Whither We Wander

I’m not sure what it is, but I sometimes sit and wish I were back on the trail, out in the open with a dust cloud behind me, potentially unseen or unphotographed vistas before me, a cold beer in my hand and the wonder of creation to explore.  I’m a town-man, I doubt I’d survive too long out there… but the calling is there.

Here’s a scene from Kato 🙂


Whither We Wander 16-1652  |  Kato, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana  | 2016


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


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Soaring

Whether it’s over the coastal villages, the riverain areas, the open savannahs or the mountains, seeing a bird soaring gives a sense of freedom, a sense of wonder, a sense of space.

Of course, that might be just me.

Somewhere along the trip, my friend (a bit hard to believe I’ve known her since primary school days) Praharshanie mentioned she had loved one of Nikhil’s photos of a bird over the mountains, and that I should take one.  I have probably taken a few over the years, but none that really worked for me.  We were sitting on the benches by Charlie’s place at Yakarinta when we saw this scene, and of course, camera(s) in hand I set to shooting a few frames to see what I could get.

So, I like this one enough to share. 🙂


March 2016  |  Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 24-105  |  Yakarinta, North Rupununi, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012 Pt. 6

The Journey Back.

On the way back from Orinduik, the journey usually takes a slightly different path, we bypass some places, particularly Monkey Mountain, and this cuts short the return trip significantly.

As we awoke at Kurukubaru, we noticed that since the previous evening we could feel a soft drizzle and this had not changed, it was then that we were told that it wasn’t really a drizzle, we were simply in a cloud  🙂

The view from so high up is so breath-taking, that it is hard to render that on camera, one direction looks very much like the other, but you can’t help but snap a few anyway 🙂


Be caught up with the main convoy at Kato and continued our journey onward, here are some more photos from the trail…


We stayed at Yarong Paru where I got in some more photos to show  🙂


I even got one at a village further on, I think it was Tiperu, when Frank and a few others took a break and sat aside the trail  🙂


At Karasabai the Safari was pretty much over, at this point the option was given to members to either head back to town or proceed to Lethem for the Annual Rodeo.  We opted for town and overnighted at The Oasis at Annai


As we were crossing the Essequibo River at Kurupukari I noticed Jason washing down his tires from all the mud… presumably making room for more mud as we hit the trail on the other side 🙂


On the other side of the crossing we stopped for Lunch and I took a few moments to get in a couple of shots at the shop  🙂


If I ever make the trip again, I hope I get to spend more time at some of these villages.  Click on the images to see them larger in the Gallery along with all the other select images from the Safari!


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.

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.