Last of the Guianas!!
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Rima Guest house
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!!
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!
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.
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!
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.