December 14 2006
Kaieteur Trek Day 7
After breakfast this morning, we took inventory. A couple onions, no potatoes, enough porridge for one small breakfast, noodles and rice for a few bland meals, and almost no fuel to cook with. On top of that, we had almost no cash due to Guyana's lack of ATM's, and only a few days left on our tourist visas before having to leave the country. We really had to get back down the river soon, but there was still no sign of the boat guys.
Craig managed to catch one decent-sized fish, so we were able to eat a meager lunch. Afterward, I decided that I'd waited long enough and took off to look for the boat driver on top. I was walking about five minutes when I met the driver, his friend, the family, and Sally coming down the trail. We packed up camp and got ready to leave, but suddenly the driver wanted five times more money than what we gave him yesterday. I guess he realized that since we were tourists, he should try and jack up the price. There was no way we'd pay any more money. We already agreed on the price yesterday, and besides, we gave him practically all the cash we had. I demanded that they either give us our money back or take us down the river, and they finally caved and took us.
It took three days to walk upstream to our base camp, but it only took a few hours to go back down the river in the motorboat. When we reached Wartok falls, we unloaded everything and the driver went over the falls in the empty boat. We loaded all our gear once again and continued down the river. We reached Amatok late in the afternoon.
There weren't any more boats heading down to Pamela today, so we camped out of the rain under a guy's veranda at Amatok. We had a nice conversation with the guy who ran the mining camp we visited on our first night. The porkknocking lifestyle is really interesting; it's just too bad they don't care at all about the environment.
The gentle hum of a generator sounded shortly after dark, so we headed over to the bar to see what was happening. The owner put on a DVD of a documentary called The White Diamond, which had to do with a German company creating a small blimp and floating it over Kaieteur Falls. It was a pretty weird movie, but at the end, they showed an ultralight aircraft flying near the blimp, which confirmed that the German company was the same one that had the animal sanctuary I visited in Surama. So they had all kinds of cool toys in the Guyanese back dam at one point. It was a goofy movie, but it did have a lot of nice shots of the waterfall. I especially liked the guy break dancing and moonwalking at the top.