position N05 39 510 W 55 03 837
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 9 May 2015 12:13
There are two marina options on the river- the 1st are swinging moorings under the supervision of a friendly Dutchman at Domburg- about 8 miles up river from the city. There is a restaurant and a swimming pool and about 6-8 boats moored. He was full as we passed but was expecting space in a few days.
The 2nd is a very smart resort a further 4 miles up river with new looking well made finger pontoons -room for 12 boats but only 1 german boat present. A shady bar on shore with several smart holiday chalets. The site is beautifuly landscaped with exotic planting. The whole development is gated with a gate man on duty 24/7. We haven't met the boss yet but Winston the manager is very friendly and helpful. Prices on the notice board look reasonable and Winston promises a very good deal for 6 month stay. He sorted us out with a hire car (an elderly Toyota Corrola from Richie in Domburg) and advised about registration etc.
The trip up above Domburg was fascinating as we sailed most of the way alongside the rain forested banks with just an hour or so of engine at the end. Small eagles (or large buzzards?) circling above the trees and then briefly a massive eagle which was quickly mobbed by the smaller ones. Here we have spotted numerous birds - a colourful Toucan, woodpeckers, pied martins and sooty swifts. The coffee coloured river has occasional aggregate barges seemingly laden beyond principles of floatation but otherwise empty of traffic.
The roads challenge our elderly Toyota with either frequent viscous speed bumps which require extreme caution and then sometimes still scrape the bottom, or wild subsidence on a par with the worst seas encoutered on our Atlantic crossing (slight exageration).
We sorted out and cleaned and bagged the sails yesterday morning and sent clothes to be washed by a lady on the site here. Then when the boss didn't arrive as Winston promised we drove into Paramaribo in the afternoon. It is a large sprawling city with loads of traffic (all driving on the left) but courteous drivers and although our speed was generally less than the general flow, no alarming moments. We found and parked by the wooden cathedral- unfortunately closed and wandered from rather seedy looking area towards gradually smarter streets, eventually stopping for a cuppa at a very posh polish Hotel. They had a street map with some directions to the fort and palace so we relocated the car and explored the lovely wooden houses along with grand brick buildings around the palace. The fort is also made of the traditional small dutch bricks and was also closed by the time we reached it- we will have to try again on monday when we have to return to register and get visas (5 different offices to attend apparently- some of which close early on Friday). Supper at a rather swish restaurant overlooking the river.
Today we plan to drive upriver to a lake at the end of the road and then maybe take a ferry further up to visit a village - a trip recommended by the dutchman at Domburg.