position N05 39 510 W 55 03 837
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Mon 11 May 2015 00:47
Our trip to the far side of the Brokopondo reservoir yesterday proved to be rather more of a journey than we had bargained for- partly because we got lost on the way but mainly because it is a very long way (we failed to establish from the dutchman just how far in advance). Our diversion took us past the main airport so we called in thinking at least the car hire firms would have road maps but a near deserted airport turned up no maps and cost us 10 SUD to get out again. Using only a smart phone with no internet and frequent stops at villages or little resorts on creeks to ask if anyone knew the way we eventualy managed to reach Brownsweg for lunch which the smartphone suggested was half way down the reservoir. On southward we trundled in the ancient but comfortable toyota which fortunately had working aircon, along amazingly straight and well made roads through the forest, thinking that just over the next brow the end of the road would appear marking the end of civilisation and the beginning of spear wielding tribes. Every few hundred yards a political flag beside the road (there seem to be about 4 or 5 political parties contesting the election) would mark an otherwise hidden village of thatched or tin roofed huts. We eventually stopped at one thinking we would soon reach Brazil and quizzed the children who gathered. They all asked politely 'what is your name?' but didn't understand our mime of canoing up the river. An adult appeared who indicated that was only viertig km to the river. Thinking another 40km was at the top end of possibility we ploughed on and were pleasantly surprised to run into the village of Pokigron after only some 4km. At Pokigron the road ends and the only way on is boat. Looking for a river bus we found a pair of gentleman just returning in their motor powered canoe from a fishing trip and managed to negotiate with help of a young lady in the village a 2 hour round trip. After a few minutes skimming over the water in a magnificent wooden canoe powered by a 15HP outboard we saw the other village at the end of the road where the public river busses obviously stop. Too late to renege on our deal we were taken on up over some rapids and shown a few more villages not disimilar to those beside the road. Then we pulled in to the bank and were introduced to an elderly man who had some huts and a plot of cleared land. He spoke excellent English and turned out to be a teacher/librarian for 5 schools in the area. His gave us a tour of his plot and told us the names of the plants and what ailments they could cure (one which is used for cleaning a womans womb?). Most amazing was the Kapok tree in the centre of the plot which he claimed was the largest in Suriname. It was certainly a magnificent specimen with monster fins into which one could lose oneself and surface roots the diameter of a good sized english tree snaking for 100's of metres over the ground. So we were pleased with our tour but a little dispointed not to be threatened with being put in a pot and eaten.
The journey back was faster with the current and after a quick swim we chose to head back to Ocean Rival rather than try and spent a night out.
Today's highlight was a mothers day lunch in the resort. A magnificent spread was arranged and for once the usually deserted resort was buzzing with families out for sunday lunch. We met the boss- Noel is a very friendly dutchman who lives in Paramaribo and has just returned from his holidays. He updated our information for registration which has changed recently, and gave me a good deal for the berth as promised. He assures me that the boat will be well looked after and I have no doubt that it will be. Otherwse more cleaning and sorting of the boat, a walk along the track to search for monkeys (too shy) and an altogether relaxing day.
Tomorrow back to Paramaribo for registration, air tickets and brazilian embassy for William who is thinking of making his way to Columbia via the Amazon river.