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#22: The border at Belladere-Elias Pina : Harvey adds

From: Sean Harvey <sean.harvey@undp.org>

Just to let you know, the Dominicans at Elias Pina will let any Westerners pass
the border for the day, provided you ask. They do, though, have no immigration
 there, so it's more of a day-trip rather than an official border 
crossing. I have
actually travelled the road that the police told Ms. Fuller was impassable, and
it's actually quite beautiful. The trickiest part is the section directly south
of Elias Pina, which can be bypassed by heading to Las Matas de Farfan, south to
El Cercado and then back east. There are a couple of high hairpin curves, but we
did it in a crappy little Suzuki Samurai -- you'd be well advised, though, to do
it in a 4WD, you'll go much faster and won't be as bothered by the loose gravel
at the northern end. There's also a fairly heavily trafficked "informal" border
crossing, a dirt road that leads into a small village midway through the voyage.
In the village you'll see Haitians buying produce from the Dominicans, all
 transactions in gourdes. This road is actually the best for 
deforestation, as the
 northern end of it retains a large section of old growth rainforest -- 
beautiful and nothing quite like it anywhere else on the island. The southern
end, as with all mountain ranges on the island, is less ideal, and most trees
have been clear-cut long ago. The contrast is striking and horribly depressing.