BootsnAll Travel Network



Day 73 Galibi, Suriname

I woke up at 9am so I was sure to be ready at 10am, when the brother came to pick me up. I was sitting outside playing with the dogs when a guy rolled up in a brand new Landcruiser. He hopped out and asked who had given me the room. I thought oh shit I had just been scammed by some guy who was just here yesterday. I told him the owner did. He said that he was the owner and I said Fuck. He then said that it must have been his brother which I quickly agreed. I told him that he was supposed to be coming at ten to take me to his friend. He said that he wasn’t sure if that was going to happen so he would stop back at ten and get me if his brother did not show up. At ten, no brother, but the new brother showed up and took me into town. I told him of my plan to border jump by going up the river to the Galibi reservation on the Suriname side and seeing if I could get a ride over to the French Guyana side in a couple of days and then come back down to get my entry stamp. He said he had never heard of anyone doing that since most people are on tours but that it might work. He suggested to get my exit stamp done now just in case. He took me to the Immigration office and I got my stamp with no arrest needed. We then went to a cambio to change some money which I got a good rate for. We headed back to the river so that his friend would set me up. He could not find his friend so he asked a young guy who was setting up his boat with a bunch of life vests. He said that he could take me up river for $35S which was cheaper than everybody else. I was happy with that and thanked the brother immensely for helping me out. He said no problem and took off.

The guy on the boat took my stuff and stowed it away. He said it would still be a couple of hours before we left so I went to the stores and checked out the higher priced but same hammocks laughing at my great shopping skills. Two hours later and nothing had changed. Finally after another hour he waves me over and we head up the river with the two guys and me in this huge boat with fifteen life preservers. We go maybe a hundred yards up river when we pull into a sandy area and park. We sit there for about a half an hour when a van pulls up and a dozen tourists jump out. I had just stowed away on a tourist boat. Oh well, at least I would not be alone. We did our greetings which was semi-tough since they were all from Holland and only some spoke English. We got going and made our way up the river to the edge where the river dumps into the Atlantic. The whole ride took a little over an hour but was very scenic. The wind picked up and doused everybody with water at a few points but it was all taken in stride. I sat next to the tour guide and joked about how he was the mother to all his dozen new kids. I knew his pain of having to teach the outdoors to a bunch of city folks who had never been in the jungle. He just rolled his eyes.

We got to the village of Gailib which is made up of the Carib Indian tribe. It is also very close to the turtle beaches that come ashore to lay eggs from April to July.

I grabbed my stuff and started walking off in search of a place to stay. I was quickly rounded up when one of the guys thought I was with the tour group. I told him I was on my own which kind of put him a back. Finally, a older guy came over and showed my a hut where I could set up my hammock. It was right off the river so I was happy. There was a water tank for fresh water and an out house. He showed me where there was a bakery where I could by fresh bread and sandwiches and a grocery store to pick up supplies. I was set. I quickly set up my hammock and then got into relax mode. More than a village it reminded me of an island. The whole area was white sand with the only real vegetation being palm trees swaying in the wind. I picked up a couple of sodas and headed down to the beach and grabbed a bench. There I just laid for a couple of hours just looking at the palm fronds blowing around. I dozed in and out of consciousness. It was the first relaxing time that I had since leaving Venezuela.

One of the things that I wanted to do while at the village was to set up a visit to the Turtle nesting grounds on the Suriname side. I knew the French side was well established and was told that I could set up my hammock right by the beach. Since I was here, I could do a tour of the Suriname side and the following day or day after I could hire a ride to the French side and do the turtle thing there as well. I went in search of a ride since this tour group was going to stay in the village today and do the turtle watching the next night. I walked along the beach asking anybody who was in a boat. Most had a long day of work and an early one the next day so they declined. I walked nearly to the end of the beach when I came up to a little tour group area. They had some guys playing kick around with a soccer ball. One of the guys was an Indian so I asked if he was a guide. He was. I asked if they were going to the turtle area that night. He said they were and went to ask if they could take me as well. When he came back he said that they were maxed out and there was no way for me to go. For some reason I asked why they needed a boat when it did not seem like we were that far away from the beach. He said that they were going over to the French side. I explained that I wanted to go to the Suriname side tonight and the French the next day with my adopted tour group. He said that everyone went to the French side because the turtles did not go to the Suriname side any more. Now I understood, and figured out it did not matter because I would be going there the next night anyway. I thanked him and went back to my bench to rest some more since I no longer had to worry about a tour that night.

At sundown the mosquito hordes came out and chased me to my hammock. The hammock and the net worked great once I got them fine tuned. With all the running around and the swaying motion of the hammock I went quickly to sleep.



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