Ryan and I have finally come to the conclusion that it would be very helpful to have a vehicle for personal use during our time here in Haiti. Much to Ryan’s disappointment, the cheapest option by far was a motorcycle. 🙂 He had his 30th birthday on Wednesday, January 4th, and got to unwrap the keys to his second love after Melissa.
Thankfully we didn’t have any guests staying at the house on Thursday, so we loaded up a back-pack and took our first ride. After a rough start, she warmed up and rode well. Much to our surprise, as bumpy as the roads are in Haiti, they are actually smoother when you’re riding on a motorcycle than in a car. Ryan had his phone handy, and we pulled out the GPS map to find our way. I’m sure that was quite a funny sight – two white people pulled over on the side of the road, looking at their phone for directions in the middle of crazy traffic and people everywhere. 😀
Our destination was The Karibe, a beautiful hotel/restaurant just outside Port-au-Prince. Though it was only about 10 miles away, it took a good hour and a half to get there. We were thankful to have a relaxing day, reading, playing games, and eating some good imported food. We heard rumors that Matt Damon was there, but weren’t sure if they were true. The next day we saw on Twitter that it was true – he was hanging out somewhere at the hotel. Too bad we missed our first celebrity sighting opportunity.
It was dark when we made our journey back home. I was quite nervous, especially since we didn’t really know where we were going. We followed the GPS map again, turning down a few wrong (dark, deserted, scary) streets, but thankfully found the correct path quickly. Being on a motorcycle, you really are a part of the action – weaving in and out of people selling things on the streets, loud music playing, waiting behind full tap-taps with people looking at you, smelling the street food cooking. It was quite a different experience than being in an enclosed car.
To top the entire day off, we were about half way home and got stopped at a police check-point. Two very serious Haitian cops pulled us over – one of them wanting to see our license and registration. Not happy with the documents Ryan gave him, he stepped aside to look them over. The other cop, in Creole, was asking me what was in my back-pack and where we were going. At this point I was praying as hard as I could, and was sure we were going to spend the night in Haitian prison. Sure. Thankfully they let us go, and I have never been so happy in my life. We made it home shortly after that, very relieved and exhausted.
All in all it was a good day, and we were thankful to have a day off and the freedom to go wherever we wanted. I’m sure it will be the first of many adventures on Ryan’s new toy.