Apparently you can have adventures in transportation.
Oh, you thought that going from point A to point B is an easy and straightforward thing?
Not in the Rupununi.
If you’re still confused, please refer to my previous post for some enlightenment.
This short story is about the trip back to Shulinab from Aishalton.
Problem: No available vehicles in Aishalton to pick the team up to transport them to the Rupununi River crossing.
Solution: Motorcycles – they’re always the next best thing. 12 people, 6 motorcycles.
And the following events:
- 2 bike falls because of mud (a major hazard on the Rupununi roads)
- sunburnt faces (and peeling foreheads as a result)
- wet feet/socks from riding through puddles and creeks
- countless mosquito and kaboura fly bites from waiting at the Rupununi River crossing
- two row-boat crossings with motorcycles and all (since the bridge has been out for 1+ years)
- physical exertion from pulling the boat through shallow banks of sand
- a water whirlwind on the Rupununi River…and near heart-attacks
It’s kind of hard to capture a water whirlwind on camera when you’re panicking but I got one while the boat was swaying from side-to-side.
I swear it whispered “I’m coming for you”.
In-the-moment thoughts went like this:
“That’s a nice breeze”
“Oh, it’s getting really windy”
“Cool…a small water tornado over there”
“Holy sh…it’s a big water whirlwind”
“Oh my god! It’s heading toward us!”
Men in the boat: “PADDLE!!! PADDLE!!! PADDLE!!”
(When the men in charge begin to panic, it is time to start panicking along with them)
*unbuckles heavy backpack* in case we capsize and I have to swim
*screams along with the other girls* as we realize that we are also about to run into a tree
Water whirlwind makes a sharp turn away from us. Capsizing avoided.
*collective sighs of relief*
So I call this phenomenon a water whirlwind, but the Amerindians say that it was a Potari (giant stingray). A Potari is supposed to be H U G E and it’s also a water spirit. Some Amerindians at the same crossing (a couple days after us) swear that they saw ab Potari in the water.
A Potari has a blow hole (kind of like a whale’s). This can explain the water shooting up in the air to an insanely high height. It can also explain why the whirlwind moved so quickly towards us (giant stingrays move fast!).
Whatever it was, it was scary. And I never want to see/experience a water whirlwind/Potari ever again…especially if I’m in a aluminium boat powered by men with oars.