The Irwin Family Great Adventure travel blog

White Sand Savanah campground

Our sleeeping huts

The chemical Toilet

The Savanah

Bird Nests

Creek we used for bathing

Bamboo rafts made for fun



Having fun

we got to our rather primitive campground in the evening and we were tired and hungry. We were sleeping in hammocks that had mosquito nets. There were only chemical toilets available to us and that was a new experience for all of us. Between the overwhelmingly horrid smell and watching for insects and other creatures in the pitch dark, not to mention the dirty seat (though at least it had a seat), it was a most stressful event having to go. Sisley and Ethan were determined not to have a BM the next morning and so did not want to eat. But when nature calls, you do what you need to. And though we never got used to the chemical toilets, we learned to either tolerate or ignore our senses while using them.

Our first night in the hanmmocks was sheer hell. Chris and I didn't sleep a wink. We weren't sure why we were given the mosquito nets because we were bitten alive. The next morning we were told that the mosquitoes in the Savannah are so tiny you can't even see them. So they could get right through the nets. Sisley and Ethan literally got hundreds of bites. Bites on Bites. Poor kids. Chris and I slept with a blanket that was too warm over our heads all night, so we weren't bitten too badly. We tried to cover up the kids, but they always kick off the blankets in their sleep.

The most enjoyeable aspect of the camp is where we got to bath. There was creek right in our campsight and the water was cool, clean and extremely refreshing. We had a great time in it and Chris and Ethan made a little raft of bamboo that was growing right next to the creek.

Unfortuately it rained more and more that day. We could not drive to the Savannah because the sand is like quick sand there. Our truck would just sink in it. So while waiting for the rain to stop we went hiking. The kids love to hike and luckily our guide was very leisurly in exploring with them. Along the way we found Jaguar tracks. Robyn told us that Jaguars will often follow you, not even realizing it. We believed him because we did not spot his tracks until we headed back to camp. Apparently Suriname has more Jaguars than anywhere else in the world.

Finally once the rain stopped, we got to go to the Savannah. Robyn let Chris drive the truck which was an experience for him. He was advised never to stop even for big pot holes or sharp turns. If you do it is quite possible the truck would start to sink. When we made it to the Sahannah we started looking for Anacondas and Caiman's, apparently a regular spotting. But we had no luck!! The weather did not cooperate and all we saw was the side of the road hawk and these unusual bird's nest hanging from the trees. So we headed back to camp and then headed back to Paramaribo. Just before we left the owner of the tour realized that the truck we were driving home was very low on gas. So he had one of the employees, a marroon Indian, sifen out gas from another vehicle. Mano, the employee had to do this by putting a rubber tube in the gas tank and sucking out the gas and spitting it into a bucket. He did this mouthful by mouthful, until there was enough to fill our truck. The smell of gas was overwhelming and Sisley and Ethan thought the owner was horrible for making Mano do this. It did seem quite unhumanitarian to us too. Sisley and Ethan were quite disturbed by it.

During our drive home the owner, who happened to be our driver, stopped at the side of the road for an elderly woman and a young boy probably the same age as Ethan. Apparently someone was giving her a ride and was driving way too fast and she smashed her ribs. Because the streets are in such bad condition, if you drive too quickly it can be quite abumpy ride and thus dangerous as a passenger. When she started crying, the driver kicked her and the boy out of the car. It was night and pouring rain. No street lights. Boti, the owner kindly let the crying woman and the boy ride in the back of the pick up truck. They sat with the luggage and all the camp gear. The lady never stopped crying. We could hear her inside the truck. Ethan was very upset by the woman and started crying. We had to assure him that she was going to be okay and that Boti would drive her safely home. So Boti gained some points after the gas sifening.

We finally got home to Paramaribo. The next day Ethan was sick with a high fever and throwing up for 3 days. On Christmas day we took him to the dr., and after some blood tests, learned he had a bacteria in his stomach so he was given antiotics. He was well enough in a couple days. Thank goodness, no malaria, which was our fear even though we were told it was not a malaria area that we were in.

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