Kamuni Creek, Guyana
At about 07:30 I left the embassy with a driver, two members of my crew, and with an aluminum boat in tow. The boat was purchased some time ago. The intent was to use the boat to evacuate embassy employees in case of floods. The boat will seat up to 12 people.
Our destination was the Demerara River. We drove to the small town of Timehri. According to Wikipedia, the word Timehri is an Amerindian word meaning “paintings and drawings onthe rock”. That is very close to the international airport. There are a couple of places there to launch small boats. The launch area was actually a wharf. Instead of backing the trailer into the water and launching the boat, it was man-handled from the trailer into the river.
The tow vehicle drove out directly onto the wharf. In no time we were swarmed by several men. The trailer was unhooked from the vehicle and manually turned around 180 degrees. Shortly before that, one of the men lifted the motor out of the boat and placed it on the wharf. Soon, the boat was lifted off of the trailer and carried down to the water. The tide was up, so they did not have far to carry it. The boat was placed in the water and turned with the bow facing out into the river. At this point one of the men from my crew gave the lead man $1,000 GD (about $5).
With the boat in the Demerara the motor was affixed to the stern. Once the motor was in place and the fuel line attached, it started right up.
As we motored from the launch point across the Demerara River, our “target” was Kamuni Creek. It took just a couple of minutes to cross the Demerara and begin our trek up the Kamuni. It was at that point that the meaning of Guyana struck me. Guyana is also an Amerindian word meaning “land of many waters”.
Our destination was the Arrowpoint Resort. It is located on the Kamuni Creek near Santa Mission.
I found our journey to be amazingly interesting. At its widest point, the creek was maybe 40 feet across. At its most narrow point, the creek was just short of 20 feet across.
At some of the wider points the native vegitation was relatively short. That gave an expansive feel. At the narrow stretches with tall vegitation, it almost took the appearance of a green tunnel.
On of the first things we came across was a logging operation. Several men were loading a cargo into a large boat. As we continued on we encountered several boats coming toward us. We actually overtook one boat that was traveling in the same direction we were.
In the first several hundred meters we motored past several homes. Their location was given away by the boats pulled up to the bank at various locations. One could tell those living there were essentially living off of the land.
Kamuni Creek is another of the black water creeks in Guyana. Black water creeks get their color due to the rotting plant material in the forest. As water leaches through the plant materials, the natural tanins darken the water. Being so dark, in many places the calm creek seemed more like a mirror, reflecting back the vegitation, sky and clouds.
At speed, with the wind rushing by, it was comfortable. However, if the boat stopped it was instantly like sitting in an oven.
Continuing along we passed many mangrove trees, bamboo clumps and multiple other types of water plants. In some areas of the creek we encountered red dragon flies that were about an inch and one-half in length. Then we would see greenish yellow dragon flies that were about twice as long as the red ones.
I kept my eyes peeled for caimen. I did not see any. I am sure that is because they are most active at night.
We finally made it to the Santa Aratak reservation. That is another of the Amerindian groups that inhabit the area. Shortly after entering the reservation we passed Tiger Farm. It was made up of a boat dock and a clearing leading up to a white painted home.
As we continued on we saw several silver gray herons flying along beside us, just mere inches above the water.
Shortly after reaching another logging operation we decided to turn around and head back to the Demerara. We had been traveling on the creek for about an hour and one-half. So it was a lengthy ride back too.
When we arrived back at the wharf we were met by the same men that originally launched our craft. Based on our description of where we turned around, they told us we had been only five or ten minutes away from Arrowhead Resort. Maybe we can go back sometime and try again.
Getting the boat out of the river was essentially the reverse of our launch. The exception was that the tide had gone out so the distance up to the wharf was much greater. Once the boat was on the trailer, the lead man received another $1,000 GD and we were on our way back to the embassy.
We made it back to the embassy just in time for lunch.