Having arrived in Georgetown at 2.30pm, the first thing I wanted to do was to have my first shower in 3 days. I wasn't planning to stay in town for too long, just long enough to get my visa to go to Suriname. But sometimes I wonder why I even bother making plans, as things never seem to go according to them... You will find out more in the next blog about the reasons why I stayed in Georgetown for so long (I don't want to spoil the story of what was possibly my most “exciting” adventure yet), but the fact is that I was in the capital for 3 nights in the end, something that really wasn't necessary... Anybody planning to go to Georgetown, one day is enough!
So let me tell you all the things I saw in those wonderful 3 days...
I arrived at the hostel to discover that although it wasn't luxury, it was big and I seemed to be the only one there. I had one of the big 12 beds dorms to myself, along with the large common area, complete with TV (in English because this is the official language of Guyana) and a kind
notice the canal?
of kitchen which had a sink, a freezer, a coffee maker and some plates. For $1200 (around £3.50), I couldn't complain about the thin foam mattress or cold shower. I hadn't had a hot shower since Panama anyway, so it wasn't like I cared anymore...
My first afternoon was spent planning my next steps and being organised, so I didn't really go to do any sightseeing. I did however, have a decent walk around and got my bearings around the city. It didn't seem too big, or at least the centre seemed perfectly “walkable”. It had a lot of little canals going across, but unfortunately, they weren't particularly clean and the smell of stagnant water, combined with that of pee and dirt (I was getting used to that as it seemed to be the case in every major city) didn't make for the most enjoyable experience. There were also a lot of people sleeping rough, many of them with a bottle of alcohol in their hand. In such heat, I was pretty sure they would have been better off with some water... After stopping by at the market and the supermarket to get some food that didn't require cooking (no
hob), I returned to the hostel to spend an evening of watching rubbish American TV, while waiting for the next day's excitement...
The following morning (Thursday), I was up and out of bed early, and after a visit to the internet café and some more travel organising (during which it became apparent that I wouldn't leave until the Saturday), I was off to have a look at the sights. I walked up and down the streets, snapping away at the pretty buildings, Most of them situated on the stretch along the river (although you can't really see the river). Many of the nice, well kept buildings were wood clad structures, a lot of them churches and I am told from around the 19th century. Next to them, you could find dilapidated houses, which made me think it was really a shame and that the city could probably be so much more beautiful if it was looked after properly.
After a morning exploring the city, it was time to return to the hostel and retreat from the heat, which really was a bit much for me. In the end, I didn't do much more with my afternoon. The fact that I
left to rot
knew I was there for another day, meant I could take it easy as I knew I had seen a fair bit of the city already.
The following morning, I got up and went for a walk. It was Friday. Easter Friday to be precise. The city was dead. Everything was shut, absolutely everything. I needed some food but the supermarket was shut and so were the Chinese restaurants (since when do they care about Easter). In the end, I found a couple of market traders who had come out and managed to get enough for the day ahead. Every person I saw on the street was all dressed up and seemingly heading for church. I knew this would be the case but I still wasn't expecting the streets to be that empty.
After dropping my shopping at the hostel, I chilled for the rest of the morning (wondering what to do with myself). Early afternoon, I decided to head for the water. First I went to the market (but there wasn't really anything going on) which is located next to the river, but there didn't seem to be any access and from what I could see, it was more
The market on Good Friday
of an industrial landscape than a promenade. Then I went for the beach. It wasn't mentioned in the guide book as one of the attractions and when I got there I understood why. It wasn't a sand beach and really wasn't very inviting. Nonetheless, with nothing better to do, I walked along for a long time, in the boiling heat and no shade. That was one of the things about Georgetown, with wide streets and low buildings everywhere, you never seemed to be able to find any shade. To kill time, I decided to try some “arty” pictures (definitely not the career for me) and also took some snaps of ugly, ran down houses, as I decided my pictures of only the pretty things didn't give a fair reflection of what the city was like. I ended the day's activities with a walk in the park and a brief stop at the internet café (which had finally opened at about 4pm).
I was aiming for an early night as I was leaving the next day at 3am. I was looking forward to moving on after spending a lot more time than I had really wanted in a city which didn't
really grab me...
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