Iwokrama lodge – scorpions, toads and stranger creatures
Logistics can be complicated when there is only one bus a day. Myrtle Stoke, our resident archeology who is now a secret earthworm lover, had to head back to Santerem where she lectures, but the rest of the crew were staying in Guyana for another day. Her flight was 14.30 on 30th from Boa Vista….the morning bus (the Georgetown to Lethem express) from the river lodge would only get into Lethem at 11 am but the bus to Boa Vista would leave from the other side of the border at 10 am….so things were not going to work out. This meant George had to drive Myrtle to Annai (the southern gate to the reserve) overnight in a bunk house so that Myrtle could be on the 6 am bus – which would get into Lethem at 9am …. Giving her an hour to cross the border and make the Boa Vista bus……sound complicated but it worked and Myrtle made her plane.
George was accompanied by Cortney, our local guide, who has his family in Annai. This seem a great arrangement given that he had a young family and promised he knew where to find lots of worms – seemed like a good trade. But in the morning when it came to driving him back to the lodge he was nowhere to be found – when George hunted down his brother, he was told that he had gone to Lethem!! So yes George had mislaid the lodge guide !!!
For the rest of us, myself, Luis and Reshama, we had a leisurely 6.30 am breakfast and then went to do more sampling. The boat trip took us past the ferry that acts to transport all traffic that goes from George to Lethem – the Linden-Lethem road – and up the road. The first site looked promising with lots of rotten wood….but when the spade snapped on the first hole I should have taken the hint. Onto the second spade and a rotten log – yeh stop sniggering it’s what we do – this one yielded a large fast worm….and a scorpion. The next site – the same, the next a worm and a mother scorpion with lots of baby scorpions – the next hole was a worm, a scorpion and a snake – at this point, we felt it was prudent to find a new site!!! (We bagged the scorpions so we knew where they were!!)
You can imagine how I felt when having returned to the lodge to find George suggested that after lunch we should sample ‘bushmaster trail’ – yes bushmaster is a very poisonous snake! We did sample the trail and found some real strange cricket type creatures – this is where you found how narrow your expertise is because none of us could ID these beautiful but strange creatures but give us the 10+ species of earthworm and we are experts!!
So we have settled the bill and ordered breakfast so we are ready to set off to Lethem at 7am tomorrow….
River lodge bunk house
Professorial laundry to dry
main road ferry
A Brocken spade
Look like a worm but it’s a snake – this is the small snake I wasn’t hanging around to photograph the bug snake – Luis did!!
A bag of scorpions
Boots after a hard day sampling
River lodge from the river
Three strange creatures