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My Experience With the Pakaraima Mountains Safari 2019

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by Tashana Sasha Ramdeholl.

Experiencing Guyana On Another Level Is One Of My Greatest Accomplishments. – Tashana Sasha Ramdeholl

Experiencing my country, Guyana, South America, this way – with less of everything from the city life to a life filled with canned foods, packet snacks, and camping gear to survive in the jungle and mountains for five days is something I will never forget.

I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying the SONIC HUNTERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB on their journey through the Pakarima Mountain Safari in Guyana, South America in 2019. It’s a memory I will forever cherish.

It all began as we left the bustling city of Georgetown and traveled to Linden where we would leave everything behind and start driving down the Mabura trail through the rainforest during the night into morning to the Kurupukari Crossing.

There, we awaited to cross the mighty Essequibo river via a pontoon where we would continue driving deep into the rainforest to vast open savannas to the Amerindian village of Annai. 

It was there, in Annai, where we all regrouped with about 25 bikers from Sonic Hunters Motocycle Club who were riding their Motocross dirt bikes to take on the challenging Pakaraima Mountains. We began heading to Karasabai village.

This  village was the beginning of our journey into the mountains where we would spend the next five days driving from village to village in the mountains until we reached our final destination: Orinduik Falls.

It was almost 8 pm in the night, four hours’ of driving from Annai to Karasabai experiencing the bright sunny day into the sunset as it went into night in a different surrounding as we journeyed to Karasabai. We finally arrived. It was dark with scattered houses around with some amount of lighting.  

Spending the night here for the first time and getting around was a novel experience for me. It was dark. I was hungry and just needed to shower and get some rest. But before long we located the shop owned by a man called Doc. He was no doctor, but served up cold beverages and snacks. He was very humble and even offered his shower for all of us to use.

It was most relaxing as we all sat around chatting and sharing our experiences of the day and making many laughs of how it all unfolded, joke after joke, laugh after laugh, sipping on a cold beer waiting on two other bikers who we now presumed had lost their way.

With no form of communication to the lost bikers, my friend who drove the support vehicle ventured out to retrace in search of them. A rescue mission was now in effect.

Related: Another Trip to the Kumu Falls

Finally he returned bringing with him one lost biker who was happy to be reunited and got word that the other had ridden all the way to Lethem after missing the detour. Everyone was at ease and went off to bed to get the much needed rest for the beginning of a journey of a lifetime.

Before we knew it, morning was upon us and preparing to travel was high on the agenda. Everyone was up early: bikers servicing their bikes, vehicles having a check up making sure all was good and breakfast being prepared was the start to our new day.

As we drove off on this great experience to our next destination, Monkey Mountain, I saw some beautiful, breath-taking scenery and remote Amerindian villages along the way. The vehicle climbing steep rough terrain on its way gave me chills and some scary moments, but with time, I was confident and relaxed – realizing that it was not as bad as I thought it to be.

Our vehicle arrived at Monkey Mountain to loud cheers from the bikers as they were way ahead of us and we found them chilling at the local shop sipping on cold beer. They even managed to put all arrangements in place for our accommodation at the guest house.  I settled in and before you knew it, we were all sitting around taking in the cool fresh air under the stars making many jokes and laughter. As soon as you missed a person, you knew they are off to sleep: me being the second or third to disappear off to bed.

With the break of day, the excitement seemed the same as the night before as if the fellas did not sleep at all. They were up getting prepared and it seemed as if breakfast was not even a priority. They were more eager to ride but not more that I was to continue seeing my beautiful country.

It was here that we departed but could not leave without saying thanks to the owner of the shop “Mountain Harry,” as he is called, for his kind and hospitable ways which he shared with all of us.

Before you knew it, the many taunts that took the night was now into full action as the bikers all geared up, adrenaline pumping as they set off for the new day’s adventure. Our vehicle all packed, comfortable, and with good company, my eyes looked in all directions at this beautiful country that I never knew existed beyond Georgetown the capital city.

