My last blog was in March and so much has happened since that it has been difficult to write another one! To combat this I have picked up from my last blog which I wrote just before going on an adventure to the Rainforest for a month. I was returning to Guyana, South America, where I spent the first decade of my life and taking my family there for the first time.
I kept a diary (all electronic equipment remained at home and we shared one watch with an alarm – for getting up at 5.30 am most days!)
Over the next few weeks I am going to sharing some of the highlights from our adventure
We left a snow clad Yorkshire and headed down the M1 to the South. 5 hours later we arrived at Sofitel, Gatwick where we enjoyed a rather good dinner at the Thai restaurant followed by a restful night’s sleep.
On waking the next morning we ambled across to the airport and after checking in tucked into a delicious breakfast at Jamie’s Italian. Travel has never been so easy!
Buster the Labrador greeted us sniffing out the new American dollars in the pocket of my youngest. We all went ‘aah’ and felt sad that Woody our large Munsterlander will not be joining us on our adventures.
After a 2 hour delay and 12 hours later, we touched down in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Our connecting flight to Georgetown was the last one leaving that day. Fortunately they had delayed it as a number of passengers were continuing to Georgetown.
We arrived in Georgetown at 2250 and on leaving the aircraft the first thing we felt was the warm humid air. We were met by a driver from Wilderness Explorers who took us to Cara Lodge, our base whilst in Guyana.
Kaiteur & Orinduik Falls
After an early breakfast of pawpaw, pineapple and water melon we were picked up by Paul our guide for the day and set off for Ogle airport.
Here we boarded a Cessna for the 1 hour flight to Kaiteur Falls. As it was my youngest’s birthday, Wilderness Explorers had arranged for him to sit in the co-pilot’s seat for the journey (he wants to be a pilot)
Below, we could see the harbour bridge which traverses the Demerara River and the coast line where most of the 750,000 people inhabit.
After this, the vista below was pure pristine rainforest. The only way to describe it was like tightly packed florets of broccoli – all green with the occasional flash of gold from the trees that were flowering.
Kaiteur Falls was discovered in 1870 by the European Explorer, Barrington Browne. During its peak some 30,000 gallons of water cascade over a 741 ft sheer drop making Kaiteur Falls one of the world’s largest and most powerful single drop waterfalls.
Apart from a few buildings and the tiny airstrip there are no roads. There is no mass tourism here, cordons or handrails – just the landscape in its most natural setting!
Sat on a rock, I was mesmerised by the molasses coloured water, the power of the Potaro River as its thunders down the Falls creating a misty turbulence and all nested in the valley.
The misty damp environment is home to the tiny Golden Frog, which lives in the broad-leafed bromeliads and can only be found here.
After a tasty lunch of beans, rice and potato salad we boarded the plane for a 25 minute journey southwest of Kaiteur and headed off to Oriniduik Falls.
On landing on the dirt strip we were met by a group of rather shy children and a woman who looks after the only building that was visible. Here tourists can use the toilets, rest from the heat and the veranda makes a good look out point.
Inside they sold some crafts that they made including this one which is using for squeezing the juice out of cassava (a root vegetable). We also bought a little turtle that was weaved using local plants.
Orinduik Falls is on the Ireng River which forms the border with Brazil and merges with the Takutu River which joins the Amazon River. It is located in the sun scorched grassy savannahs of the Pakaraima Mountain foothills and a stark difference to the green dense forest surrounding Kaiteur Falls.
The Falls are a wide, multi-tiered series of cascades where the water rushes over rocks and smooth ledges of red jasper and a perfect place for cooling off!
Back at the hotel it was time for a refreshing shower, dinner and a good night’s sleep as up at 5 am for our trip to Mabaruma.