This sequel to my earlier GY post follows us as we explore Georgetown and the Demerara coastal region.
To ensure safety, cultural learning and make the most of every minute , we used Dagron Tours, a tour company situated in the heart of the city. There are various tours and times to consider, ranging from early departure explorations to multi-day retreats to sunset cruises on the river. I highly recommend going to the company office, sitting down and asking a lot of questions to make sure you pick the right tour for you and yours. Once you decide, pay to secure your spot and enable them schedule the right tour guides for each adventure. I am always with two little kids, thus exquisite planning down to the last detail is a must (else cranky sleepy kids will ruin my day, lol)!
While waiting for our tour to start at 91 Middle St, GT, GY, I wandered around the offices and got talking with this delightful guy (let’s call him Mr.A). Mr.A has worked in Nigeria, lived in and/or visited so many countries and is originally from Israel. He collects rocks and stones (agate, amethyst, etc), has a ton of antiques and lots of history in his head.
He has been in Guyana for over two decades and I would’ve loved to spend days with Mr.A just listening to him. His background is so incredible that I can’t help feeling he must be an Israeli spy or a true travelbot who just found his home in South America. 😍
Anyway, our tour guide Mr. Orrin arrived and I sadly had to leave. We started with the Mangrove Tour. I’ve always been interested in mangroves and the role they’ve played in conservation efforts, since before the word conservation was even coined. Mangroves protect shorelines and villages from damaging storms, winds, waves and floods. For my other reasons, read this.
It was a picturesque drive from urban GT to rural Mahaica-Demerara region. Along the historic Seawall, there are lunch-spots, nightspots and quite a few livestock including goats, chickens and the usual stray dogs. I’ve never seen as many stray dogs in one country, lol! Below is a calm section of the seawall.
We arrived at the colonial government building which serves various causes including providing welfare for single mothers and training grounds for Salvation Army church members and at-risk youth. Here we ate some carambola…
…met up with our mangrove conservationist expert Raymond Hinds whose work has been featured internationally. There he is in the NY baseball cap!
We boarded this 👆🏽 rickety and scarily uncomfortable-looking horse-drawn “carriage” and set off plodding to Victoria Village. I do love Adventure!
DEEMED the “mother of all villages”, Victoria, the first village in Guyana, is located on the Atlantic coast of the country, eighteen miles east of the capital city Georgetown, bordered by Cove and John to the west and Belfield to the east. It was the first village in Guyana to be bought by the combined resources of Africans who had recently won their freedom from slavery.
After hanging out on the Seawall enjoying the sea breeze, rural coastal life and looking at the low-lying Atlantic Ocean in Guyana, we went deeper into the village…
..and encountered a griot-drummer-musician at the “Lovers Hangout” (smh, boiiii dem youth sure like to get down on the sneaky…I saw a condom or two!😂) .
My kids were sneezing and fighting off illness so off we went into the bush to gather some local herbs. I learned more about healing plants and even recognized some from back home! We also ate “cherries” very closely related to the exact species we kids grew up plucking and eating while at play outdoors (without parental consent) in Nigeria.
There were many herbs in the Grove. The government and elders are doing a great job at passing on knowledge to the younger generations. I wish Africans do more of this. So many of our herbs lie there ignored until the West visits, takes samples, makes and markets the products. Then we start rushing to buy our herbs from stores in America, sigh. A few examples are Shea butter (okuma), cocoa butter, charcoal from certain woods (ntu), Bitter leaf (onugbu) and python fat (abuba eke). Here are some local Guyanese medicinal plants.
Y’all know it was time to eat, right? I was starving after the tour and needed local-local-grandma-type food so we stopped by a top-rated Coca-cola kiosk and got Provisions (steamed yams, cocoyam, plantains, yuca) with salt fish, various pies, their famous vanilla pound cake and some meat. Befitting end to an eventful day….I gotta eat!
THANK YOU FOR READING. Please follow for my next post: The Amazing Manatee Experience! These huge silent beasts of the water are so mysterious, see them up and close with me.