If you like speedboat rides, then a trip to Jacklow Pomeroon River would certainly appeal to the adventurous spirit in you.
I took such a trip, not only to visit friends, but also to enjoy the taste of adventure, and to experience the thrill of a boat ride in a different part of Riverain Guyana.
To really enjoy the place, you have to at least spend a weekend, especially if you’re coming from the Corentyne Coast - which I was.
The trip to Jacklow Pomeroon River is a lengthy one, so you have to get an early start.
In the past, one would have to wait at the Rosignal Stelling to board the big boat, but because of the convenience of the Berbice Bridge, the trip to Georgetown becomes a seamless one.
Cars and mini buses traverse the Georgetown to Parika route. I opted for a minibus and made it to Parika without a hitch.
Of course, I had to sample the local cuisine at Parika as is my custom whenever I'm in a 'foreign' place.
There aren’t many choices of eating places though, except the familiar Chinese Restaurants.
So scanning the menu, I opted for a half of a Chicken Fry Rice and a bottle of local Banks Beer to boot.
A full Chicken menu would have been overkill, and I didn’t want to take the frenetic speedboat ride across the Essequibo River on an extended belly (who wants to throw up partially-digested Chinese food on fellow passengers).
The last thing I wanted was to be tossed overboard like the Biblical Jonah … besides the ride across the choppy river can be a hair-raising experience.
The ride was everything I expected it to be …wildly exciting, but at the same time, back breaking.
I could have sworn I had dislodged a vertebrae bone or two from those resounding smacks on the spinal column as the speedboat airborne and then slam hard down on the waters (well I’m kinda stretching it here a bit, but you get the picture!)
Definitely not a placid lake-side ride holding hands with your darling!
At Supenaam, there is the usual haggle and wrestle as drivers hustle and jostle for passengers.
I kinda like this part as it pits my bargaining wits against drivers bullying tactics.
It’s a game of tug and war and one that I readily relish.
This mob scenario adds a bit of flair to my trip, and it’s all part of my adventure package.
With a vehicle of my choosing, the penultimate leg of my trip begins.
It’s all the way to Charity, but...
Along the way, I get to drink in the scenic sights of part of the great expanse of the Essequibo coast.
Essequibo is certainly a rich county. I gazed at vast stretches of rice fields and endless herds of cattle along the way.
Many modern concrete homes dot the coastal landscape - an indication of the immense wealth of many Essequibians.
Arriving at charity, I had a first-time look at the Jacklow Pomeroon river.
The Jacklow Pomeroon River is a hub of activities. Farmers ply the waters carrying their produce to Charity and other outlying areas for distribution.
On the coast, we flag down a car to get to our destination, but on the
Pomeroon river, boat is their chief mode of transportation.
A common sight around the Charity wharf area is stockpiles of gas tanks. The outboard motors guzzle gallons of fuel as they constantly ply the river.
After drinking in the sights for a couple of minutes, good friend Ranji turned up with his boat.
As a matter of fact, he turned up with two speedboats – one on tow for a later business.
With a couple of pictures of charity on my SD card, it was destination Jacklow.
Jacklow is just a five minutes ride from Charity on the Upper Pomeroon River.
If one was to change direction and go the other way, then one would be heading to Wakapoa, where I had a couple of friends living some years ago.
We went over the other side of the river for a bit of refueling and then turned around and headed straight for Jacklow.
My trip had coincided with the rainy weather, so many of the yards had flooded out a bit.
To get to Ranji’s home, we had to carefully navigate a narrow plank to avoid the flood.
One slight slip and its ‘Man overboard’ where the ferocious piranha fish silently lurk just slightly beneath the water, waiting to sink their sharp pointed villainous incisors into a finger or two (I’m stretching it a bit here).
Phew! The folly of youth!
Ok, I apologize for that slight diversion.
But if I may brag a bit, I was a competent swimmer back then. Now I don’t know if I can make a lap on a kid’s pool without someone administering oxygen to me.
Ok, sorry for real!
The soothing effect of the river breeze, the peaceful swaying of the coconut trees and the satisfying taste of Curry Chicken …Hmmm!
Jacklow enjoys perpetual lazy days!
And I was sure to enjoy every last drop of it (and the refreshing Coconut Water) before leaving!
So, with a lifetime of memories neatly tucked away, and a couple of parting Kodak shots, it was time for me to say ciao.
The big boat, the Kanawan, leaves Supenaam Stelling for Charity at six in the morning, so I had an early start from Jacklow.
This was my first time riding the Kanawan.
It’s truly a memorable two hours experience I must say.
With the breathtaking wildlife scenery along the river banks, I had the familiar feeling of being on a boat excursion along the Kamuni River to Santa Mission.
At Charity we moored right into sunrise!
The Malali had just arrived from Bartica and was beginning to dock at the same time.
I made a quick glance at the mini bus ‘touts’ jostiling on the wharf, just waiting to scavenge for passengers in route to Georgetown.
I was already geared up for battle.
But, that would have to wait a while.
For the moment, let me enjoy docking into sunrise!