Jungle Adrenaline

Trip Start Aug 09, 2009
Trip End Oct 23, 2009

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Flag of Suriname  , Paramaribo,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There is nothing like heat and humidity to bring out the best in people, in this case a mother and her little monsters sitting inside a parked white Mazda Familia (a Mazda 323 in the US).  Picture it, a very heavy set woman of African descent wearing a yellow sundress as bright as an egg yolk.  Of course no outfit is complete without the proper accessories which in her case were about two dozen bright orange curlers dangling from her hair. 

In the back seat five young hellions all under the age of five or six were flipping around and screaming and I watched this mother of size just stare blankly forward while clutching the steering wheel with some sort of death grip.  Every beast bears its burden and she finally started to break.  First I watched as she licked her lips slowly and as the kids got even more unruly she then began to smack her lips.  Finally, she somehow turned all 200+ pounds of herself around in that tiny chair, and just started smacking the hell out of those kids all the while with curlers flailing and one of her titties falling out of the dress

As she calmed down she began the process in reverse.  First she smacked her lips and then started licking them again as she calmed herself down.  She then placed her bra covered boob back inside her dress and once again clamped onto the steering wheel with that vicelike grip.  As she once again stared blankly out the front window her angels began acting up again and I got the hell out of there before Hurricane Mazda had a chance to spin up.  One spectacle is enough this early in the morning.

The craziness of Paramaribo streets was replaced by the serenity of the rain forest all day as we traveled about an hour and a half south of town to an eco area called Bergendal.  Everyone in this group was Dutch and everything all day was naturally conducted in Dutch.  Luckily I could understand 90% of what was going on but my friend just had a blank stare on his face the entire time, much like the driver of the Mazda Familia earlier.  I was half expecting him to start smacking his lips and start wailing on some of our new Dutch friends like Two Ton Tessie earlier.

A short two hour "hike" through this old plantation at Bergendal yielded really nothing but mosquito bites and sweat for me.  The going was at a glacial pace as our goup was weighed down by an older couple ill equipped for any type of strenuous movement.  Besides, every five minutes we stopped for a lecture in Dutch so very little ground was actually covered.  My friend and I really had hoped to keep on moving the entire time and really immerse ourselves deep into the bowels of this dense jungle.  We slid up and down the muddy path in line with everyone, and never have I been so glad to be finished with an activity. 

Next up two hours of kayaking along the Suriname River and through the rainforest held more promise, and when I saw the little red kayaks I knew this would be my speed.  Just imagine gliding along calm waters while listening to howler monkeys and every other critter that calls this area home.  At some point a cayman jumped into the water with a loud splash, and the commotion was sufficient enough to scare my friend to the point where he flipped his kayak over.  In he went and I watched with amusement as he freaked out that there could be a cayman nearby nipping at his feet.  Once he finally got situated back in the kayak we finished up our journey and paddled upstream back to the base camp.  Naturally he hadn't listened to me when I said to store all his stuff like passport and wallet in a ziplock bag so everything was soaked. 

After a two hour nap in a hammock to wait out the midday heat we finished up with a canopy tour via zipline.  This gave new meaning to saving the best for last. What a rush.  Heights are not my best friend but somehow I got over that uneasiness today and really enjoyed flying along the lines a hundred feet above the jungle floor.  About nine different lines took us through the jungle treetops and one even crossed the river.  Zooming high over a river at who knows what speed  was worth the slowgoing hike into the jungle and having to suffer through Dutch all day.  The adrenaline factor was definitely there and it is like being terrified and thrilled all at the same time.  The kayaking and zipline were a nice end to the Suriname part of this adventure and it seems getting to French Guiana tomorrow will be an adrenaline filled adventure of a different sort.

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