Georgetown, Guyana
6° 48' N 58° 10' W
Jun 02, 2004 00:56
Distance 0km

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Georgetown (1 - 4 June 2004)

Georgetown can be seen in a day according to my Lonely Planet. I decided to make that two days. You just can not move all the time and I did not want to make this trip like I did in Asia, moving every third day or so. Although I had promised myself to slow down a bit I had slipped into the old Asian pattern already by adding more stops and destinations than planned while I was passing through the area. The world is just so beautiful and there are too many things to see.

Not in Georgetown though. The centre of town is really small and most buildings are not higher than two or three floors, except for maybe 10 exceptions around the market, the post office and some government buildings. The city appeared a bit safer than the first impression I had when I arrived at the end of the afternoon. That said, there were still plenty of poor people on the street and many people wanted my attention and money. There are not many white people out here so you stick out. Most people are Indian, combined with some Caribean influences.

St George Cathedral is built in Gothic style. My guidebook says it is the highest wooden structure in the world. Well, it was quite high indeed. Well maintained and all white the church had a beautiful interior, well worth a visit. Nearby are the neo-Gothic Town Hall which looks like a Castle from a famous ferry tale. The 19th century Victoria Law Courts made good pictures with there yellow walls and red rusty roofs. If only I had a camera. Parliament building, dating from 1833 was also one of those sights you have to see whilst in town and of course a stroll through dangerous Stabroek market is always good to test the nerves and survival skills of any traveller. I survived and the rest of the afternoon I spent in the internet cafe updating this bloody site, which is a lot of work.

On the second day I tried to find a good camera. There are only three camera shops in the city and choice was very bad and then I am still saying it nicely. I had no other choice then to wait until I would be in Boa Vista in Brazil next week, the next decent city I would come through. So I bought a US$ 20 cheapie that would probably take acceptable photos for a week or two. I went back to all sights mentioned and shot some pics to prove that I have been to Guyana.

Sending postcards, well, finding them, and buying stamps took a very long time as queues and efficiency were very third world. I made enquiries about buying cheap flight tickets to Kaieteur Falls, the single most important attraction of the country. These falls are only slightly less impressive then Iguacu and much less touristic with just a few hundred visitors a year. 300 meters wide and a few hundred meters wide the sight is apperantly great. However I am not going to spend US$ 200 dollars for an excursion, so I will wait a couple of years until the place can be reached by road.

The next challenge was finding the agency that sold bus tickets for Annai and Lethem, my next destinations. It happened to be the last travel agent I asked for Kaieteur tickets. Buses only left on monday, wednesday and friday at the very comfortable hour of 2:00 AM at night! Damn masochists in this country. Asking for a reason was naive. They had no idea. The ticket cost 5000 Guyanese dollars, about 20 euros. The trip would take 8 hours to Annai and another 6 hours to Lethem, theoretically.

Changing money was also an interesting project as their were no ATM´s. Well, actually there were two ATM´s but none of them accepted mastercard cards. The good old credit card came in handy and after 15 minutes I had the money over the good old counter.

Eating out in Georgetown was not nearly as exciting and nice as it was in fabulous Suriname. However it must be the only country in the world where take away food is more expensive than eating the same food from a table in the same restaurant.

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