The first night in Surama, I slept with my left hand up against the mosquito net. I woke in the morning to find 77 mosquito bites on my knuckles alone! The bites were so tightly packed together that they had trouble to find room to swell, making my hand look very odd indeed. Oh, and it itched like hell for a number of days!
As we are drifting down the river and approaching a partly fallen tree sticking out into the water, I warn Dineke who is sitting in front of me: "mind the spider"! "Where?" she says. However much I point at it, she cannot spot it, until we drift just underneath the tree trunk, and the spider is sitting there, just two inches from her face. I've never seen anybody jump so high!
The track from Georgetown to Surama has only recently been upgraded, previously it was only passable by enormous Four Wheel Drive Bedford trucks. I cannot imagine what it must have been like, as even now it makes for an "adventurous" journey. With narrow log bridges, deep pot holes and enormous puddles even in the dry season, the journey can take on a different perpective.
Always make sure that you travel in convoy, as you cannot rely on passing traffic for assistance. We saw three logging trucks during the last seven hours of driving!
Always take a tow rope, as you may need to haul each other out of a sticky situation, as was the case here. First we got stuck in mud, then one of the Land Cruisers ventured too deep into the puddle.
The track from Surama to Carahaa crosses two rivers. This is reasonably easy during the dry season, such as now, but becomes quite a journey in the rainy season, necessetating the use of canoes to get across, as the river rises several metres.
Peter was very unfortunate in that some poison from a trre in the forest affected his ankles. We don't know exactly what happened, but it appears that his bites, and/or heat rash got terribly infected. It became so bad that he was unable to partake in any of the activities - he had great trouble walking!
Eventually he was able to visit a medic (once we had left Surama), and was given some Antbiotics and Antihistamine tablets / cream. Even then it took quite some time for the sores to clear up and for several more days his movements were restricted!
Although in fact I always end of with more bites than my husband David, he sometimes gets an allergic reaction to his, causing great swelling. The first morning in Surama, David woke up to find that he had great trouble opening his left eye. The swelling stayed for a day or two, then he went back to being his normal handsome self. We always make sure that we pack some antihistamine cream and tablets, as David is prone to such reactions!