In the last month I’ve gotten to do some traveling around Guyana and wanted to share! The first trip was to the southern region of Rupununi (marked 1 on the map) and the second to the northwest capital of Region 1, Mabaruma (marked 2 on the map)!
I went down to Rupununi with two other volunteers for the annual Easter Rodeo! We flew to Lethem from Georgetown in a 20 seater plane and the trip was beautiful! Before coming to live in Guyana I had kinda assumed that Guyana was 100% rainforest but that’s not true at all! I live on the coastal plane which becomes rainforest as you move inland. What I didn’t expect is a huge desert at the south–that’s Rupununi! Seeing all the landscape change from up above during the flight was incredible!
Boarding our little jet in Georgetown
An overview of Georgetown as we lifted off
We landed in Lethem and were picked up in a off-road ready pickup to travel further south to Dadanawa Ranch. It was a beautiful 2.5 hour drive along the mountains and through the desert with the sun setting behind us. By the time we arrived at the ranch we were covered in dust and ready to settle into our guesthouse. We were pleasantly surprised by how nice our accommodation was! We all enjoyed the running water, electricity, and breezy veranda!
Our wonderful guesthouse
We spent three days at the ranch learning how they prepare for rodeo and enjoying a taste of cowboy life! We watched them corral the bulls they took up to Lethem for the rodeo bull riding, took a beautiful long walk, swam in the nearby creek, and relaxed with a good book while enjoying the view! Me, Emily, and Chelsea enjoying the veranda at our guesthouseExpert lassoing! Mary the howler monkey and I enjoying lunch at the ranch!
When our stay at the ranch ended we went back up to Lethem for the rodeo! We were able to stay with another volunteer and catch up with a bunch of PCVs that had traveled in for the events. We got a lovely tour of Lethem and headed out for the annual pageant which kicks off the festivities.
Unfortunately the rest of the trip wasn’t much fun. While we were enjoying the pageant the house we were all staying at got robbed and the whole house was ransacked. There were 12 volunteers staying there so it was a big ordeal figuring out what was taken and coordinating with the police and Peace Corps. Thankfully no one was hurt but it definitely put a damper on the rest of the trip.
We did manage to actually go to the rodeo which was fun! It weirdly reminded me of the Fathers Day Rodeo’s in Evergreen complete with bull riding, carnival rides, all kinds of foods, and crafts for sale. It was a good end to the trip before we flew out the next day. It ended up being a challenging trip but I’m glad I was able to make it down south to see the beauty of Rupununi!Bull riding with bulls from the ranch we stayed at!
My visit to Mabaruma was much more straightforward! I flew up from Georgetown with two other volunteers to visit a volunteer living in Mabaruma. The flight was beautiful with views of the coast and dense forest. We rested for a little bit before getting on a boat headed to Shell Beach. This is one of 5 protected areas in Guyana and where endangered sea turtles lay their eggs each spring! We enjoyed the sunset, talking with the village toshao, picking up seashells, and catching up with each other. Aboard our 16 seater flight!
We went on the first patrol at 7:30 looking for turtles and although we didn’t see any turtles (there weren’t any the whole night) we did really enjoy the walk on the beach and the spectacular stars! I was glad to climb into my hammock for a good night sleep by the time we got back!Relaxing in our hammocks!
The next day we enjoyed a swim in the ocean and some relaxation before heading back to Mabaruma. We spent the next two days there walking through the area, visiting the “kissing rock” and the local swimming hole, seeing the hospital where the volunteer walks, and exploring the market. The kissing rocksHomes below the kissing rocksOn one of our walks
I always enjoy visiting volunteers sites and seeing them in their element! Mabaruma is developing quickly but still surrounded by incredible rainforest. It was a really lovely trip with good friends!The view of jungle on one of our walks!