Apoera, Suriname
5° 11' N 57° 10' W
May 29, 2004 23:53
Distance 0km

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Text written in: English

Blanche Marie Falls (29 May 2004)

The following morning we left at around 12:00 and drove back towards the Bakhuis Mountain range. It was a two hour drive, back in the direction of Paramaribo. Nice to see this stretch with daylight now. The wide road was well maintained because of all the trucks that had to come from the Bakhuis mountains to Apura. In the Bakhuis Mountains there are a few bauxite mines and all transport goes via the Coranthine River to Nieuw Nickerie and further on. because of all this transport the road was maintained by Billiton, the mining company.

The last 25 kilometers however were a private road, belonging to the Dubois family who runs the very expensive lodge at Blanche Marie Falls. It was a horrible road and we were happy having picked up a friendly local who was a guard/forest ranger to help us clear the road. Some trees had fallen over the private road and we were the only people traveling that road today, so we had to clear it. For that reason we had some big chopping knifes with us and Alex and the friendly funny 65 year old ranger (who really had the face of a monkey!) chopped the road clear while the girls and I were enjoying the amazing plants, flowers and butterflies that abunded along the track.

The resort was simple but nice and expensive. Packages of three days from paramaribo ran around 375 American dollars (only!). The Alax package was a bit cheaper! We still had to pay 15 SRD entrance fee per person before we were allowed to go to the fall. Normally we also would have had to pay for the car but because locals do not pay we did not have to pay for Alex┬┤ car. The falls were 800 meters away and were quite impressive and beautifully located. When I wanted to take pictures I found out that my camera had broken down. Noooooo, not now, please! Of course these things always break down when you are as remote as possible. I was lucky to have the girls with me and they promised to send me copies of the pics they were taking. Otherwise I would have had no pics at all.

After having seen the waterfall we drove 200 meters back to a safe place in the Nickerie River to swim. the current was extremely strong and you really had to be careful not to be washed away. There were ropes everywhere just in case someone would be pulled in the wild river stream. The powerful natural hydromassage was very pleasant and while Alex was drinking another liter of rum and became funnier and funnier we just relxed in the relatively cool water. Much cooler than the Surinam River. Probably because this water comes from the Bakhuis Mountain range, which are not spectacularly high, but high enough to cool the water a bit.

When we had enough of the bathing, a few hours later, we headed back to the lodge for some more drinks and around 18:00 it was time to return. Alex driving style had not improved with all that rum and we had to slow him down a bit although he insisted that it was safe as he knew the road very well. To make things worse, hell broke loose and we could hardly see one meter in front of us. The wipers could not cope with it, which slowed us down.

After we had dropped of the monkey man at his lonely barrack we continued along the mainroad back to Apura. The rain had eased a bit and that was good for us because we had some work to do. A huge tree had fallen over the road, blocking our passage completely. We had no other choice then to chop the bloody thing up, which took about 20 minutes. Back in Apura the simple bami (noodles) tasted very well after all activities of that day. It had been another excellent day in paradise.