The rain stopped to fall and we headed for Rock View Lodge where the day took a turn for the worse, as all more or less fell down with a tummy bug during the evening, putting most us out for the entire night and much of the following day. It happens sooner or later, and when it does, it usually takes down the whole group.
Capuchin Monkey and Kingfishers
After a good night sleep we divided into two groups where one group did a climb up Surama Mountain and my group took a boat ride on the river. Before getting into the boat we had to walk to the landing. It was a good and easygoing activity, where we managed to spot quite a few birds and some monkey activity. We had a perfect spotting of a lone Capuchin Monkey having a late breakfast.
Got some great bird spotting action with Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher and the colorful Orange-backed Troupial. Birds are really underestimated and for some reason we seem to take them for granted. I love spotting birds and I will probably have to confess to becoming a real bird fanatic in the future.
We had breakfast at Surama upon or return, before a much-needed break in the open-air lounge in the hammocks. Pure bliss!
We packed up and got back into the cars to head for Rock View Lodge where we would have lunch and spend the night.
We eventually reached Annai, in the North Rupununi, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland. It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive.
Rock View Lodge
Near the village of Annai, between Annai and Rupertee where the Pakaraima foothills meet the tropical rainforest, is Rock View Lodge. The resort with its tropical gardens and flowering trees, resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Amazonian Troupial, Amethyst Woodstar, White-chinned Sapphire, Long-billed Starthroat and several Hermits patrol around the grounds. Nearby forest patches are home to Amazonian Scrub Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a variety of antbirds.
Rock View Lodge offers comfortable lodging, outdoor and cultural activities with an authentic Amerindian hospitality. The lodge has been around for over 20 years, welcoming visitors to the savannahs and rainforests of Guyana’s Rupununi since 1992. The lodge is an integral partner with the local Amerindian community to build economic opportunities, provide professional development, preserve traditions, and improve a sustainable tourism infrastructure in Guyana’s pristine interior.
A home away from home
We settled into our beautiful rooms before we had a lovely lunch in the restaurant. It felt like we were on a big farm or hacienda and we were guests of the owners, and I guess this is exactly what the owners have in mind. The place is family-run, where the owner of the place, Colin Edwards is quite an eccentric man with a very friendly personality. We really felt welcome and at home at the lodge!
Riding out the storm…
We enjoyed an afternoon orientation tour of the resort, farm and orchards. We were introduced to the traditional cashew nut roasting and the making of traditional handicrafts before we had some time to chill out by the pool where we also gathered for drinks in the eve before dinner. This was also unfortunately the time when the group was starting to fall down with tummy issues. One by one we folded and from then on and throughout the night the bug made its presence to almost each and everyone of the group. Myself, I folded just before dinner and it turned out to be quite an active night and the start of the infamous 24 hrs bug. It was just a matter of riding out the storm…