Spectacles of Nature and Technology

SEP 30, 2015 – After a more streamlined immigration to France, we spent a first night in a simple B&B near Kourou. A short jungle hike led to a viewpoint whose main attraction were the numerous large spiders. One of them was fed a half-dead beetle that we found nearby – and nature provided us with a magnificent spectacle. In the afternoon we attended a much bigger, man-made show: The launch of Ariane 5 flight VA226. Images cannot transport the intensity of light and sound during such an event!

Overgrown shipwreck at St-Laurent du Maroni
Part of the former labour camp in St-Laurent

On Wheels and Waves

SEP 28, 2015 – Today we had breakfast at the market and went on a bike trip to an old plantation near Paramaribo. Later we participated in a dolphin watching tour that was an unforgettable experience.

City market

Suriname has lots of beautiful mosques


Different cocoons ready for export

SEP 27, 2015 – We spent most of yesterday waiting in queues and the rest in a minibus. The immigration/emigration processes are very inefficient here. Random inland passport controls are an additional annoyance. Anyway, we’ve arrived in Paramaribo, Suriname, and today we visited a butterfly park which hatches and exports butterfly cocoons. Afterwards we went for a walk through town.

Palm tree park
Bike parking at our hostel

Back to Georgetown

SEP 25, 2015 – In the morning we set out to find some of the tiny yellow frogs that are endemic to Kaieteur. As opposed to poison dart frogs, these are not venomous. We then flew back to Georgetown in small planes.

Over Snakes and Slopes

The Labario snake (Bothrops atrox)

SEP 24, 2015 – On Thursday morning, we left the guesthouse early to hike up to the top of Kaieteur Falls before midday. Even so, the weather was very hot and tropical. Shortly after departure, we encountered a highly venomous Labario snake –  it didn’t attack anybody, but I think we would all have preferred to see it behind glass rather than on the trail in front of us. At the top, we enjoyed a first view of the gorgeous waterfall. We had lunch at Kaieteur guesthouse and spent the afternoon in the area. Some of us were lucky enough to see the “Cock of the Rock”, a beautiful orange bird.

Welcome to the Jungle

SEP 23, 2015 – We spent a day around the guesthouse, walking through the jungle, fishing, swimming, and relaxing. It turns out there is not much wildlife in this area, at least not many larger animals. But we did encounter some beautiful butterflies, bats, spiders, and ants.

Gold Mines and Boat Rides

SEP 22, 2015 – After breakfast and a visit to the Amatok falls, we had to refill our water supply by filtering rainwater from a house nearby. We then went for a walk through some of the small-scale mining sites in the area. They mine mostly gold there, and even though the surface is much smaller than in industrial mining, the affected pieces of rainforest are destroyed completely.
We then took a boat further up the river, pulling it up a slope along the way to avoid some rapids. Our next camp was a pretty fancy guesthouse with rainwater-powered toilets and showers.

Amatok Falls
Amatok Falls
Small-scale mining facility

The journey to Amatok

SEP 21, 2015 – On Monday we left Georgetown early on a minibus to Mahdia. The road was decent at first, but later became a pretty uneven dirt road. We had a tasty lunch at one of the gas stations. In the late afternoon we arrived in Mahdia, where we loaded some fuel and continued towards a boat dock, where a little motor boat was awaiting us, and a miners’ bar sold us a beer after this long journey. The boat then took us onto a little island where we spent the first night in our new hammocks.


Sunset in Georgetown

SEP 20, 2015 – Sunset after a first day in Georgetown, where I met up with my travel group for the  next two weeks after landing at 7am. We spent the day exploring the architecture, market, supermarket, and parks of Georgetown. We also didn’t fail to taste the local rum – Eldorado 12yo is supposed to be the best.