Bassin Zim ; A Haitian Treasure


The last time that I was able to travel throughout the country was exactly a year ago. Ever since the last stop I’ve been yearning to take a long ride bus to a foreign place just to explore and feel the joy. So when 2 of my co-workers shyly approached me about a road trip to the country side, I was delighted. The early birds couldn’t even catch me on Monday February 27th, I left happily my house with my signature ‘Lakay se Lakay’ Purple Tshirt, my big hat (borrowed from Mom) traded my usual pair of heels and dress pants for tennis shoes, my back pack and camera tucked at my hip like a true tourist.

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The bus started to load around 7h00 AM the crew slowly arrive upon our meeting point. Slowly but surely through traffic, we were able to leave the noisy capital by 10h00 AM to get to the main travelling road. The atmosphere of our trip overflows with good times, a mix playlist of all type of music similar to a party bus. I sat right next to the window enjoying the present moment with my head happily in the clouds covering everything that was in sight; the good, the bad and the intriguing. On my right side window we saw Lake Péligre and I was able to caught a glimpse of Péligre ; an hydroelectric dam located in Artibonite the centre department of the country. Its presence from across looked so interesting from its distance. We begged our driver to drive for a chance to see this historically known dam up close and personal but he (the bus driver) estimated that we were way too far ahead to turn back. Ahh! I was so disappointed to pass by a place that I studied a lot in geography back in elementary school.

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Top of the cave

We got to our final destination at Bassin Zim at Noon. As we unloaded the bus, we were quickly surrounded by a group of children who designated each and every one of us as our guides. This is where I was taken in by the good, the bad and the intriguing once those sweet children surrounded us. I was aware that I wasn’t on the field so once I gave my guide a chance to tell me in his own words the history of the place, my questioning started to wear off a bit. He showed me some the improvements of the sight when he pointed a block restroom across the field that held the fall.  Those restrooms were alimented by the falls to keep it functioning. As I was approaching closer to the fall, I heard the sound of nature, life and saw an oasis in the midst of a dry land.

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It was time for a mini short hiking in the caves located above the falls. A couple of years my guide informed me there weren’t any stairs that led to the caves, it was just recently in 2013 that these stairs were build by the Ministry of Tourism when Mrs Villedrouin was in office then. The first cave we reached is called “Grotte Jumeau” (Twin Caves as it can be translated) then followed by that, there was the biggest cave on sight located beneath the falls. The entrance was very slippery with rocks and water dancing down right between them all. My guide held my hand and warned me not to put my hand on the side to avoid being stung by bees. It wasn’t the biggest cave in the country but to me it looked big, it had some of the drawings left behind by the Tainos. There was another cave within and it was harder to climb to get to the top just to be surrounded by darkness. Then it was time to see the origin point of the falls, this is where I found out there were actually 4 of them named but the biggest one was Bassin Zim.

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bassin zim 7After our quick discovery of the caves, some of us chose to cool off in the water and other like myself decided to sit down away from the sun and relax without having to do anything. The only thing that I was disappointed by the sight seeing was the fact there weren’t much choices for food by the locals to support them one way or another. Although the children are ‘hustling’ their ways out with the tourists to get some commission money, I wondered if these children are able to go to school. Hoping they do, I wonder what kind of education they are getting and if it is uniform like it should be? In my opinion, Bassin Zim is this mystic oasis with little remaining of the Tainos that once lived in the island. But…for someone who wasn’t worrying about doing anything else that day, it was okay.

It’s all love

S 🙂


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