Today’s challenge was to get 17 large flight cases and two of us crew from Georgetown to Guyana’s interior. So off we trot to the local airport with our cargo.
First, it wasn’t exactly Heathrow and second, our plane was barely bigger than my car. How exactly were we going to squeeze us and our cargo on there?
So, after much pushing and shoving, and a bit of huffing and puffing, the equipment was loaded and my colleague had been carefully wedged into a spare gap. It seemed like we had just completed the world’s biggest game of Tetris, but for my labours I got to sit next to the pilot for our 75-minute flight.
Just after take-off, the heavens opened and our little plane really began to take a battering. We kept hitting air pockets and losing altitude – sometimes, far too close for comfort as we brushed along the jungle canopy. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, the thunder and lightning started. I felt like Indiana Jones.
After what felt like the longest hour of my life, we prepared to land… on a muddy dirt strip. I can honestly say I have never been so pleased to be back on terra firma.
But that was just the start of our journey. We humped our cargo into the back of a pick-up truck and drove another hour through the jungle to meet our boats. Well, when I say boats, I mean tin tubs with engines strapped on the backs. Our cargo was balanced precariously, so I was glad we had invested in waterproof cases.
The hour-and-a-half journey up the river was beautiful – amazing scenery, the heat and sounds of the jungle surrounded us while the monkeys were as interested in us as we were in them.