Last of the Guianas!!

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
Trip End Jul 06, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rima Guest house

Flag of Guyana  ,
Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 68 March 12th continued - We leave Paramaribo and driver is intent on wrecking the mini van. Every speed bump he doesn't see and one, well, he braked late and we skidded over it! Hmmm not looking like we'll make it the whole way. On the bus I sat next to a guy called Tim from Chicago. Turned out to be a real nice guy. He's 43, currently finishing his PHd on African culture, he spent a great deal of time living in Ghana, Senegal, he's been to 58 countries across this globe, 27 of them in Africa, so he chews my ear off about potential African trips, and well, I was sold. Just need to look at when I can squeeze these trips in! His mum is nearing 70 so they have planned a round the world trip, which starts in Senegal, so no English speaking countries. Later this year, he will move to Liberia to work.

The road to the boat to cross in Guyana was pretty smooth compared to the road from Albina to Paramaribo. Tim and I discussed various things, but the large topic of the conversation was on ´The Wire´. If you haven't seen the programme, I suggest you do. It takes a few episodes to get you into it, but after that, I was hooked. We discussed all the characters and could not think of one weak character in the whole affair. Although, we could not remember the name of Idri Elbas character nor that of his partner in crime. In a flash on inspiration later that day, Tim woke up on the boat and exclaimed, Stringer Bell! We got Avon Barksdale a little earlier, don't you just hate that, trying to think of a name without the Internet?

Anyway, in the bus was a big dude from Guyana and Hans, a scientist from Holland and that was it. It took about four hours to drive west to the river from where it took me thirty minutes to wait for a ticket, another twenty minutes for them to weigh my bag, and about fifteen seconds to get my exit stamp!!

The boat ride was pretty uneventful, but the boat was full!!  The ride took about thirty minutes, I asked Hans about his career and why everyone in Holland is so tall, think we agreed something on food back in the day was in tall standing trees. Hans was once very career orientated, now, works between contracts and loves living in South America, and will not leave. I can see his point, not in the last few days with all the rain, but life is laid back, the sun shines, there is carnival and everyone is friendly.

When the boat docks in Guyana, there is a mass rush to get to border control. Everyone is running, luckily when we get to immigration there is a separate queue for gringos, so we're through within seconds, I change some money at the gate and find Bobbys other mini bus on the other side of the river, driven by a humourous Indian!

We drive for around three and a half hours to Georgetown. On the way we stop at a kebab van. Sadly, no kebabs but I consumed two very cold hot dogs and a lucozade. The house pictured is where one could go for a piddle.

Of course, conversation with Tim was limited on this journey, we all had a bench in the mini van each and I was laid out asleep. A 4am start was bad enough the boat didn't sail till 11am and now, around 2pm, I've been up for hours and need some shut eye. The road to Georgetown is busy, not the normal busy, we're talking dogs, cows, goats, more dogs and more dogs. Every five minutes the driver is beeping his horn to move these animals on. The roads fall between lush green countryside and houses that hug the road.

It takes time to get to my destination, I've booked, yes booked for once, a guest house in the centre of Georgetown called Rima. Tim has yet to book a place, he was in Guyana, went to Suriname and back to Guyana before flying back to Florida where he now lives. He´'s going to try get a room in the same place. We arrive and the place is full of doctors volunteering in Georgetown. I asked for a single and was reserved a double, so offered the spare bed to Tim so I got to halve the cost. The room was big, I got the double bed and for the first time on the trip, mosquito nets. The last time I slept in one of these was five years ago in Peru, I remember that time feeling very safe and snug. The guesthouse also has wifi and I receive an email from my friend Ana (I met in Foz briefly, Spanish doctor from Barcelona, no?) anyway, I gave her the details of Stuart from Miraflores in Lima, they contacted each other and the four of them, Stuart, Ana and other two friends went out a couple of nights. I got a very sweet thank you message from Ana, I like it when things like that work out, Stuart was a great guy and the Spanish guys were cool also.

Anyway, after some siesta time, Tim and I went out to find some food. He's a vegetarian so happy for him to chose. We went to a Chinese place, braved the outside tables, it was spitting slightly, and I had a few beers and a hot chilli duck thing. Man, it burned! After dinner, we headed further into town and sat in the bar above where Tim stayed previously, think he went there also in search of a cutey who was working in the hostel. She wasn't there that night though. We were sat across from a Brazilian strip club, well that's what Tim said. It seemed pretty quiet, about 6 bouncers outside, the odd girl walking in and out, but no customers. And it stayed like that, we moved on down the road where we walked passed a pretty noisy place. There was a cover to get in, but it ended up being some oldies night, young people, but very old slow music and well, a sweet dance hall night. A guy walks up to a girl to dance sort of event. So, we sat there quietly and drank our beer quickly, when Tim discussed he was once a DJ. Interesting. Anyway, we both like Interpol and I gave him the name of a few other bands he may not have heard of. We leave this place, walk back to our guesthouse where opposite is another bar, showing the repeat of Wales Ireland rugby union game. We consume two more beers and that's me done for the night. I'm all beered out and to be honest, after an early start, all talked out as well! For once, I can sleep in very little, no hiding of the feet and legs etc, and I squeeze under the net and have a great night sleep.

