Thursday, December 22, 2016

Off The Charts In Guyana - Our First Adventure - Camping II

We arrived at Rockstone fishing camp mid afternoon.  It was.....rustic.  Actually, it was fine with the exception that the regular bathrooms were Out of Order and as we soon discovered, the backup bathrooms weren't fully functional either.  D-oh.
Do you see Willies fancy mozzie netting?
But regardless, we checked in and set up camp.  Hammock camp.  Yes, we would be sleeping in hammocks.  We knew this might be a possibility before we came to Guyana so I ordered special hammocks with mozzie netting off the internet.  There were two choices for hanging our hammocks 1.)  In the trees 2.) under a house built up on stilts.
Captains Randy and David - boyz camp in the tree
Our hammock camp

Captain Randy and Captain David immediately chose the trees.  The rest of us were unsure.  I was leaning towards the house option because it had a concrete floor and somehow I thought under a house would potentially mean less creepy crawleys.  "Ask Paul.  See where he recommends." I said to Tom.  He came back and said "He is going to put his hammock up under that other house over there.  I say we take his lead and opt for the house."  Okay.  We will do the same.
Willie trying out her hammock
Tom grounded bottom in his hammock

Captain Mark, Admiral Willy, Dick, Deb, Tom and I all headed over to the house to set up camp.  We rearranged the tables and benches and then started setting up our hammocks, most of us for the first time.  Dick had a very nice hammock with complicated mozzie netting.  Tom and I got our hammocks too low the first try.  Captain Mark had purchased fancy mozzie netting for Admiral Willie so that took some doing as well.  In the mean time, a local woman, sort of the caretaker of the camp sat on the steps breastfeeding her child and watching us set up.  I can only imagine what a circus we must have looked like.  FYI - hammocks are a common mode of sleeping in Guyana and I think the rest of South America.
Mozzie netting in place and ready to go

It was all too funny
But soon the hammocks were up.  Then came the real test - we all had to practice getting into and out of our hammocks with their various mozzie netting.  The getting into wasn't the tough part.  It was the getting out of that was a struggle.  Many grunts and groans were heard!  And it was daylight.  What would happen tonight when we finally went to....bed hammock?  It was all pretty funny as we each tried.  One odd note -When I purchased our hammocks off the internet, for whatever reason, most of the pictures of hammocks showed pretty, tiny Asian women as the models lounging in them.  "Awe, don't they look comfortable.  I think I will get that one."   In reality, as I tried to learn the best way to get into and out of my hammock without bodily harm to myself or others, at no point did I ever feel pretty - tiny- or Asian!  Fooled again by marketing.  Go figure!!   
Camp limin'

Camp fire is a MUST regardless of the outside temp
Next we limed/chilled for a little bit, taking it all in.  However, soon it was time for a camp fire.  What?  We were at 5 degrees latitude and 30C+ in temp and we are building a fire?  "Of course!  We are camping.  We must have a fire!  Plus how else are we going to cook our food?"  Good point.  A whole range of fire building activities ensued.  Once the fire was going, Dick and Deb started prepping all the veggies for Captain Mark's brisket and veggie campfire stew.
Sous-chefs Dick and Deb
Road to the crossroads bar

"Hey Paul.  Is that little bar still down the road?" Captain Mark asked.  "Yes."  Six of us plus Paul opted to stretch our legs with a walk down the road to the bar.  It was really just a small shack with a covered area at a dirt crossroads.  A couple of times while we were there,  big army transport type trucks pulled up covered in red mud with the driver dashing in for a couple of roadies to go.  A torrintial down pour kept us for another round.  As soon as it cleared, we departed for the muddy walk back.
Willie told Mark to bring back firewood - nice try Mark
Brisket stew
When we returned with the firewood, Dick and Deb had dinner in the pot and on the fire.  We all sat back from the fire enjoying sunset.  Captains Randy and David had opted for steaks and potatoes for their dinner.  The campfire brisket stew was yummy.
Tom and Mark lay out dinner

Mark fast asleep in his hammock

Captain Mark was the first to hit his hammock.  The others soon followed suit.  It was around cruisers midnight (21:00).  Tom and I don't really do cruisers midnight but rather real midnight so we stayed up, looking the fire, stars and solving the worlds problems.  Finally around midnight (when the rum was gone) we headed to bed hammocks.  We struggled a bit to get into them.  The others were awake and then the giggling started.  It soon turned in to full laughter.  It would die down and we would all be quiet for a minute or two and then someone would chuckle and the giggling and laughing would start all over again.  Hammock camp had turned into Camp Ha Ha.
Tom stiring the fire

Tom crawling out of his hammock the next morning

I slept....okay.  It turns out our hammocks were still too low.  The line stretched and I woke up with my bum touching the floor.  Tom woke up solidily grounded.  It was also a bit weird to sleep with my legs SO straight and slightly up.  The hammocks are slick nylon so they pack up tight as opposed to the big cotton ones, but it also means they are a tad slipperly to sleep in.  There was also a fair amount of snoring going on among the hammocks.  The next day Dick tried to tell me that I was one of the ones snoring.  I told him that might be a possibility but I only believe when I hear myself.  To date I have not, so there you go, I don't snore.
Early morning on the river

Early morning on the river

Captain Randy and David had scrambled eggs with leftover steak and potatoes for breakfast - cooked on the last of the camp fire.  The rest of us had bananas, energy bars and cookies for breakfast.  We enjoyed the morning and then started breaking camp.
Randy cooking breakfast as Mark watches
We loaded back into Paul's boat and headed back down river to Baganara and home to our boats and solid sleeping berths....well sort of.....they move with the boat but less than a hammock....well sort of.
Loading up to head home

Bass Tracker - long way from home

So check out the above pic.  This boat was at the launch when we docked.  Bass Tracker headquarters is in Springfield Missouri.  They are made at several locations around southern Missouri.  Pretty crazy to see one 65 miles up the Essequibo River in Guyana South America.  I sent the company an email with this pic.  I thought they might like to know.  I would if it were my company.  

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine that I would have slept a wink in a hammock like that. Just does not look comfy, and I am a bad/light sleeper as it is. Good on you if you managed to get any sleep at all!