The last day in the interior of Guyana was upon us and I made the most of it with an early visit to a lake followed by a sweaty hike up the Awarmie Mountain before flying back to Georgetown in Top Gun fashion. The last night together with the rest of the group was spent with a debriefing and media event at the British High Commissioners residence before going for drinks and trying out the Georgetown nightlife.
I’m gonna miss all of this
A long nights sleep worked as a charm after the fatigue and cramps from the bug that kept me broken for 24 hrs. I think that the sleep last night was the best sleep I’ve had on this trip. I’m really going to miss the sounds of the jungle. I find it very soothing and comforting. By now I don’t care much about the humidity, the smell of myself and clothes and nor do I care much about the mozzies, although the bites I’ve acquired during almost two weeks is reminding me at times…
I’m going to miss the jungle and all it has to offer and I already do, but I must also confess that the luxury of a hot shower and aircon does sound quite appealing…
Breakfast by the river
We had our breakfast served right at the bank of the river with freshly baked bread. Even though the internal digestive system was still not 100% and the thought of food wasn’t that intriguing, the breakfast was spot on and the surrounding really helped out. On the river, with all the birds…Few places can compete with that!
After breakfast, we took a boat up the Rewa River and then a 15-minute hike to Grass Pond. This pond or lake is about 3 kms long and is a beautiful setting with Victoria Amazonica and has a good population of Arapaima, the largest fresh water fish in the world. The arapaima was surfacing continuously, but never offered any good sight of the huge fish.
The Arapaima can reach lengths of more than 2 m, in some exceptional cases even more than 2.5 m and over 100 kg in weight. The maximum-cited weight for the species is 200 kg. It is one of the most sought after food fish species in South America.
Aside from its immense size, perhaps the most peculiar trait of the arapaima is a fundamental dependence on surface air to breathe. In addition to gills, it has a modified and enlarged swim bladder, composed of lung-like tissue, which enables it to extract oxygen from the air. This means that it requires the arapaima to surface for air every 5 to 15 minutes.
Caimans and birds
We also spotted a great deal of birds in the pond together with a few Black caimans that hid amongst the logs and Victoria Amazonicas. We got some good sightings of the Green Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher and Orange-winged Amazons.
No pain no gain!
Next up what the hike up the Awarmie Mountain. I must admit that my body was still not fully recovered and my knee was swollen from the previous hikes. Overall not at all in any peak condition and I probably should’ve sat this one out, but after all, this was the last hike in the jungle and I just didn’t want to finish this all off with the whole food poisoning event being the last thing to remember from the trip to the interior. I therefore chose to do this together with three more of the group.
A proper sweat!
We packed up our stuff and left Rewa Eco-lodge. We headed out by boat along the Rupununi River, into an oxbow lake where we began a hike up the Awarmie Mountain. It might’ve been the fact that we were still a bit sick but we were all sweating heavily as we climbed the steep first few sections. I often sweat quite a lot, but this was something out of the ordinary.
Jazzhands on the top
We had a plane to catch and therefore we had to keep a steady pace to the top, which we eventually reached. By now we were soaked in sweat but it was all worth it. I didn’t feel great, but as we reached the top and sat down to take in the view overlooking the Rupununi 360 degrees, it was all worth it and we sat there with smiles on our faces, sweaty as hell and probably stinky enough to keep the wildlife away!?
The view was absolutely stunning with the majestic rainforest and the distant mountains. There was a small plateau on the top of the mountain and in one direction, there are uninterrupted views back to the Rupununi River, some patches of savannah and across to the distant Kanuku Mountains. In the other direction, there is a near vertical drop of at least 200m and the view is across great swathes of undisturbed forest to the distant Iwokrama Mountain and much closer, Makarapan Mountain.
It was a great finish of our adventures in the interior of Guyana and a sweaty (and smelly) group photo was a must and we even got one with jazzhands!
We worked our way back down and caught a boat at full speed towards the village of Apoteri for our flight back to Georgetown. That breeze was a much-appreciated welcome in order to dry our sweaty clothes…
The flight was waiting on us together with the rest of the group and we quickly got onboard for take off. It was a welcome whiff of Nature that we brought onto the flight to much appreciation of the rest of the passengers! The flight took off and as if picked right out of Top Gun, the pilot banked hard to the right just as we took off, taking us at low level just passing over the canopy and in over the Rupununi River, flying just above the river surface! It was like we were in a canyon and were in a dogfight…Thank you to the Rupununi and everyone that had treated us to these adventures. It’s been one hell of a ride!
Debriefing and media awaits
We flew back to Georgetown and transferred to Cara Lodge where we would spend the night. It’s now time to freshen up and get prepared for the invitation to the British High Commissioner for a debriefing with the Ministry of Tourism and a media event.