Annai, Guyana
3° 57' N 59° 8' W
Jun 05, 2004 00:56
Distance 335km

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Text written in: English

To Annai (4 June 2004)

After having hung out in Georgetown for another long day, mostly hiding in the rain, playing on the internet, and eating reasonable but unexcting food that did not even come close to the fabulous food of Suriname, I had a last shower at the Rima Guesthouse. The owner had called a taxi for me, a safe one , so I would not get robbed, raped or worse.

Check in time for the bus was midnight, two hours before departure time. The probable reason for this is that Guyanese are always late. The streets of Georgetown were empty and eerie. Only some beggars were on the street and the security at the bus office had to chase away some begging kids who came to close to us, the waiting passengers.

The bus looked good, very good actually. Reasonable legroom and comfortable seats. The chainsaw next to the driver indicated either the possibility of fallen trees on the road or the fact that he might kill all of us half way down the trip. We left half an hour early, because all passengers had showed up on time and all luggage was stored securely under mud proof plastic in the hold of the bus. Off we went, in the darkness of the night.

Until Linden, about two hours south of Georgetown the paved road stopped and the dirt road began. Until Linden I had managed to sleep a few minutes here and there, but on this more bumpy road I did not have much chance. It was an incredible trip that never seemed to end. Daylight came around 5:30 so we could see the road a bit better. It was almost similar as the road from Paramaribo to Apura, a red brown mud road winding its way through the green jungle. Nice. Around 6:00 AM we stopped at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, near a place that was called Mabura Hill on some maps. After the half an hour stop to stretch legs, have a breakfast and a coffee we continued at a snails pace. We seemed to have some mechanical problems.

Around 8:00 AM, far away from civilization we stopped and tried to radio contact both Georgetown and Lethem, the two bus company offices with a radio. Nobody responded. We waited until the bus from Lethem, which was going to Georgetown came past after about half an hour. The bus drivers discussed the situation and the solution was that all passengers had to switch buses. Because Georgetown was closer to the place we were stranded than Lethem, we would get the good bus and the people on the good bus would have to go slowly to Georgetown. In Mabura Hill they would contact the office in Georgetown and ask for a good bus to pick them up. Of course the passengers on the good bus were not happy and almost killed the driver. Lots of arguing later we left towards Lethem on an excellent bus.

The trip continued to go through beautiful remote jungle, which had a great atmosphere. The road was not nearly as bad as the guidebook mentioned, but that was written some years ago. Later I would hear that it sometimes takes more than 4 days to get from Annai to Lethem! We entered the Iwokrama Rain Forest, a section of virgin rain forest that has been established as a reserve in 1996. In this area of 360.000 hectares scientists are still identifying flora and fauna, of which 30 % have not been identified yet!

In this forest we crossed the Essequibo River, which made a pleasant 15 minute crossing and continued for another two hours through even more incredible old forest with those giant old trees that seem to be so old that they are possibly the first trees that have ever grown on the planet. Beautiful giants sticking out of the green jungle.

Photos / videos of "To Annai (4 June 2004)":

The road to Annai from Georgetown Swimming Pool at Rock View Lodge in Annai Changing buses halfway Georgetown-Annai Rock View Lodge, Annai Rupanuni savannah The road to Annai from Georgetown Rupanuni savanna Crosing the Essequibo River Crosing the Essequibo River Crosing the Essequibo River Road to Annai from Georgetown Rupanuni savanna To Annai To Annai To Annai