Wednesday 16 April 2014
I was really excited about seeing the total lunar eclipse in Georgetown - the full moon was to be nice and high in the sky at this location and I was stoked!
Of course, I wound up just feeling a bit like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on Halloween night - as the clouds just weren't cooperating! Oh well. Phillippa was a pretty good sport about it.
The flight in the little Caravan was great too - even if the clouds obscured any chance we might have had to see Kaiteur Falls or Mt Roraima. Nevertheless we did see lots of virgin rainforest to stretching to the horizon. And plenty of licensed and illegal gold mines leaching the metal from the ground and scarring it with multi-hued pools of damaging chemical pollution. Hmm.
Georgetown is not the most aesthetic place we have visited. It has an edge, the streets are full of rubbish and I certainly wouldn't walk around town by myself. However, if you can see through this, it is an interesting city to explore. There is a pretty park in the middle and some interesting wooden buildings left behind from the colonial times. We visited one of the markets, and had a cup of tea with demerara sugar (in true British style) even though it was around 35 degrees and the humidity was high! It was time to get out of there when one woman started kicking off and shouting in creole! As we strolled around the streets we saw a young man selling kites. Apparently at Easter all the kids fly kites and have competitions to see if they can cut other kites down (they have razor blades on). The young dude was happy to have a chat with us and show off his kites!
There is no tourist infrastructure here, and getting to the other side of the country would have been at least 18 hours in a cramped vehicle on diabolical roads, as the rainy season has just begun. So with some gentle persuasion I talked Ty in to buying two flight tickets from Georgetown to Lethem which is on the border with Brazil. I am glad I did, as the flight was really fun and the first time I had been in such a tiny plane where I could see out of both sides and the front and watch the captain! As we landed, I looked out to see if I could spot the terminal building. There was nothing, just a dirt field! It certainly was a new travel experience for me.