By Vitri Balram
Just recently, I was on vacation in Guyana after three or more years. Though it had been a short time since the last that I had been back home on vacation, it seemed like an eternity. And the only reason to explain that sense of an extended length of time would have to my long lasting love of and for Guyana.
I left beautiful Georgetown in 2006 to complete my studies in the USA. However, I knew it would be a long time before I permanently returned home as I had endeavored on a path that required my living outside of Guyana. However, I remained happy at the fact that I could always visit every now and then. That said, my most recent visit was three months ago.
Though I spent most of my time in Georgetown, I did take the opportunity visit some almost remote areas and play tour guide for my boyfriend who was visiting for the first time. Being a Northern European, he had never experienced the beauty and excitement embedded in the dense forestry and natural beauty that Guyana has been blessed with. We went on a Mazaruni/Cuyuni all day river tour, a trip to Kaieteur Falls and the Pakaraima Mountains, a Berbice Expedition, a Kuru-Kururu exploration, a day trip to Splashmins and a general tour of the Garden City.
Our first trip was to Kuru-Kururu. My dad being the tour guide, we got the opportunity to see the general outlines of the area and meet with some local residents who were generous enough to share some awaras with us. I hadn’t eaten those in years and as you can imagine, this was the first time my boyfriend was seeing such a fruit. We also saw some very full-bearing jamoon trees. However, we were unable to reap them as they were too tall for our reach!
Sometime later, we took a trip to Berbice. We travelled all the way to Crabwood Creek which is the very last village before one takes the ferry to go to Suriname. It was a really long drive. Almost 3 hours in total, but it was worth as we spent most of the time at No.63 Beach. One of the longest and most fun beach I’ve ever been to. We also got our share of coconut water and rum as we visited several family members who I was meeting for the first time.
Thereafter, we spent a day at Splashmins Fun Park. Part of the day was so rainy that there weren’t many people at the resort. As such, we got most of the park all to ourselves, which was great as it allowed us some peace and quiet. We indulged in the pedal boat and water volleyball for the rest of the day.
Days before we left, we went on the Mazaruni/Cuyuni river tour.
We departed Parika and spent about an hour on the might Essequibo river before we touched down at Fort Kyk-Over-Al at the mouth of the Cuyuni/Mazaruni river. We spent some time exploring the abandoned Fort, the remaining canons and trail leading from the Fort to the Court of Policy. Being an old Dutch Fort, it was particularly interesting to see how well the structure has stood up from the time it was built unto today. However, it has been poorly maintained as some residents allow their cattle to graze around the perimeter of the Fort. Nevertheless, the site is simply amazing and an lovely remainder of when Guyana was first declared the Lost El Dorado.
We then headed to Marshall Falls, a natural-like Jacuzzi on Marshall Island. We spent some time relaxing in this amazing waterfall before trekking through the bush-like trail to get back to our boat.
Thereafter, we had lunch at Baracara Resort while enjoying the spectacular views of the river and the quietness of the island.
When we were finished, we headed to Bartica where we took some time exploring this booming mining town. We then got back into our boat where we spent almost 90 minutes on the boat ride back to Parika. During our ride, we stopped at Eddy Grant’s house located on two islands in the middle of the river and the outskirts of Leguan where we saw some baboons jumping in the tree tops.
Our last trip was to the lovely Kaieteur Falls. Initially, we were supposed to get the double tour with Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls, but due to a mix-up with the booking agency, we were unable to get on the flight. However, luckily, due to vacancies on another plane from another agency, we were able to snag seats on the plane to Kaieteur. When we finally got there, we were simply astounded at the majestic beauty of Kaieteur. It is true what they say, it’s an amazing wonder. And no matter how many photos I took, I could never really capture the true beauty of this magnificent waterfall.
Unfortunately, the time had come for us to leave as we were only there for three weeks. Though we toured many places, I do look forward to visiting many more of the treasure trove of places that Guyana has to offer.
About the Author
Vitri, a city girl by heart, now lives in the USA where she finds the climate a lot colder. However, she still soaks up her share of the sun and fun when she visits Guyana. Can someone say Amazonian Woman?