(**This is the first in a series by Brian Cowie exploring his journey throughout Haiti**)
Day 1 – Travel
My trip to Haiti started on Sunday January 27th and ended on Monday the 28th. I left Vancouver Sunday afternoon and arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday morning. As I stepped off the plane I was immediately greeted by the heat and humidity of the Caribbean Island. The ride from the airport was chaotic. The traffic was crazy and there seemed to be no order; lots of trucks and small motorbikes with as many as three passengers. The roads were a real mess with potholes everywhere. Our first stop was the Oloffson Hotel where everyone had been staying for the past few days. Here I met up with my tandem partner Eric Miller from Pueblo, Colorado. Eric was here as the medical director and also my tandem pilot. The Oloffson, built in the 1800’s, is a historic landmark in Haiti. It was a favourite destination for a number of celebrities including Jacqueline Onassis and Mick Jagger.
From there we headed to the Plaza Hotel where we would stay for the nest three days. A nice North American style hotel, I heard that it used to be a Holiday Inn. One of the first people I met after Eric was Hans “No Way” Rey, www.HansRey.com. He is a legend in the sport of trails.
The rest of the day was basically spent meeting the other riders, staff, organizers and video crews who had arrived. About half had already arrived here and the other half would be arriving on Tuesday. More to come…