Last Boat Days

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 04, 2012

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Festina Lente

Flag of Guyana  ,
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today is my last day in Guyana.  I'm flying to Bolivia to do another Workaway.  Well, I'm flying to Trinidad-Panama-Bolivia, since there are no direct flights.  It's another almost 24-hour trip.  I'll be living in a tent in the countryside/mountainside, helping to build a hacienda out of adobe bricks.  I was advised to bring baby wipes, since the shower hasn't been built yet.  What am I getting myself into??  I'm trying to think of it as camping for a few weeks.  There is a city nearby (I think about 10 mins), so that gives me comfort.  Hopefully there'll be an internet cafe so I can keep everyone updated. 

As for Guyana, we haven't done much other than hang out in the taxi all day getting supplies and going to places where Adam can look for antique bottles.  We did go to this great Brazilian restaurant.  It had the most delicious tender flavorful beef.  They cook it on spits in this brick oven thing, then carry it around to the tables slicing off portions.  Mmmm, we went two days in a row. 
Anyway, my impression of Guyana has bee good so far.  It seems really safe and friendly, and I don't feel like I stick out as much.  It's really dirty, though, lots of trash everywhere.  And livestock roaming the streets.  And then we met the travel agent who has scars on his face from getting robbed with a machete.  And the friendly auto shop owner who our taxi driver casually told us has already killed four wives - for insurance, and he's paid off the police. 

There is a very strong Indian influence here - Indian from India, that is.  A lot of curry dishes and Indian-style buildings, clothing stores, churches, ways of speaking.  Oh, speaking of clothing, we went to a mall and it was ALL American brands - Old Navy, Diesel, Aeropostale - it was funny for me to see.  Then I started noticing all the people here do dress like Americans.  Even the little shops are all American brands. They said the buy the clothes in the US and bring them here to sell.  And speaking of speaking, Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America.  Trinidad and Tobago and Granada were also English-speaking, but the accent there and here is so strong I can barely understand it usually. 

The people Adam knows here (family of a friend) own like half of Guyana.  They own a bunch of gas stations, restaurants, internet cafes, gold mines, houses... it's crazy.  They were going to fly us on a private plane to go horesback riding, but it rained so we couldn't go. 

Um, what else? The boat is anchored in the river, the Essequibo River.  The generator broke, so we've had no A/C and couldn't make water.  After a few days I gave in and bathed in the river.  Good practice for Bolivia, I guess.  I'm looking forward to a break from this heat and humidity. It's kinda gross being hot and sticky all the time.  I was told where I'm going in Bolivia (near Sucre) is cooler. 

Okay, I think that's about everything.  Oh! The currency.  Did I mention it? One US dollar is 200 Guyana dollars, so when I go to the ATM to get out $50, I get it in a stack of $1000 bills. It's crazy.  And everyone works in cash here, so people are just carrying around stacks of money.  One guy I saw in a car was pointing out the window, and he just happened to have a stack of $1000s in his hand.  Lunch for four at the Brazilian restaurant was $12,500, paid, of course, in cash. 

Anyway, I would have liked to have seen/done more in Guyana, and I could have stayed longer if I chose, but I'm ready to move on.  Bolivia will definitely be somewhere different. 
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