Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012 Pt. 5

As we were behind schedule, I thought we would have left Paramakatoi extra early, but we started out close to 8am and headed for Kato.


At Kato we had a brief stop, some vehicles were attended to, and some thirst needs were also attended to 🙂


Our next stop would be at Kurukubaru, although I did not take many photos on the way into the village or even at the village, this one of a family at their home I liked.


From Kurukubaru, our next stop would be the destination of the entire Safari, Orinduik Falls, the route there proved to be unusually treacherous for the vehicles, it was on the way there and back to Kurukubaru that evening that the vehicle suffered the most damage 🙂  Unfortunately, no photos, not a lot of stopping on that leg of the journey 🙂


Just to prove that the Destination was worth it, I’ve selected quite a few photos to show you of Orinduik.

One of my favourites from Orinduik, Jason and Lily take in the grandeur of Orinduik Falls

See the crazy white dude? He just HAD to get a bit of fishing in… no, he didn’t catch anything 🙂


A Panorama of Orinduik Falls to catch the breadth of this stage 🙂

Although we wanted to make it back to Kato that evening, we lost the main convoy in the rains up at Kurukubaru, and were advised by the villagers not to descend the mountain in the rain, so we spent the night at Kurukubaru, the highest village in Guyana.

There may be one more post in this series, but it will be sometime next week, the Easter Weekend is upon us 🙂


Please click on the photos to see them larger in the Gallery.

Advertisements

Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012 Pt. 4

Monkey Mountain:  We started the day as per normal, early  🙂

I even managed to get in a few snaps before departing, which is a lot more than I managed in 2009.

A view from the benab, our collapsible bucket in the entrance

A cross on the hill, right nearby is the Catholic Church in the village

Our next stop would be in Tuseneng, below you can see some of the terrain that we traversed on the way there  🙂


At Tuseneng, I was fascinated by the “tools of the trade” that could be seen outside the huts / buildings around the village centre.


After Tuseneng we’d be headed towards Paramakatoi passing through Bamboo Creek on the way, this segment of the drive proved more challenging than originally expected as you can see from the photos below:

Frank Singh


By the time we arrived at Paramakatoi it was nigh on twilight, and Frank sought permission for us to stay there for the nigh, even though our original destination for the day would have been Kato.

Travellers at Sunset

Click on the images to see them larger in the Gallery, especially the trail ones 🙂

Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012 Pt 3

We awoke on the third day of the Safari at Rukumotu, and after clearing up our campsite, we joined the convoy to start our day’s drive.  Shortly after leaving the village we saw the reason that Frank declined to descend the mountain at night… a very rocky and difficult drive, with loose rocks that needed some steady nerves for Nikhil.

Once on the valley floor we made better time, but for some reason we lost sight of the convoy, some gentlemen on a tractor indicated a route we should follow, the trail seemed fine until we came to  a fork, made deliberately because the older trail was badly damaged.  Although the bypass included a steep ascent, Nikhil mastered it like a veteran.


Further along the trail, we cam to a widening in the trail that was mud from treeline to treeline and probably more than twenty-five feet across, at this point we were still alone having not caught site of the lead vehicles of the main convoy as yet.  We were now two hours out from Rukumotu, not finding any path across that looked any better than another, we drove straight in…. and got stuck…


Although we tried extricating ourselves from the mud with the winch, we didn’t get very far, and decided to wait on more experienced travellers to assist us, surely the tail of the convoy would catch up.  After what seemed like an eternity, but was more likely a half of an hour, we saw the entire convoy coming up behind us… somehow we had gotten ahead of the lead vehicles.

We can take some comfort in the fact that most of the other vehicles also got stuck coming through that patch…  but we do hold the dubious distinction of being the first to get stuck… for the entire Safari.

Of course, Nikhil is also quite proud of being instrumental in hauling many of the others through, once we ourselves were on solid ground


From there to our next main stop at Yarong Paru (or Young Peru) it was uneventful (relatively); at Yarong Paru, we took a breather, and gave over some packages the convoy had brought along for the village, as well as made arrangements for re-fuelling… and I took some photographs too…  lovely spot on the mountain to be…

I even did a Panorama.


After leaving Yarong Paru, we crossed the Ichilibar bridge, and as we drove along the river bank, we noticed the scene towards the river, we paused (very briefly) to get a few photos.  Here’s one:


Our next stop would be at the village on Monkey Mountain, a hard drive, but I did manage to get in a few photos as we drove.


We arrived at Monkey Mountain with time to spare (compared to 2009 anyway), it was still daylight, as we prepared camp, and Naseem worked at our dinner, I managed to catch a nice shot of some children playing football not far from our benab.


Click on the photos to see them larger in the Gallery

Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012 – Pt. 2

When on Safari, we tend to want to get up early, not just to get ready, get breakfast, break camp etc, but to ensure that we get our ration of fuel for the day  🙂  And that the convoy doesn’t leave us behind.   I jest, they wouldn’t do that, would they?

