On these snowy winter days I’m jealous of my brother-in-law who is traveling to Georgetown to stay in the family house there for a couple of months.
As Traveling Ted has already shown in several of his blogs (http://travelingted.com/category/caribbean/), Georgetown and Guyana are full of surprises. First, the country is a real melting pot. Though there are mostly Africans and East-Indians, the population includes Portuguese, Chinese and Aboriginal Indians (Amerindians, local Indian) and many intermarry. It makes for beautiful “mixtures”. Creole and Indian cuisine is often seen together on the dining table. The setback of Guyana is its slim population (about 700,000) and lack of an industrial base. Most of its resources such as bauxite, gold, and diamonds are exported abroad by international companies.
Guyanese rum (Demerara, Bank’s XM,Eldorado etc.) is the best of the Caribbean if not of the world, no doubt about that. I tried several in neighboring Suriname, but no match. Same for the Jamaican Baccardi. Quoted from their website, “the D’Aguiar family in Guyana (Banks) has been there for over 150 years and have been making fine Guyanese rums since the 1840’s when José Gomes D’Aguiar, the founder of the company, started a rum business. Over the years the Company’s rums have been awarded many accolades, including three outstanding awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for its 10 year-old rum and XM VXO.” This means something. The only spirit I drink in Guyana is their fabulous rum, and we take quite a few bottles home.
Otherwise, little is manufactured right there because with a population of about 700,000 the critical mass is insufficient. The brain-drain to the USA, Canada and the UK is unstoppable, and local unemployment remains high. Guyanese are well educated and I met several of them in high places around the world. A bright lot, so, no wonder that they leave for better places to put their good minds to work.
As Traveling Ted has already shown the most important sites of Georgetown and Guyana in his blogs, I refer you to his website <http://travelingted.com>.
I copy here a few pictures I took myself during my several stays in Guyana, and while I was loading them up I wished I had taken many more. My main attraction has been the Kaietur Falls, which I consider as good as any of the 8 world wonders. And then there are the impressions of everyday life. If you plan to stay in any of the Caribbean Islands, think of carving out a side trip to Guyana, meet the friendly people in Georgetown. taste the ancient architecture of the town, and go see those falls. They are just overwhelming and better than the Niagara falls because they have not been affected by an influx of tourists: what you see is pure nature. I have shown a few pictures of the falls in my previous blog, but I add these to give a better feel of their beauty.
Some computers will enlarge the pictures if you left click on them. When this succeeds just click on the bakward arrow top left, and you will be back at the blog.
Our friendly pilot Sam
Kaietur falls seen from the airplane
Picture taken by our pilot
Kaietur with flora along the rocks and ravines
Kaietur seen over and in-between plants
Kaitur seen from flying close to it.
Our pilot admires the falls as well
With our pilot at Orin Duik (Dutch for Orin “Plunge”), less than an hour flight from Kaietur. We took a swim under the falls below
Back in Georgetown, at Stabroek market. You see similar markets in India.
Modern transport in Georgetown. Take your time.
Even donkeys do a good job.
Also in Guyana there comes an end to life. Often, the funeral procession is preceded by a loud band that plays Chopin’s funeral march.
A young attractive Guyanese girl going to work in the sunny weather
Some of the more modern residences in Georgetown. Quite pleasant.
Having lunch in Guyana is a delight. I love those puris!
Cattle Egrets populating the coconut trees
The future of Guyana waiting to be picked up from day-care. Working parents have the same problem the world over.
The World Bank office in Georgetown where I spent many a day.
Oh those lovely ladies from Guyana on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.
Bye-bye, see you next time
There are several tour organizations in Guyana. http://www.evergreenadventuresgy.com/ is one. A local airline that has been taking tourists around is http://www.roraimaairways.com/wp/. Trans Guyana Airways, also operates flights between Georgetown (Ogle Airport) and Paramaribo (Zorg en Hoop airport) in collaboration with GUM AIR from Suriname. The flight between Georgetown and Paramaribo along the coast offers a beautiful view of the physical architecture of these countries, in particular in the late afternoon with the sunlight shining over the extensive rice and sugar paddies and the outflows of the mighty Essequibo river.