Miles Walked 1.96
Temp 26C 81F

Day 69 March 13th - After a great night sleep, I am a lazy ass and sleep in some more. Tim goes to find some tea, but with wifi available, I can catch up on all sports news and I think I jinx England again as I read the text chat about Bangladesh run chase, sorry, the last time I watched the text chat was against Ireland, I'll stop now!!

Anyway, we wander out, to try find an early lunch. Georgetown is designed in a grid fashion but has long long avenues.

For lunch, a Roti place was closed, being Sunday and another cool local food place was closed, so ahem, another Chinese. Chicken and Pork with Rice. It then hammered it down again, so Tim and I chatted for a good hour waiting for the heavens to stop.

Once the rain, well, was lighter, I went for a wander around Guyana while Tim went off for a swim. I headed to the zoo and Botanical gardens first, figure I'd be a tourist for a change. On the way, I walked past a market which seemed quite lively and I was getting lots of looks and car beeping at me.

After walking down a pretty long avenue, I spot the Georgetown cricket club. Looks nothing like you see on TV and strange to think Test matches are played there, but still, I tried to take a little sneaky look, but some woman was hiding and jumped out. She said not allowed in. Oh well.

I then found the zoo. About 20p to get in and it was a very small zoo. I won't go into too much detail, but it seemed like a place for bring a date? Anyway, all I had was my camera and a few creatures to snap.
I tried to walk in the Botanical gardens, but some guy approached me, lifted his shirt and showed an unattached colostomy bag, saying some crap about God and religion and can I give him money. I walked off unimpressed. I walk down a road dedicated to fine West Indies Cricketer and head into central Georgetown. The streets are rough, poverty is evident and I'm walking around keeping an eye on who is walking near me, around me etc. Before long, I am in the central part and there are some very interesting building in the centre. One looks as if it was created for a Disney movie, the blue and white one, turns out it's the town hall.

There are mini vans darting everywhere, big guys on the street trying to fill them, every girl walking by herself is approached/hassled by many guys, sad to say. The attitude towards women is like that throughout the Guianas, I guess we see that in every society, ie wolf whistles, but the approaching and grabbing arms etc is over the top for me, and extremely inappropriate. I find the central market and walk down a lane towards and stinky and garbage filled dock.

The rain starts to become heavier so I make a swift exit and head back to the guesthouse. Only to walk in and find Tim asleep, haha, I guess lunch made him tired. With my flight in the morning leaving at 6am, I have to be picked up by a taxi at 230am, so with that in mind an afternoon nap was called for.

In the evening, Tim and I went to a local place for some food, it was local alright. I think I saw Bernie Ecclestone in there with two very young black girls. Not laughing at his jokes and giving Tim and I lots of eye contact. I had chicken curry, it was OK, not great. Then, the guy who asked for money earlier in the day, is outside the window rubbing his fingers and his thumb together and pointing at me. I wanted to go out there and punch him in the face. As I walked out, he was still asking. Man! Anyway, we had one beer and called it a night.

Taxi found me at 230am, I grabbed a few hours kip and headed to the airport. When I got there, I found out I was a few dollars short of the exit tax, the ATM wasn't working and no-one gave cash back. So, I was allowed to go through immigration and security to the duty free. Bought a bottle of wine and got enough cash back to go back to the check in area, pay the exit tax and walk through immigration and security again. There was some cricket on the TV from the World Cup and I boarded my flight with complimentary waterproof clothing, bring on the Trinidad!

So, I have seen the Guianas. The old British one, Dutch one and French one. I liked Guyana but because of the Visa issues in French Guiana my time was cut short. I would be happy to go back and check out the cricket but also the beautiful waterfall that I did not include in my trip.

Thank you for those who sent positive comments after my last blog. It's unusual to write about how you felt five days ago even though you might be feeling better now, but all is well. Still, thank you anyway for caring messages of support, I know you just want to see more pictures of food.
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Kimberly on

Hi Ant,
Great to "see" you last night. Easton sends lots of cuddles.

Good thing they let you out of the country seeing as how you had to go to duty free to get money for exit tax. Can you imagine having to stay there??!

Bev on

I'm thinking you must have a strong stomach for some of those dishes you chow down on Ant, good luck on your next trek.

Loren on

When you get down, just think about Rumski's at Loren and Joan's!!!
Isn't Georgetown the place where Jimmy Jones had his cool aid party?



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