|Rocks, Rapids and Rainbows
So I'm back on the river,
It's 9.26 on another glorious morning in southern Suriname. At the moment
I'm sitting in one of the two peroc canoes that we have for this section
of the journey. Jay and Max are in the other boat travelling parallel
to me as we make our way down stream... it's a beautiful scene... I'm
looking forward to a relaxing day ... floating down river, paddling
at points, moving through small rapids, drifting with the current…
Today marks a turning point in this project... Whilst I slept... thousands
of miles away... a young woman in Holland, called Merel read about the
schoolchildren in Kwamala ... in response to the headmaster’s
letter that we posted on the discussion board...she will be sending
some supplies to help the children.... It's a wonderful feeling to think
that our visit there has already had an affect... it really does work....
Thank You Merel.
For the next couple of days we will be travelling towards Dritibiki
the home of Granman Gazon of the N'duka people. There are a few obstacles
to overcome, more rapids and a three day trek through the jungle with
Amerindian guides climbing Mt. Rosevelt. It’s not going to be
easy... It’s 11.06
At the first rapids Jay and Max rowed the boats over the rocks while
one of the guides and I walked through the forest, carrying with us
the most important equipment. I don't know how it happened but after
about ten minutes of scrambling through the bushes the guide casually
turned around and announced that we where lost! We spent a while turning
in circles, shouting for the others, looking at twigs and branches trying
to find something resembling a path. Then, smashing the end of his machete
into the buttress root of a nearby tree, he sent a thunderous drum beat
through the forest.... within minutes the others appeared to lead us
back to the safety of the boat and we where on are way.
Sometime later... we've just arrived at a rapid called Kodebakoe...
perhaps its not going to be so relaxing after all....
The whole day has been spent getting past rapids - six in all. At each
we had to unload the boats, trudge through the forest with the equipment,
and drag the boats across the falls. It’s been exhausting...have
a look at the video
The last obstacle was the most impressive, an angry mass of churning
water... After unloading the boat and hauling the equipment over a small
hill, Max decided to grab the Scubacam (waterproof camera) and jump
into the boat to capture the moment on film. Jay and I watched with
amazement from a nearby rock, as the driver powered towards the falls
at full speed... It was really quite spectacular... launching themselves
through the wash... the first boat actually took off before ploughing
through the waves on the other side... Go Max!
As the day came to an end just to top it off... the heavens opened,
releasing a tropical downpour soaking us through....rounding a bend
in the river we saw a perfect dome shaped mountain rising out of the
jungle...framed by a huge multi-coloured rainbow. It is called Tepu
Top, a sacred mountain for the N'duka tribe. Apparently every year they
travel up river in boats laden with offerings which they place at the
foot of the mountain It must be an incredible ceremony... I wish I could
Tonight we are the guests of a traditional Wayana village on the banks
of the river. I say village... six palm huts and one family... Its about
as classic a scene as I could ever have dreamt of....a timeless and
peaceful haven, crowned with a million bright stars......it’s
10.49 life is on fire, it’s time to retire.
... and Rainbows