After French Guiana I travelled through the other two little countries that make up the Guianas: Suriname and Guyana. I sort of zipped through. I feel like French Guiana was more action-packed and these two were a little tamer. But good times were had.
Good story about Suriname. Back in the day, it was a British colony. In 1667, the British traded it to the Dutch in exchange for a island we know today as Manhattan. Now, I like Suriname, and I love the Dutch, but I will have to say they got the wrong end of that deal. Easy for me to say, I guess; 350 years of hindsight is 20/20. Nowadays, although Suriname is independent, the official language is Dutch and people ride around on those fixed-gear bikes with the baskets, those ones you think of when somebody mentions Holland.
Independence Square in Paramaribo, Suriname. Locally, it is known as Onafhankelijksplein. Say that 3 times fast! Actually, if you can even say it just one time, give me a call, I never did figure out how to pronounce it.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Paramaribo. The Surinamese claim it is the largest wooden structure on the planet. Currently under construction.
Moving west, you hit Guyana. They speak English there! It is the only country in South America that does so. But they don´t speak English the way you and I do. The accent is much more… Jamaican, man. The capital, Georgetown, is beside the sea, but actually lies about 7 feet below it. It avoids flooding due to a canal system the Dutch built in colonial days. I think it´s genius, but all that stagnant water, along with the trash that gets thrown into it, doesn´t smell amazing.
St. George´s Cathedral in Georgetown, Guyana. The Guyanese claim it is the tallest wooden building in the world. (There are lots of claims being made in the Guianas.)
I´m big in Guyana. If you go, tell them you know me.
One thing I will remember about the Guianas is how people use machetes for everything. When people go for a hike, they bring a machete. To cut the grass, they use a machete. Need to chop some wood? Go get your machete. Want to open a coconut? Machete. In the Guianas, it is the solution for every problem.
For more Guianas pics, go here. I´m in Venezuela now, and happy to be here. I am going to spend the next few weeks checking out this country.
I will leave you with another “How To” video on the unique art of world travel. For installment #16, we go back to the Amazon, where they have a delicious fruit that grows on the Acai tree. The problem is, the branches where the fruit grow are way above the ground. And, there are no lower branches to cling to. Not to mention, the trunk of is very slippery. So, climbing this tree is no walk in the park. Here is how you get up to that fruit.