamas.

Eventually, we got to Santo Domingo at 5 p.m. local time and Max was able to find for us a nice local hotel at 32 dollars a night in the colonial zone. We thehen had drinks with Berthold and his charming wife Valerie, before going for dinner at the Mercure Hotel.

Next morning, after breakfast in a cafe near the hotel, we left with Berthold and Valerie for Boca Chica to return the motor and the dinghy to their owners. Got there at 11:30, spent a little time on their boat, then had lunch at the marina.

During lunch, we met with a member of a group of 4 Norwegian on a sailboat, doing circus performances and music, and I took the opportunity to talk to them about the Festival of the Sea and invite them to go there and maybe perf

orm there. We also talked Georg into leaving his boat in Grand Goave while he goes to Germany for three months.

This is very positive and hopeful, but it also stresses the urgency of having formalities and moorings in place a.s.a.p.

We then drove back to Santo Domingo, went for dinner to a local restaurant "El Meson", serving good food local and international, and back to the hotel for the night.

Max had received informations from Grand Goave that Papy Jovial had broken her mooring line, that the boat was now tied up behind the fishing boat that is anchored in front of Michel Simon's house, and that efforts were under way to recover the lost anchor and chain, set up the second mooring line, etc. . . . A little stressful and a guaranteed bad night, but

apart from providing advice on finding stuff on the boat,

nothing I can do. Just keep my fingers crossed.

Monday will be devoted by Max to run some errands about his boat building business in Grand Goave, then we will take care of the boat that we will take back to haiti hopefully on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meanwhile, we still hear about crisis at the border and the usual ongoing political crisis in Haiti. With so much negative energy going on in the political circles that one wonders if it will ever be possible to make progress with this kind of atmosphere.

Nothing I can do about that, so the best possible reaction is to not worry and carry on as best I can.

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