Mud, Sweat and Gears
May 20, 2007
Allan (Dick) Chee-A-tow, though elderly and physically challenged, was one of the drivers who made it successfully through the 2007 Pakaraimas Mountain Safari. He shares his story…
I was fortunate to be chosen to be on the 2007 Pakaraimas Mountain Safari Team.
Accompanying me were my daughter Nancy, and my navigator Frank Gouveia (Big Jack) who both assisted in making the trip pleasant and successful.
We joined the Safari at Linden and after a brief stop at Kurupukari and the Oasis (food and rest stop at Annai) proceeded on to Karasabai, which took 11 hours.
We set up our tent and spent the night at Karasabai. We were welcomed into the village by a small group of representatives and this is where the official leg of the Pakaraima Mountain Safari began.
The following morning we left Karasabai and drove for five hours to Marabaikau making tow brief stops at Tiperu and Rukumoto. We set up camp at Marabaikau Creek and spent the night.
There a fellow team mate Errol cooked a big pot of cook-up, the food and drinks flowed. Then there was dancing and good conversation. But the rains came so we all retired to out tents. I had a good night’s sleep. Our tent did not leak a drop.
The next morning we broke camp and proceeded toward Monkey Mountain which took approximately nie hours. We made two stops at Young Peru and Echilibar Crossing. This leg of the Safari really put each of us to the final test.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather we were forced to turn back at Monkey Mountain but making it thus far was still a GREAT achievement for everyone involved.
This unique Safari tests man and machinery to their ultimate limits of endurance. This Safari is aimed at testing physical stamina, mental agility, off road (4 wheel) driving skills and most of all common sense. On a trip like this we learnt the value of friendship, team work and patience, and most importantly, never attempt a trip like this alone. The rough terrain consisted of miles of open savannahs, creeks and rivers to drive through (some with up to four feet of water), ascending and descending laterite/loom steep slopes as much as 70 feet high, as well as miles of rocks and boulders to navigate over with accuracy and precision.
We all went through with "Mud, Sweat and Gears".
Finally, thanks to all who helped to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
See you next year. (The 2007 Pakaraimas Mountain Safari, coordinated by Rainforest Tours, takes off in late February next year. For contact information go to www.rftours.com)