Georgetown, Backpacking South America By Bus
Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice  
Georgetown Page Eleven
Georgetown,Backpacking by Bus In South America
Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice  
Georgetown, Guyana
I left Bucco not because I didn't love the island and its people but because I had Brazil on my mind.

From Bucco I caught a plane to Georgetown, Guyana, landing at Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
As we approached Georgetown from the air, I could see brown water flowing out of the rivers,  silt brought down from the many rivers draining the plush interior, the place where tourist go trekking into the Amazon basin on eco tours, a place I would find out later that is being stripped of its trees..

The airport is thirty miles out side of town so I piled into a collective van jammed with people, some hanging out the windows. The cab dumped us out at the Stabroek Market a huge building open to the sun that was teeming with people.
Walking through Georgetown with people everywhere I felt safe enough but when I went to go out from my hotel in the evening the owner said, “You would be a fool to go out at night in Georgetown.” Thanking him for the warning, I did go out to dinner but stayed in the lighted areas.  Georgetown is mostly black and mostly poor and at this point, I just wanted to get to Brazil.

Another Day In Georgetown

Next day I headed for the collectivo stand to find a ride to Surinam.
Poor and black is an understatement for Georgetown; on the way I had panhandlers aggressively pushing me and demanding money.
When I reached the cabstand, again things seemed desperate because collective cab drivers were pulling me to their cabs and two guys started a fistfight over who would take me.
I jumped into one cab and closed the door while chaos ensued at the cabstand.
At one point I got out and tried to break up the fight but nearly took a punch myself so I jumped back in the cab and closed the door again.
The cab, half-full of passive faces who had seen this all too often, waited. After a half hour, the dust settled and finally one more person came to fill the cab. From there we roared out of the cabstand bound for Surinam with everybody acting as if it were just another normal day in Georgetown.

These countries are called the Guianas, and include Guyana, Surinam, and Guyane, or French Guiana. They are a mix of French, Dutch, and British colonial and have all the plagues and troubles that a former colony that once used slave labor will have.

I sped through as fast as I could, never dreaming that the call of a bird would get my attention enough to slow me down.
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