As a small country nestled in the northern coast of South America, Guyana offers a unique and exciting opportunity for pilots to explore its diverse landscape, from the lush rainforests to the pristine beaches. It's untouched and off the beaten path.
Georgetown, the capital city, serves as the hub for business, hosts the International airport of Guyana. and is known to be a little rough around the edges. Our initial hopes were to fly ourselves to Kaieteur falls and maybe fly out to a jungle lodge before continuing on to Brazil. That all changed once we got in touch with the Guyana officials and we were informed that we would not be allowed to fly internally around Guyana. In this blog post, we will explore how we flew into Guyana and what we did in our time there.
Flying to Guyana
After a few days in Grenada, it was time to move on. Knowing we had a large water crossing coming up, we had been watching the weather diligently. Seeing a few days that looked good, we prepared the permits, the plane and all our gear to go.
Leaving St Georges, Grenada was a simple enough process. Arriving at the airport early enough we cleared customs and immigration, went through security (they let us through with our water and Swiss army knives after seeing our General Declarations and Pilot's licenses) before heading out to the plane to pack it. From there it was the same as any other day, preflight, pack, plan depart.
The actual flight was slightly more stressful than other ones. To start, it was mostly over water and the land that was available was not necessarily a desirable place for us to land. In our route we would be overflying Trinidad and Tobago, and while it's a popular tourist destination with world class beaches, the cost of landing, parking and accommodation did not fit into our budget. The other land along our route was the coast of Venezuela, which was a slightly less appealing place to land without proper permits.
Our actual flight path took us over Trinidad and Tobago before flying 7nm outside of Venezuelan Airspace into Guyana. One thing that surprised me in the flight was the amount of oil rigs (pretty sure they were oil rigs, not 100% sure) I saw off the coast.
Landing in Ogle Airport, Guyana was pretty relaxed. We went through the general process of handing in Copies of the ICAO General Declarations, showing plane documents and passing through customs and immigration before cramming into a small taxi to ride into the city. Overall the process for entry wasn't difficult. Exiting Guyana took much longer as there was a run around with fees.
Julien's Guest House
If nothing else, this place had character.
We has booked 2 rooms at Julien's Guest house just prior to arriving. Not much else was available and within our budget, but we were excited to see what it was like.
It was quite the experience there. To start, Julien himself is a character. Apparently the guest house attracts people all over the world during their stay in Guyana, not to mention the bar there seems to be a hotspot for the locals. When we first arrived we were told there was a mix up and they had no rooms for us, but it all got sorted out. My dad and mom were in a room on the second floor while Samantha, Chris and I would be sharing a single bed on the ground floor. It was quite cramped, with no AC and a toilet that leaked. There were bars over the window and door and getting down to the room was also an adventure, weaving behind the building and going around the barbed wire. It all worked out, and we got to explore the markets of Guyana.
The typical market scene surrounded Juliens Guest house. Chris even ended up buying a Ukelele, adding to his lifelong dream of learning to surf and fully adopting a "surfer dude" vibe.
well, I never though I would end up in a bar in Georgetown Guyana with my family holding a microphone, but expect the unexpected! We had been invited to participate in the weekly Kareoke night by Julien, and unfortunately for everyone who didn't want their ears to bleed, this seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. I'll save you from having to hear it, but after watching/listening the regulars go through their songs eloquently it was my turn. Being the chicken I am, I made Samantha join me for a butchered rendition of "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.
yeah... we are not vocalists. It was fun though, and after killing it (sorry to everyone there) we enjoyed a night walk back to our hotel.
We spent almost a week in Georgetown waiting to go to Kaieteur Falls and organizing everything for Brazil. This gave us plenty of time to explore! We spent a fair amount of time wandering around the markets and shops while at Juliens Guest house before moving to our second location which was in a much more quiet area.
During this time we walked down the beach, around the botanical gardens and back and forth through the Main Street.
It was finally time for us to head out to Kaieteur Falls (the reason for staying in Guyana so long), and while we didn't do much, I felt like I had a much better feel for Georgetown. I enjoyed seeing and exploring a new country, especially one that not many people visit.