Trip Start Feb 27, 2006
Trip End Apr 08, 2006

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Flag of Guyana  ,
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Two weekends ago I traveled by speedboat to the interior town of Bartica. It is possible to arrive by car, however the condition of the road makes it a long and sometimes impossible (impassible?) journey. We drove an hour out of Georgetown to arrive at the "stelling", or boat launch area. After waiting for enough people to arrive, we boarded our "speedboat."
I only say speedboat because that is what the locals call it. Sure, the boat goes fast, but so would any piece of wood if you strapped a two-hundred horsepower motor to the back of it. After just over an hour of breathtaking Amazonian-style views, islands, cute riverside homes, a bulldozer floating in the middle of the river and nerve racking wood-creaking at each bump, we arrived arrive at our destination.
After checking in to the hotel, we took a walk. My companions stopped at a small cart and bought "black pudding," pronounced without the "g." Black pudding is a local specialty available only on Fridays and Saturdays. It is spiced and seasoned rice stuffed into cow intestine to make what is essentially a rice sausage. There is also "white pudding". The main difference is...blood. No joke, it's a kosher paradise. The rice in black pudding is seasoned with cow's blood, while the white pudding has no blood. I tried black pudding, just once.
We spent the next day at Baganara, an island resort on the Essequibo river, with a bunch of friends (new friends to me). Very picturesque...see photos included!
After a few drinks we returned to Bartica and went to another local hangout. Sunday is the day when everybody relaxes by the river; they listen to music, socialize, etc. and we were no different. Unfortunately, we were there until about 6 o'clock (the last boat for Georgetown normally leaves around 4:00). Fortunately, one of the guys we were hanging out with happened to be the owner of a few of the speedboats that travel to and from Georgetown-he held back a boat for us to get back to town.
It was dusk as we boarded the boat. The river is over a mile wide in some parts and between the colors of sunset and the dense, lush jungle that bordered both shores, the view was quite beautiful.
As the sun went down, the stars came out. There is something special about being able to see so many bright twinkles in the sky. I love when you can look up and see the night sky curve around the earth. It looks like a huge dome; I suppose that is because you can see to the limits of the universe. It is quite humbling to be underneath such a large universe, with all the stars-you begin to know how small you really are. Seeing myself beneath such a huge sky put things into perspective and brought about many questions. It is just that kind of awe that makes me think of G-d and what a masterpiece this universe really is.
Of course, traveling in the dark, on a wooden speedboat going who knows how fast on a river in the middle of the jungle brings up thoughts of G-d as well. And it was He I was asking to get me to my destination safely.
Thankfully, I did arrive safely.
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