Contemplating New Heights

With a thick morning mist rolling in from the surrounding forest, barely rejuvenated from yesterday's excursions, I jumped out of my hammock at the first sign of light. Feeling somewhat like a pin-cushion for a million hungry mosquitoes, I was relieved to see that my blood wasn't their only diet, and our hardy Wayana hosts were also starting the day with a mosquito-slapping ritual. Thankfully the beautiful and sedate vision of forest life that we left behind there will remain with us far longer than the annoying itch of insect bites.

Dtu dtu camp was our first stop in Wayana country. A once nomadic people similar to the Trio the Wayana are now a semi-sedentry group dependent on the infrastructure that has been set up in recent years. We'll be focussing on their problems in more detail over the coming days. It was a short hop to Peleowine (Apertina), and an enthusiastic one knowing that we would pick up more supplies. A group of wary children coyly greeted us as we stepped onto the banks, then expecting a change of crew, Asinka - the boss of our Trio helpers, made a touching goodbye speech. As far as I can tell there is no word for 'goodbye' in the Indian world. You're far more likely to hear a simple but relative sentiment such as 'beware of slippery rocks', than a final goodbye. Asinka touchingly said 'we have crossed the rapids and there were no accidents, that is good, but my eyes are not with you now... so be careful". His poignant words came a little early though ... our supplies had arrived, but the pre-arranged assistance of our Wayana guides was nowhere to be seen. Annoyed but un-phased by this unexpected development, Dyon quickly rallied the support of Asinka and his crew and within an hour we were on our way again.

Unlike the uncertainty of previous challenges we have been faced with, today we embarked on a self-indulgent mission of hardship. Tomorrow we will walk to the base of Rosveldtpeik - at 710 meters we won't be winning any awards for bravery but the following day we will be scaling its steep slopes with heavy loads to share with our audience the true splendour of the forest below. We took a detour from the fast-flowing wide stream of the Tapanahoni River, to Toesoe Creek. Snaking up-stream under the intimate cathedral-like canopy of over-hanging trees we passed huge semi-submerged boulders pock-marked with the stone-age grooves of axe sharpening. The screaming Piha Bird or 'Boesi Skewdu' (policeman's whistle, as its sometimes locally known) heralded our arrival at tonight’s camp. Asinka is busy building a fire while the rest of the crew have gone fishing for supper. We will turn in early in preparation for tomorrow's trek.........


Wayana- Dtu Dtu Hamlet

Long Ago

Natures Cathedral