We were off on our journey to our next destination: Paramakatoi Mountain. Along the dusty rocky trail we drove along mighty rivers with small waterfalls, across many creeks, deep into the forest that hid the skies then into small villages where we saw many excited villagers who were eager to meet us or sell us some of their fresh fruits. It was here that I ate one of the sweetest oranges ever. We continued on our journey into Paramakatoi with a brief stop to see the place from a lookout point where the entire village was in view.

Hours of driving and yet still more to go to reach our final destination for the day: Kato Mountain.

Our arrival at Kato was amazing. Despite the fact that it was night, the place was bright. The local shop was in full party mood belting out some good music. The bikers awaited the vehicle for all their gear to set up camp under the school. The guest house doors were open for all who wanted a nice warm bed to sleep in. I was surely into that. These were facilities I could not pass up on. After all, I am a woman who knew nothing of the great outdoors but was willing to brave it if I had to.

Our driver, a fellow biker, was also busy preparing to cook to feed tired hungry friends. It was hot chicken curry and everyone was just waiting to eat.

After dinner, I strolled around the village, hanging out for a bit by the shop with everyone. But this night was nothing like the others. While there was laughter, it was filled with tiredness. Everyone was tired as they pushed two days of the journey into one day.

All man was tired. Most retired to their hammocks and tents well dressed as if it was going to snow. Kato is known to be extremely cold at night. As one would say, “who turn the AC on so high!”  But where I was, I had no complains. I was extremely comfortable.

As morning approached, I quickly scrambled to make some breakfast and get moving as it was the day we had all waited for.  We were heading to Orinduik Falls. Earlier arrival meant more time just soaking up in the water and enjoying it all.

The team was ready, everyone eager also. Packing was done in a flash and pictures and videos being taken with some jovial speeches for the day’s journey ahead.

We arrived at Orinduk around 2:30 PM and the bikers were already there. To our surprise, no man could be seen: just bikes parked and every one down by the falls.

I had no time with anything else: not even food or setting up my sleeping accommodations. I myself just changed off into my swimwear and headed down to bask in the majestic and mighty Orinduik Falls and to snap as many pics I could.

It  was totally amazing and it was worth the long drive and the scary moments I had climbing those steep mountains: some reaching as much as 3000 ft above sea level.

I enjoyed the water until sun down, then made way and got my accommodations all set up as food was being prepared. Myself and the bikers waited it out with loud laughter and taunts from the beginning of our trip. We spoke about our adventure and how the Amerindian people live so remotely without all the fancy gadgets.

We made good laugh as no one was spared to have a joke off of them for  some clumsy thing they had done on the journey. As you may guess, this also included me.

It seemed no one, not even me, was interested in sleeping. We even had a fireworks display to celebrate our journey that we conquered. It was nothing less that pure fun.

The following morning, we began packing our gear up as fast as we could and felt sad that we had to leave this beautiful place without being able to spend more time. As quickly as I could, I headed into the falls for one last soak. I was taking in all and just smiling with happiness that I made this trip overland to Orinduik Falls.

We departed from Orinduik and it was then all about heading to Lethem. There were not many stops and the driver scoured for the shortcut trails to get there in the shortest possible routes. 

I arrived in Lethem safely and was fast to check in to Takatu Hotel and get myself prepared for the Miss Rupununi Pageant for which my business “Sasha’s Beauty Shop” was a sponsor and I was also a judge.

That night, the celebration for Easter kicked off  with the pageant and the Rupununi Rodeo to follow over the weekend.

I was at my happiest to know that I have done this amazing trip, to be driven through the mountains safely. It was my first but would definitely not be my last. The place, the people, the scenery, the atmosphere was most welcoming and it has made me realize that my Guyana is a beautiful place with unspoiled nature, preserved just the way God made it and my experience to be a part of it was a blessing.

It has given me a whole different approach to my life to see things from a better perspective, to understand different cultures, to be one with my environment and to encourage my many family, friends, and fellow Guyanese to get on board the Pakarima Mountain Safari. It’s a trip of a lifetime which I would never ever forget.

The many pictures I have will last a lifetime for me to reminisce on and to share with as many people as possible with the aim of showcasing  my country Guyana.

Thank to my best friend Dean for making me his special guest on this great adventure.

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