First Published: 12th of December, 2021Last updated: April 27, 2023 at 17:22 pm
My Trip to Paruima Village – by Devi Mangal
In April, 2021, I made a 5-day tour of Paruima Village, Region 7, Guyana, South America. It was one of the most memorable and exhilarating experiences of my life. For the past several months leading up to this outstanding tour, my friend from Paruima, Maunisa Percy, had been inviting me to go there. She had sent me pictures, and I was amazed at the peaceful, natural scenery, and beauty of the place. Besides, I wanted to visit a place that was discovered by only a few and unknown to many, somewhere that was peaceful and calm. So when I finally got my time off from work for vacation, visiting Paruima was number one on my priority list.
Paruima is absolutely beautiful in every way. Its scenic mountains, beautiful falls, amazingly friendly people, and the pristinely clean environment…peaceful and calm…all add to its charm. Paruima is my home away from home.Devi mangal
At around 10 A.M that memorable morning in the month of April, 2021, the taxi dropped me off at the Eugene Correia International Airport at Ogle. For a fare of $25,000 one-way, I boarded a plane en route to Region 7. I didn’t fly straight to Paruima Village, but opted to fly to the neighboring village, Kamarang, which is located a few miles away from Paruima, for two reasons: first, it is cheaper to fly to Kamarang instead of Paruima, and second, my friend’s dad was waiting for me there.
At 11:00 A.M, my flight took off as I looked down from my window into the majestic Atlantic Ocean and admired the splendid sight of the Demerara River emptying into it as we flew over Georgetown. The flight lasted just over 1 hour, and I disembarked at the Kamarang Airstrip which was a few miles away from my destination – Paruima.
Even though there is a guesthouse/hotel at Kamarang, I didn’t need to rent a room because my friend’s brother hosted me at his home in Kamarang. The next morning, at around 9:00 A.M, we started our travel upstream for 3 hours on a small engine boat to Paruima.
The ride from Paruima was 3 hours upstream in a small engine boat. As I boarded the boat, I was jumping out of my skin with excitement because I was in an environment so exotic – unlike anything I had experienced in my life. During the 3 – hour ride, I relished in the fresh, clean air and took pictures of the beautiful scenery all around me.
As we traveled, my friend’s dad, Uncle Percy, told me many interesting stories, legends, and folklores – such as the stories behind Bat Mountain, Rooster Mountain, and Rain Mountain – of which I may tell you about in another article.
At around 12:00 noon, I arrived at Paruima, my destination. I stepped out of the boat with the brightest smile on my face, bubbling with excitement. What first caught my eyes was the cleanness and beauty of the environment and landscape. My hosts helped me with my baggage as they took me into their home and introduced me to the rest of the family.
Uncle Percy introduced me to his wife, Aunty Lovern, and gave me a tour of the kitchen. I requested cassava bread toasted with butter before settling in to my room where I would relax for the rest of the day. That night, I had one of the most peaceful sleep I had ever had in my entire life. The environment was quiet and undisturbed and the night air was extra-cool and comforting.
I woke up the next morning at around 7 A.M. to a thick fog which covered the mountains feeling completely refreshed and recharged. I followed Uncle Percy and family to the cassava farm to reap cassava. With intrigue and excitement, I followed the details of the exquisite indigenous ways of reaping cassava at the farm, peeling cassava, and making cassava bread.
Uncle Percy picked some coco pods which can be eaten raw or used to make chocolate. Soon, we came across the Warima mountain, also called Eye Brow mountain, which we hiked up. Uncle Eddie had a peanut farm at the base of the mountain, and for the first time, I learned how peanuts were grown.
From the top of the mountain, I absorbed the beauty of the village of Paruima. Of course, it was difficult for me to climb the steep mountains – being that I was inexperienced in mountain climbing, and at times, my friends had to wait for me and help me up, but I sure made it to the summit.
From the top of the mountains on a clear day, you can see mount Roraima, Kako Mountain, Kamarang River, Ucchi Savannah and Attawanda Falls. On top of the mountain, I enjoyed the refreshing air and majestic view for about thirty minutes while enjoying some organic bananas.
The next day, Thursday, my thighs were sore from the mountain climbing activities, so we decided to rest and take a few pictures here and there.
On Friday, we visited Aporayak falls, also called Sheet Rock falls – a largely undiscovered waterfall in Region 7, Guyana. I was told that only two coast landers had visited this falls before, and even many of the villagers of Paruima hadn’t. The falls is located a good distance from Paruima Village. First, we traveled about 1 hour by boat and then trekked about 15 minutes through the jungle to reach the falls. But when we got there, the spectacular view was more than worth the journey. It is one of the most beautiful falls I had seen in my life.
Just hearing the cascading falls made me bubble with joy and excitement. I jumped into my bathing suit, relished under the cool, refreshing waters of the falls, and took a ton of pictures.
After that, we returned to the village. On the way back, my friend showed me a plant, called Water Guru, that is used by the indigenous to treat the cold and flu.
In Paruima, I learned about a new recipe of boiling ripe bananas to serve with cassava bread – which I found especially enjoyable. I was also given lemon grass with ginger tea, plantain porridge, and many other foods traditional to the Arecunas of Paruima.
On Saturday, we visited Ottawanda Falls – which was another amazing, exciting adventure for me. Uncle Percy took me and her daughter with the canoe and we paddled about 15 minutes upstream. Then we walked about 45 minutes to get to the falls. The terrain was pretty friendly, but it was raining, and the ground was at times slippery. Ottawanda is another largely undiscovered waterfall which few Guyanese have ever visited.
Upon seeing Ottawanda Falls, I had a rush of adrenaline. Aside from the beauty, the falls was an “angry falls.” I felt especially privileged to be one of the few people on earth to have ever laid eyes on this falls. Unfortunately, due to the rain, we didn’t get to visit Paruima Falls that day.
On Sunday, I took a walk around Paruima and visited the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The residents of Paruima Village, by the way, are 100% adherents to the Seventh Day Adventist Faith. That afternoon, I traveled back to Kamarang on my return journey. I arrived at Kamarang at 6:00 P.M where I rested awaiting my flight back to Ogle.
My visit to Paruima Village was such a refreshing, beautiful, and mind-blowing experience that I was sure to make a second voyage there in September, 2021.
Devi often travels to remote, undiscovered, and exotic regions of Guyana. You can see more of her beautiful pictures and videos by following her on Tictok: email@example.com and on Facebook: facebook.com/devi.mangal89.