sorry for dropping off the face of the planet. We left Brazil on the 1st of April, because Kris suddenly became obsessed with going somewhere that wasn’t thronged by other yachties and hordes of tourists. Our last day in Jacare the internet was down, so I didn’t even get a chance to post a notice on my blog saying that we’d be out of touch for a while.
After 20 days at sea, here we are, in Guyana…not French Guiana, where all the other yachties go, nor Suriname, which is also known as Dutch Guiana, but the Republic of Guyana, formerly British Guyana, but now an independent country. Famous for the Jim Jones massacre, where some preacher from the U.S. convinced/forced his thousands of followers to kill themselves to fulfill some crazy divine plan he’d become obsessed with.
We are 40 miles up the Essequibo River…a huge river of yellow water, full of small islands crowded with jungle and massive trees. We are anchored in front of Bartica, a gold and diamonds mining frontier town. Everyone has gold fever, the town is full of miners, 4×4 army trucks come in and out, taking all the men out into the jungle, where they dredge or pan or dig for gold for a few weeks, then come back to Bartica to get drunk and live in the whorehouses until their gold is gone.
It took me a week to locate the only internet cafe that actually works…it’s in someone’s living room, and as I write this, a young lady is watching The Exorcist nest to me.
I don’t know how often I will be able to write…things pretty much cost their weight in gold, around here. We live on river fish that look like piranhas, steaks of Arapaima (this monster fish grows up to 4 metres long), and Kris has been threatening to bring home a capybara to cook some time next week.
Plenty of good hardwood in this town, so Kris has been repairing things on the boat. Plan is to stay until the repairs have been made, Then Kris wants to hike 5 days through the jungle to reach a massive waterfall in the inbterior…it’s called Kaieteur, and supposedly rivals its more famours neighbour, Iguazu. There’s quite a lot of climbing to do, and I don’t think I can join him on this. I will see if I can take a small plane tour to see the falls, otherwise, I’ll sit at home for a week, going crazy. 🙂
This is the real deal, as far as Off The Beaten Track travel is concerned. The jungles here are still pretty much intact. tourism doesn’t come here, this is what the Amazon used to be, before loggers, cattle men, and thousands of tourists descended upon it….We are the only sailboat in Bartica,, and possibly also the only tourists right now. Hotels and things here are for the miners, not for visitors on sightseeing tours. As a result, people are genuinely curious and unbelievably friendly.
Although part of South America, Guyanians consider themselves West Indians…they play cricket, not soccer, lots of reggae, marijuana for sale in the market, folks speak Creole and English, and the food has been really wonderful…pepperpot, cook up, roti and curries (after the British abolished slavery, the former African slaves of the Dutch refused to work the sugar cane, so they had to bring Indians from India over to work as indentured labourers. Their descendants remain, consider themselves Guyanians, and brought their food and culture with them), lots of rice and beans, LOTS and LOTS of chillies. I am in Habanero heaven, it almost killed me, the first day. I overdid the pepper sauce.
That’s it for now, noi pictures, sorry, I didn’t think I would actually find this elusive internet cafe today. Maybe next time.
Just wanted to drop a line, reassure everyone that we are okay, that we’ll be here another month or two, and the next stop will probably be Trinidad/Tobago.