Day 14: Call Me JoJo

14.01.09:

Got up nice and early after a surprising restful sleep and headed to the border. I was first to be stamped through and I headed to the nearest bank to get some Brazilian Reals. Only the bank doesn’t take foreign cards, so now I’m in the back of a shared taxi on the two-hour journey to Boa Vista on a wing and a prayer and a promise that I’ll pay the taxi driver after we find a bank that will take my cards.

Luckily enough for me, I’m sitting next to a particularly yummy mummy from Brazil who keeps breast feeding her six month old baby Jojo. Not the most unpleasant seatmate of the Odyssey I have to say. Oh, she’s doing it again – don’t look, don’t look, don’t… oh, bugger it, this is GREAT! Welcome to Brazil!

It’s almost enough to make me forget about the fact I’m about to enter Guyana, a country endearingly called ‘Conradian’ in it’s own tourist material. As in Joseph Conrad. As in Hearts of Darkness.

Well, at least they speak English. Top Hats at dawn old chap?

Wish me well x
[later on…]

Heading north out of Brazil, I was more concerned with the fact that I couldn’t get on the bloody Internet in Boa Vista, to be too concerned about the road ahead. I got to the border – a brand spanking new bridge connecting South America to Guyana was having its finishing touches added, the guy taking me across the river in a little motor boat told me that it opens next month.

But there is something to be said for taking the boat – it’s a magical moment when you step onto the far bank – you suddenly find yourself in the Caribbean. Goodbye Spanish, driving on the right, the ubiquitous ham and cheese sandwiches – hello spicy food, reggae beats and lashings of good old fashioned cricket.

Although part of the South American mainland, Guyana very much identifies itself with its northern, more islandy neighbours – it’s part of the Caribbean Community and it doesn’t have much to do with its continental acquaintances down south. This might change when the road to Georgetown is sealed, but until then it’s a bumpy, rickety wet and wild ride up through the jungle from Brazil.

I stumbled into the first place I could find – a café-bar called T&M. Coaxed in by a large lady sitting behind a desk, she changed my money, got my passport stamped, arranged my minibus to Georgetown, fed me dinner and passed me an ice-cold beer.

Hooray for Guyana!

Hopped on the minibus at about 6.00pm. Bumped up and down for a couple of hours before we all got off the bus, hired a hammock and were told to go to sleep in a wooden gazebo in the middle of malaria central. Express service is not something Guyana is used to…

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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  1. Geresh

    Hey, Hey! Im from Guyana. Your vids are awesome. NIcee..

  2. Felipe

    Goodbye Spanish? Did you even listen to people in Brazil speaking? Surely you noticed that that do not speak Spanish, and hell, most people in the middle of the country (including Rio and Sao Paulo) don’t have a clue about the language. It’s a nice concept for a journey though, hope you get out of your bind in the Caribbean.

    1. graham

      Oh, come on Felipe, I was only in Brazil for about 4 hours! I had just spent two weeks in Spanish-speaking countries. Don’t be so picky!

  3. John Gunning

    Go Grah. We are behind you. I will even give you a pair of undies to get you through Oz. Have put a “blog” on my facebook. So if any of my past clients can help I am sure they will. Keep living the dream. Go Scouse Go.

  4. Mum & Dad

    Hello son. We are very proud of you and what you are doing. Don’t forget to clean your teeth and mind the traffic. Take care. Lots of love. Ma & Pa xxx

  5. Simon Barber

    Latest vid is terrific. Compulsive viewing. Good luck with the next leg!

  6. Webmaster

    Mave says:

    “The less said about Venezuela the better, it seems. Keep going fella – it is compulsive viewing”.

  7. Steve

    Graham…..yummy mummy indeed….naughty, very naughty! Hope things continue to get better for your great adventure.

  8. Alan

    Good to see someone living on the edges, I took my wife and four girls on a year long trip around Europe. Until we make enough money to do the rest of the world we will follow your exploits. Be awesome. Alan

  9. Dino

    We always wish you well son. Nice break on the yummy mummy, let us know if you need a hand with the boat situation.

    Dino

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