| From Diary 2, the
adventure continues here.
15. It has been raining during the night, and it is not over, it seems. I get a mug of tea to go, and head off towards Georgetown. I stop every interesting place, but the rain and the fact I stopped here yesterday as well make it a bit uninteresting.
Then, the last half is in constant rain, until I reach Georgetown. Here, the roads are dry, but to judge from the sky; not for long. I find my usual hotel, drop the bag and head down town while it is dry. I get a veggie-burger and stock one for later at the vegetarian restaurant. I try to find some streets I haven't seen, but fails.
It start to drizzle, and I get to the market and its huge roof. I get to see it real thoroughly before the rain stop. Back at the hotel, it pick-up again, and I start working. It have not been an interesting day, and tomorrow might be the same kind of rain. It is the dry season, and it ought to be dry, but Guyana is experiencing an El-Nino year, like so many other places.
I spend the evening feeding the mosquitoes, finding
good photos and programming the GPS for the next adventure.
16. Despite is is a grey day, filled with showers, I head west. A bit south of Georgetown, a 1500 meter floating bridge leads to the western Guyana. Here are not many roads, as the rivers are the main transport lines. The houses are dense along the roads most of the way, and quite more modern, than I had expected. Well, at least in the town of Vreed en Hoop.
I follow the northern coast, along the lowe dike. When I find a road, leading inland, it is through mainly rice fields, divided by canals. Here are not much nature left, and what there are, I have seen before. The sun never break through, else, here would have been some great motives along the canals.
Where the bigger canals or rivers crosses the big
road, boats are unloading crops and especially fruits to waiting trucks.
Loads of bananas and melons along with so many different other crops.
find a newly sealed farm road, leading way into the land. The farms are tiny
and humble, although the big rice fields are huge. The road forks out, and
quit soon, it turns into ankle-deep mud.
I passes Dr. No Fuel Station, but after 200 kilometres, the car still think it is full. I pass through Parika for now, eager to explore the jungle further in. Unfortunately, the area is fully farmed till way after the road turn into a deeply destroyed gravel road. And my car already need a plow as it is... With sun, I might have been tempted, but showers are just not the same!
I return to
Parika, and ditch the car. It is not a large town, but it have a few banks
and quite some shops. I see the farmers stalls and even find tea and a
back pass the bridge, and the gathering of cars
are astonishing. I find a way around, and follow this river south. But not
for long; the sealing does not hold long.
Finally, we move a bit. Four to five lines beside each other - then it cut down to one over 50 metres. The speed is less than walking, and it take almost a hour to cross the 1500 meter bridge. On the other side, the same problem occurs: Congested in cars, trying to get to the bridge. It is so stupid, as a few marked lines - and officers making sure they are followed, would make it a smooth operation without waiting. And I'm told it is business as usual -every day! (I have time to chat with the approaching cars).
Back in G'town, I drive straight to my car-pusher. Kennet is out, and the poor girls at Wilderness Travel Agency are apparently not use to receiving cars. Well, I get rite of it, and walk back to the hotel through the residential neighbourhood. It drizzle a bit, but it only start to rain as I reach the hotel.
a while, it stops, and I head out to find a barber and eventually some
supper. I am running a bit low on cash, but on the other hand; I don't need
much more. Considering the fees their bank and my steels, I try to make it
17. Around ten years ago, I saw a documentary from National Geographic about a group of scientists. They were airlifted into some deep jungle, to document the biodiversity. Here were tall, isolated table mountains and an astonishing waterfall - along with one of the world's highest biodiversities. Immediately, I added the country to my short list of countries I had to visit. I go there that location today.
It is another drizzling day, and I have not anything to do, except work, until eleven. I get a taxi to drive me to Ogle Airport, and board on a flight to the huge Kaieteur National Park and the Kaieteur Fall. It is the world's largest single drop waterfall by the volume of water flowing over it. 226 metres high (+25 meters of cascades), and an average flow rate of 663 cubic metres per second - that is a lot of fresh water! I just hope for clear weather and even some sun?
The park was founded by the British in 1929, covering 116,6 square kilometres. Then in 1973, Guyana government reduced it to 19,4, to give room for mining! It have later been expanded to 626,8 square kilometres.
An old and small plane with a female pilot spend a hour, flying over mainly rainforest. But; along the bigger rivers, scars from human activity is seen. The white sand is visible, and buildings are erected. The short airstrip, on the other hand, is being taken over by nature. It is still partly clouded, but my mandatory guide; Thomas, think ¨we might get a glimpse of the fall. Well, I'm here for the nature in general, and the fog won't stop me!
ground is a strange mix of what appears to be quarts and asphalt. However,
it is a two billon year old rock, formed on the button of the sea. Here, it
form a great track, although flooded in many places.
Here are teaming with animals, despite the light drizzle and lack of sun. Strange snout-beetles, frogs looking like toads, giant cockroaches, finger sized flies, leafcutter ants, and a lot of birds. The most glorious must be the Cock of the Rock; Rupicola rupicola, which is only found here.
Here are constantly moist, and peat mosses and Drosera are thriving. Lichen grow on the ground to considerable size, while the trees don't get that huge. Here are so many species, I have no change documenting them all, and I just go for the most strange. This is, by the way, at 1500 metres height.
We reach a viewing point for the Kaieteur Fall, but clouds are more or less hiding it. The thunder is fare from as severe as I had imagined, but then again; it is more than a quarter of a kilometre away, down in the canyon. And it must be more a heavy rain, when it finally get down there. One of Thomas few facts is; it will take me seven seconds to reach the button, should I fall. He is kind of quiet after I corrected his first three plant names. I was just trying to be helpful, not arrogant. There is no reason for him to give out false facts, I thought.
Here are Golden Rocket Frogs; Anomaloglossus beebei, which is only found here. Unfortunately, I fail to find any, but I do find some other frogs in the giant bromeliads. Besides from the giant bromeliads, here are at least seven other species, mainly on the trees.
Here are quite some flowers, some I'm familiar with, some that are so strange and unknown to me. I will spend a long time identifying them. Some are just flowers on the ground without leaves, but they do not look like parasites. Some are orchids, some look a bit like orchids, but their flowers are defiantly not.
Another viewing platform (formed by nature as the first), give a great view over not only the fall, but also the magnificent valley. Here are small clouds in several layers, and big ones drifting bye. The vegetation look so different in the button of the valley, but I can't go there. I wished Thomas had something else to do....
Somehow, it feel like
we just left the pilot, but it is time to go back, If it wasn't for the
hundreds of photos, I would not have thought we been here that long. The pilot
(whom I later learn actually owe the entire company) had promised me a loop
around the fall, but both when we arrived and left, it was hidden in the
clouds. Well, I grateful enough as I did get to see it, and
almost keep dry while I walked around in the area. It started to rain 100
metres before we reached the plane. This day's diary ought to be way longer,
but the amount of photos I have to sort, tag and proceed along with an early
morning flight ,make is short. Day 11: Kaieteur
National Park and Fall