Arriving in Guyana and a Visit to the Falls
My Journey to Guyana
Upon arrival, passing through customs and immigration seemed to take eternity as my worries about the falls continued. I finally made it through the airport and my ride was waiting for me. He was well aware of the time issue and quickly threw my bags into his car and off we sped to Ogle Airstrip. He tried his best to abide by the speed limits but occasionally pushed it in areas he knew were safe and vacant of the local police. Unfortunately, on the way, a vehicle in front of him tossed up a loose rock which put a huge crack in his windshield. The poor guy informed me that he was responsible for the repair as his insurance didn't cover it. This would amount to several weeks' wages.
He got me to the Ogle airport with minutes to spare for the scheduled flight only to find out that the flight was delayed anyway due to fog. I tipped him well but in no way would that truly help compensate for his out of pocket loss. I was so pleased that I would get a chance to view the highest free-falling waterfall in the world (Venezuela's Angel Falls are higher but they drop in stages)!
A representative from the Cara Lodge took my bags at the airport to bring to the hotel and I boarded the flight to Kaieteur Falls. One of the guides couldn't get on due to weight restrictions probably due to my camera equipment! What an amazing short flight seeing totally unspoiled rainforest from above. We landed at Kaieteur Falls and our guide Michael took us down the paths to the falls stopping at the better viewpoints along the way. It wasn't a long walk and for Michael it probably was nothing as he informed me that it was a three day walk from his village to the Kaieteur Falls Ranger Station. It was a postcard perfect day and each view seemed to be better and better. The falls were spectacular! I was hoping to get a glimpse of a Cock-of-the-Rock but I guess they were in the shade of the rainforest canopy staying out of the bright sun. I did manage to spot several small yellow poison dart frogs near the top of the falls and some swifts flying over the gorge where the Potaro River flows below.
We had lunch at the Ranger Station then got back on the plane to fly to Orinduik Falls on the Brazilian border. These are much smaller falls but were absolutely beautiful. Some in the group swam in the pools formed below the falls but I decided to photograph the scenery and search for wildlife. There is one family who resides at the falls and met us at the plane. It is a very secluded area and I was amazed on how this family maintains their livelihood yet treated visitors with such a level of hospitality. The weather had recently been bad and they were awaiting supplies that were now 3 days late.
From Orinduik we flew back to Georgetown for dinner and a night at the Cara Lodge, a turn of the century Victorian structure that embodies Guyana's colonial past, before the early morning flight into the interior the next day.