Life at the Lodge: 14) Successors

With Mount Roraima and Venezuela behind me, the aching legs, sunburnt skin, and tortured feet a painful reminder of the worthwhile ordeal, I returned to Guyana to write my final chapter at the Lodge.

From the northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista, I once again made my way to the Guyanese border, finishing a wonderful book on Krakatoa as we rumbled along in the early morning sunshine. A Chilean couple had also taken the coach and we shared a taxi to pass through immigration and then head into Lethem.

It was the final day of a music festival that was being held at Manari Ranch, and as nice as it may have been to attend, I had a lift to catch, back into the savannah.

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Life at the Lodge: 12) Otters

Our British volunteer couple left, and the Lodge is less lively because of it. It was good having them around, as even with the influx of guests, rarely are they of a similar age to me or share similar interests. Even Anita has said that she will miss them, and all the friction from the first few days has been long forgotten. Hugs were shared and photos taken before they were bundled off to Yupukari.

Later in the week, I asked the staff to give feedback on the experience of having the volunteers living and working here alongside them. I don’t think anyone quite understood what they were supposed to do as the forms I got back all said pretty much the same thing, at times word-for-word what someone else had written. Most of the answers were variations on the example answers that I gave them to begin with. Maybe they saw the exercise as some kind of test. Either way, everyone was generally positive about the volunteers being here.

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Life at the Lodge: 9) Extension

Unfortunately, Cassie had to return to Georgetown and to her work at the university, leaving me to prepare for the solitude of the Lodge once again. The last week had been a bit of a holiday and I was having to force myself to get back into the system of pre-dawn wake ups.

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Life at the Lodge: 8) 2018

I had a poor sleep on the night of the 27th-28th. My mind was structuring a blog in my head, and I felt compelled to get the thoughts out and onto paper (screen), but I think subconsciously, I was also quite excited to be reunited with Cassie.

After our water pump struggled to supply all our tanks – a sign that the river was getting low and we would need to move the pump further downstream at some point, we hopped in to our 4×4 to go and meet Mel, Ed, Cassie and co. Despite the shallow river, recent rains had made some of the local roads tricky to navigate, so we chose to go the long way around, for fear of getting stuck.

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