Country #5

Country #5 – Guyana

Airport Day

What an uneventful mess today was. I woke up at 3:20am, having slept only two hours, to catch a ride back to the airport. Luckily, Jose was my driver again! We talked more about my trip during the ride. After we said goodbye I checked in for my flight and made my way to my terminal. After having security go through my entire bag for what seems like the hundredth time this week (I wish I knew what was setting it off) I made it to my gate. Unfortunately, my gate had an iPad playing ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ on repeat for a child who was not even watching. It was 5am so maybe not the best thing to do to win the favor of your fellow passengers. But alas, I boarded the flight and had a whole row to myself. Things were looking up.

Until arriving in Guyana, that is. Upon stepping foot outside of the departure hall there are (similar to Haiti but on a less extreme level) probably fifty men trying to give you a cab ride. However, I had decided not to go into Georgetown because from what I had researched there was not enough to see in the city to justify the over $50 round trip for a few hours. I wish I had seen it, but I’m still not feeling well from yesterday, it’s down pouring (I am in the rainforest, I guess), and it is too expensive.

I figured I would just sit in the airport and work – but boy was I wrong! There is nowhere to sit in the Guyana airport until after you check in. I arrived at 7:00am and my outgoing flight was at 10:45pm, so I needed to find somewhere to sit and work. My only option was a “restaurant” across the street. I ordered a pack of Pringles and orange juice in a can – as you can tell they had quite the selection.I decided to wait to eat real food until I got in the airport. The restaurant also had no wifi, so I was stuck using my phone’s sad 3G Guyanese service. I caught up on a lot of things that I needed to do, but not as much as I could have done with wifi. Oh well! I occupied my booth in the restaurant the entire day, and boy was it painfully slow.

After 12 hours in the restaurant, I made my way into the arrivals terminal. After about thirty minutes of waiting they began allowing check in. To go to Suriname, you have to have a Yellow Card proving that you have had the Yellow Fever Vaccine. This was my first time using my card on the trip! After going through security, you will not believe what I found – not a single restaurant or stand open! No food or drink anywhere in the terminal. My flight was then delayed until after midnight, which meant at this point I was going on two hours of sleep with nothing other than Pringles and a few protein bars.

The plane finally arrived and it was not what I was expecting. There were only about thirty people or so in our gate, but it was a giant plane. Turns out, it had flown in from Miami! It was almost entirely full before we even boarded. The flight took about forty minutes and I tried to sleep the entire time. Upon landing in Suriname U.S. citizens have to buy a tourist card, which is $35. After buying the card I went through border patrol easily, and then had to wait way too long for my bag. I then took a taxi service shuttle bus to my hotel for $10. Unfortunately, the city of Paramaribo is over an hour from its airport. I finally got to my room around 4:00am.

Thank goodness the room is nice! I am staying at Joah Inn, and after my day of small annoyances I could not be more excited than to stay in such a safe feeling place in the city-center of Paramaribo. Thank you to Joah Inn for sponsoring this night (and the next) of my trip! While today just seemed to be one thing after another, it wasn’t terrible. It was a necessary part of travel that I hopefully won’t have happen again too soon, but I am sure that it will. Next time I just hope there is food.

5 countries down, 191 to go.

For more information on Suriname click here to read my blog.

To learn more about Joah Inn click here.