We awoke early at Karasabai and broke camp, after the morning ablutions, breakfast and so forth, we then had some time for a few photos as we waited for the convoy to assemble


Karasabai is not a cluster of huts, but a wide area.

Naseem poses for the Cameras

Bicycles, the main method of transportation, after walking

Jan gets ready for the days drive

Our first full day in the mountain trails, and we even had a few stops where we could take more photographs 🙂

Bush Cowboys

One of the Army vehicles making its way through a rocky part of the trail.

Cecil Beharry, and his Land Rover from Jamaica!

Just after a rather steep mountain pass, we stopped at a village called Karabaiko, where Eddy even got into doing some repairs.

A portion of a hut at Karabaiko

Mechanics on the go

We visited the village of Tipuru on the way.  Tipuru has a nice little shop that has lovely indigenous food and drink for sale, like Cassava bread and “Fly”, a potato liquor.


Thence to our final stop for the day at Rukumotu (not our planned stop, but it was too late and too dangerous to proceed any farther.

End of day at Rukumoto

At Rukumotu, they gave us permission to camp out on the grounds or in the school, we picked a nice hard spot outside the school, that ended up bending at least one of our tent pegs… we were definitely in the mountains, not soft Rupununi soil at all.


Click on the photos to see them in the Safari 2012 Gallery in the Collection.

Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012

This year, as the teams are already on their first day into the 2013 Mountain Safari, I’ve decided to share some images from last year’s trip.

It begins at night, so there’s not much to see 🙂  Our fist stop is at Peter and Ruth, 58 Mile, Lethem Trail; that’s 58 miles from Linden.  There’s a GuyOil Service Station there now, as well as cellular service from Digicel.


Nikhil was our primary driver (but seeing as he didn’t trust any of us behind the wheel, he ended up being the sole driver; I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t trust me behind the wheel on a Safari either)

A view from the back seat, note the can to the right 🙂


The trail crosses the might Essequibo at Kurupukari, where the Mekdeci Mining Company operates the pontoon crossing.


After the crossing, we pass through the Iwokrama Rainforest Preserve, and as soon as you leave the forest, we are hit by the vastness of the Rupununi Savannas, and the lovely undulations of the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains.  Our next stop is The Oasis, at Annai, run by Mr Colin Edwards and the native Amerindians from the village.  Colin has carved out a piece of paradise at The Oasis and the Rock View Lodge just behind it.


After leaving Annai, we continue on the trail until the turnoff to the first village on the main Safari, Karasabai, where we spend our first night.  Along the trail, the view of both the Pakaraima Mountain range and the Kanuku Mountain range is breath-taking


At Karasabia, we arrive with just enough light left in the day to set up camp… and enjoy the sunset 🙂

I think the first day was probably the most diverse for the photography  🙂  I may not post tomorrow (it being Palm Sunday, but look out for my next post from the Safari.  Best wishes to those on this year’s Safari, come back safely.


Click on the images to see them larger in the Safari 2012 Gallery in the collection.

2013 Deck – Week 11

I’m not a Street Photographer, but on a recent PhotoWalk with other members of the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group down Regent Street, that type of photography was the primary aim of the walk.

I got a few images that I like, but this one, while not tack sharp was my favourite, there was a loud exchange of words between a few women across the street, then I noticed one of them running down the pavement, quickly snapped a shot  🙂


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the rest of the Deck Photos for this year  🙂

Goodbye Uncle Harry

Growing up, my maternal grandfather was seldom seen in the congregation of the church, he was always at the back “helping out” Uncle Harry.  I grew up knowing Uncle Harry as Uncle Joe, then others called him Harry, when I asked my grandfather about it he said that he is Harry Joe!  You never question wisdom like that!

Uncle Harry would be there to open the church, he’d be there to close the church, he was the man to go to to get your weekly Catholic Standard, or the tickets for the next Festival of Carols.  He would hand out the collection baskets to the people who would be needing them for each mass, and he’d have Bibles, Hymnals and other little books on sale too.

He was as grumpy as he was jovial.  He was a New Year baby, born on the 1st of January, worked for many years at Banks DIH, from all the way back when it was known as D’Aguiar’s, and he worked at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for as long as my memory serves, up until he was retired a few years ago.

After retirement from his duties in the church he’d try to attend either the early morning 6:00 am mass, or the next one at 7:30 am on Sundays, rain or shine, in his long pants, dress shoes, shirt-jac, umbrella, hat and his spectacle case and pen in his top pocket.

He died on Sunday 17th March 2013, St Patrick’s Day, at around 2am; it was his time.  May his Soul Rest in Peace.

I had taken that photograph of him (candidly) two days before my own birthday in 2011, and he was sitting there staring towards this altar below: