Posted: under Guyana.
I had 2 days in Georgetown before flying home. I wanted to buy some more souvenirs and see the manatees in the botanical garden. My first day I did some shopping and just relaxed. The hotel had free internet. I had been mostly offline for the last 2 weeks so I did some catching up here. Georgetown has a bad reputation for crime and I must admit I was a little worried about how it was going to be but I thought it was fine. Walking around I felt safe and actually enjoyed the city a bit. It’s all very low key. Many of the buildings are old and made of wood. No structure is over 4 stories tall. There are lots of well preserved buildings and many looking like they are ready to collapse but they all had their own character. People were friendly and some even said hello to me. In the interior the population of Guyana is mostly Amerindian but here in the capital the majority of people were black or of indian descent. Georgetown is the largest city in Guyana with a population of around 170,000 but it had a small town feel to it.
With all my souvenir shopping done, Alex and I went to the botanical gardens for my last afternoon in South America. The manatess live in a pond near the entrance to the gardens and are there for scientific research. We walked around their pond but only saw their bubbles on the surface of the chocolate milk colored water. I was disappointed. We walked around the gardens and thought we would check the manatee ponds once more before leaving. Now they were coming closer to the surface and were a bit easier to see. Then one of them came to a local at the shore who had some grass. He was feeding the manatee! I couldn’t believe it!
I grabbed a handful of grass and now I was feeding the manatee too! This was more of the type of encounter I was hoping for though I didn’t think I would be able to actually feed a manatee. The huge freshwater mammal just floated there still, waiting as I got more grass for it to it. It’s mouth was a like bristles and felt scratchy yet gentle on my hand. I could have stayed all day and fed the manatee and by the way it just waited there, that’s what it wanted me to do! But we left after a while. We stopped at a well stocked fruit stand where I bought a kilo of fruit for $5.
Alex and I went out for dinner last night but didn’t go too far. I didn’t want to test the safety of the streets at night by walking too far from the hotel. My last night I just ate at the hotel.
I had reception set up a taxi for me to take me to the airport at 6am. The taxi arrived 20 minutes early! I was still sleeping! Needless to say, I arrived at the airport with plenty of time. The flight left on time and I arrived at JFK in New York at 2pm. Now I had at least a 4 hour wait for my one hour flight to Toronto. I arrived in Toronto at 8pm. It sucked to come back to such cold temperatures but in other ways I was happy to be home again.
It was the end of another fantastic trip. Although I never saw my 2 ‘dream’ animals – jagaur and giant anteater, the trips was by no means unsuccessful. I had some unique experiences and met some extremely friendly and hospitable people. Not seeing my dream animals just gives me a reason to come back again. I liked Brazil but I would probably return to Guyana first. It’s much easier to get off the beaten track there and into pristine forest. I believe with a little more time and money there, I could see a lot more animals. So much to see, so little time!
Comments (0) Mar 11 2011