Looking for spectacular scenery and hilly landscape, then Wismar Linden might just be the place for a visit.
The mere mention of the name itself evokes fun and endearing memories - memories that are deeply ingrained in the forefront of my mind.
I planned this trip for a while and looked forward to the big day
Yesterday (29th March, 2014) I flagged down a taxi in Berbice and headed straight for the Linden car park or bus terminal in Georgetown.
I was encouraged by a friend to take a larger bus as opposed to the smaller faster mini buses. These larger 33-seaters were reputed to be safer, but as we shall see later, they are not without problems.
Ok, so I went and boarded the first bus in line for Wismar Linden. These larger buses seem to be a bit more organized. As soon as they are filled, they would pull off and the next in line would pull up …just like planes lining up for takeoff on a busy airport runway.
So I went and plunked down at the back of the bus waiting for it to be filled.
In the meanwhile, peddlers kept showing up hawking cheap watches and other trinkets, while others would come by selling bottles of water, plantain chips, slice mangoes and other snacks.
I already wear a cheap watch that carries good time, so the watches didn’t interest me.
And there was a polite “No thank you!” to the snacks.
Some of these snacks, especially the plantain chips can come heavily laden with salt, and if I use too much of these hot peppa sauce with the mangoes, I’m sure I’ll get thirsty.
And trying to drink water in a cramped space with three other adults and two toddlers at the back of the bus …nah, I’ll spare me the trouble!
Besides, if a plantain chip should fall, there is no way I can bend and pick it up (why would I want to do that anyway?)
Ok, so we finally pulled off and are on our merry good way to Wismar Linden.
I offered up a bit of prayer for safe protection (a prayer that I habitually usually repeat until I get to any of my destinations).
The driver turned up the music ...song after pulsating song ...!
Now Beyoncé is singing her heart out: “All the single ladies …Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.”
Everyone is humming Just like the closing scenes in the Titanic movie, not realizing that trouble was about to brew!
After that tune, “This girl was on fire!”
No! Not me (I’m a guy!) …
Alicia Keys that is!
“…Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got both feet on the ground…” continues her lyrics, and…
Ours too will soon be on the ground, for before you knew it.
What was that?
Is this bus really falling out of the ‘sky?’
The trees whizzing by outside the bus didn’t look too stable.
The BHAM was louder than the combined BAMs of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse in all of his cooking shows!
A long grating noise followed the Bham!
It reminded me of that Sinister Scraping Sound as Freddy Krueger scratches the Linden/Soesdyke road with his long creepy fingernails just like in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” horror series.
But who’s afraid of Freddy when we have good pals Jason and Chucky around!
And should Chucky flip and bring his bride …she’ll take care of Freddy for sure!
So, what's the scare?
Ok, the left front tyre was shredded. It was the worst tyre (tire for my North American friends) blowout I’d ever seen.
The driver kept his cool and brought the behemoth to a controlled stop.
Hats off to him!
We all hurried out of the bus and surveyed the damage. I'm quite sure many hearts were rapidly pounding!
While the driver was changing his tyre, I wandered off to a remote clump of bush and did my own 'Cooling a tire' (to use an American truck driver slang).
Back at the wreck, an elderly man form Wismar Linden was crying
out to me that God’s judgment is on the people for their sins. “People need to repent,” he moans!
Always a doomsdayer or two on the lament!
For a moment I was looking for folks in the local area to come by and sell tiny shredded toy tires.
You’ve seen those shark movies, eh!
Ok, with that ‘wardrobe ..eer tire, malfunction’ taken care of, and God’s intervention in what could have been a major tragedy, we made it safely to Adam’s landing in Linden.
Now the millions of delightful memories came flooding back with the Demerara River as I drank in the sight of Wismar lying serenely across the Mackenzie River.
It was like a shining city set on a hill.
Breathtaking and awesome!
The little launch ferried us across the river and I savored every bit of the ride.
I recalled the many many joyful times I've had as a kid crossing this river to meet my dad over at the Demba company.
No rush! No hurry!
I stepped off the boat and touchdown. Home Sweet Home!
I greeted a buddy friend and it was destination Blue Berry Hill to his home for food, fun and fellowship.
These were once thriving Bauxite mining communities with lumbering as another chief occupation.
Pockets of mining pits can be seen everywhere and they beautify the landscape.
Years ago the Sorrel fruit plant used to grow in abundance. We used to pick these and make Sorrel Drink.
My favorite tea in the morning was the Lemon Grass tea. I see these are still in abundance.
I think one can find these lemon grass plants in some of the West Indian grocery stores in the US and Canada.
I saw many of the ‘Congo Fat’ fruit growing in the wilds. Kids usually devour these so I was unable to find any of the big ripe ones.
While in Blue Berry Hills, there was one place I really wanted to see: 'Buck Town Creek'.
As kids, we used to swim in this creek for many hours and folks would come out in the hundreds to wash their clothes. It was truly an awesome sight to see the villagers beating and pounding their clothes.This Wismar Linden Bucktown Creek video can also be viewed on YouTube
Having had my fill for the moment, it was time for me to say goodbye to my friends. Spending overnight would be left for another time.
Back at Adam’s landing, I can hear the Indian song “Laal Dupatt Ud Gaya Re” from the Indian movie "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", blasting from across Linden.
I saw this movie some years ago and really fell in love with the song.
But someone was having a good time, or it must have been a party of some sorts.
Anyhow, the mood across the river seemed festive, and true to form, when we arrived, there were plenty of music all across the town.
There was a fair-ground, carnival type atmosphere pervading the city …music, dancing, beers, kids, and girls (and these young ladies all seem exceptionally pretty in their gorgeous outfits!)
It was getting a bit late now and the mini bus “Touts” were trying to shuffle us into their bus.
I took a last longing look over at Wismar and whispered to myself: “I shall return!”
…Recalling the famous quote from General Douglas MacArthur on leaving the Philippines.
The mini bus pulled off and I can hear the fading sound of music receding in the distance as we sped along the Linden/Soesdyke highway.
The sun was beginning to sink in the horizon leaving pockets of colourful hues in the sky. I drank in these for a moment before the darkness crept in and enveloped them.
In the dark silence of the bus, I had time to reflect and muse on an eventful but memorable day.
By now Wismar was probably asleep, but soon I shall return and awaken her!