Belém, Brazil, to Georgetown, Guyana, to Tobago 17 - 18 April 2006

Leaving the South American continent for the Caribbean


Logbook index

17 April 2006. Belém, Brazil, to Georgetown, Guyana (IFR 5:27).
After two hours of discussions by phone with Petrobras, we finally managed to get the tax-free fuel at US$ 0.95 per litre. We took off into a low cloud layer, then flew between stratus cloud layers and light rain until we were over French Guyana where we started to see the usual afternoon CBs (IFR 5h27).
After somewhat slow customs and immigration formalities, we took a (too) fast taxi into Georgetown 46 km away and checked into the charming Cara Lodge. Not many customers at the hotel. Hardly anyone comes to Guyana as a tourist as it has a bad reputation for mugging. In fact, we were advised not to venture out of the hotel grounds on foot. At the hotel, we met Tom Aitken, a timber merchant from Scotland and had dinner with him.

18 April. Georgetown to Tobago (IFR 2h21).
Our plan had been to fly to Kaieteur Falls and Karanambu Lodge in the south of Guyana. The lodge is run by Diane McTurk, a Scottish lady who rescues giant otter orphans. Marina, who hosted us at the Fazenda Barranco Alto in the Pantanal, knew her through her father who visited her when writing a book about giant otters. Marina was envious of our plan to visit Karanambu and that had helped to fire our enthusiasm.
However, we needed a special permit to fly there. The Director General of Civil Aviation was ready to issue our permit, but we still hadn’t got the security clearance from the Minister of Home Affairs. They had had our request for over a week, but hadn’t replied before Easter when they closed for both Good Friday and Easter Monday. Today was Tuesday and the minister should have been back in the office. We called several times during the morning, but the secretary said the minister was not in the office.
By noon we gave up waiting and left Georgetown for Tobago (IFR 2:21) where we were given a warm welcome by Yvon and Judy Gemmet. Yvon Gemmet is a Swiss aviator and flying instructor. He met Flemming about 28 years ago in Geneva when he checked him out for his upgrade to flying a Mooney just after Flemming bought the plane. Then he was Angela’s flying instructor in 1988 when she took some lessons before flying to Kenya for our honeymoon. He has been living in Tobago now for 13 years with Judy (originally from Trinidad whom he met in Geneva) and their two sons.
Yvon still returns to Geneva for a couple of months a year to teach flying, but for most of the year he and Judy run the Bijou des Caraibes – four serviced holiday apartments on their property at Mount Irvine in southern Tobago, near the best sandy beaches and set in a lovely garden with a swimming pool.
Yvon and Judy put us up in their beautiful guest room and we went out to dinner with them to celebrate Flemming’s birthday.

Filling up in Belém with the tax-free Avgas.

A clearing in the jungle en route to Georgetown.

The beautiful Cara Lodge in Georgetown.

Since we didn't dare venture out of the hotel, these are the only photos we took in Georgetown.

Flemming, Judy and Yvon at their Bijou des Caraïbes in Tobago.

JAlbum 6.5 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN