Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Monday, October 14, 2013

No Ferry?

106,697 km from the beginning of the journey
Route: Paramaribo - Albina - Paramaribo (295 km)

"One Road In, One Road Out" can be said about all three Guyana countries but as to Suriname – it would be more accurate to say - "One Ferry In, One Ferry Out."

The border between the countries runs along the river, and instead of bridges there is a functioning boat traffic, and the cars should be able to cross the river by ferry. And generally it is so, but sometimes it happens that the barge is being repaired or needs maintenance, and not just for one or two days, but for a longer period of time. The current “longer period” was expected to last up to October 28. Such was the last info received from Paramaribo. And so long - no cars crossing the river and no spare ferry either.

Since no one could say anything about the alternatives, the only way to find out was to drive to Albina to investigate the issue on the spot. Albina is Suriname 's border town, French Guyana is on the other side and the border city there is St. Laurent.

Passenger Port of Albina.

Farther is French Guyana, a piece of the European Union in South America. Backpackers would have no problem of moving on.

I have just stopped the car but already I am offered the service of : “can–take-you–over”. The price is 20 Suriname dollars at first and is getting cheaper every minute. Just have a seat in the boat and let`s go.
Nobody checks passports or anything, because the border and customs are several hundred meters away, out there, a the ferry port.

But it is the price of the passenger, not for the car. Shortly it is discovered that the car could somehow also taken over to the other side. And they offer a solution – to take two boats and some boards and connect the boats by the nailed boards. This is actually a familiar technology, and the boatmen said they had done this kind of car transport before, in the past.

When I asked about the last time, I got the response that yesterday. It's nice. Just very nice. And the take-over of car will cost about 200 Euro in the beginning, and maybe a bit lower. But strangely, no one has taken any pictures of yesterday`s ”car- ferrying”, nevertheless there are mobiles with cameras everywhere.

Maybe nobody noticed that a car was transported over the river with the help of two tied-together boats. Or who knows. Further conversation seems pointless anyway. At the customs the officials had never heard of this kind of car-ferrying, as might have expected. The story of binding the two boats together makes the day more amusing.

And they will also confirm that no official movement of vehicles between the two countries does not take place, but in an hour from the side of French Guyana arrives a small badge and on it – a motorbike And then there is an opportunity to talk to the ferrymen.

Now there is time to look around and wait. On the quay the fruits will go to the European Union, located on the other side of the river

By boat.


An anchor.

Then - there seems to approach some bigger water vehicle with a Harley Davidson on board!

The travelers are from The Czech Republic and they have come down from Alaska to Ushuaia along the west coast and now were heading on up along the east coast. Around the World. Suriname is their 66 th country. More can be read:

We share information about the condition of the road. From Lethem to Linden. That road is drivable, and I learn that the bridge built between French Guyana and Brazil is still not open, but there moves a barge as well. At least a couple of days ago it was so.

That is good –It will take some time to reach there but at first it is necessary to get over the river from here. The barge looks big enough to fit onto the bus, and here the first problem occurs, the boatman announces that barge is "not authorized" for ferrying of cars, and the authorization or permission should be asked from the other side. ie, from the side of French Guyana. The French side could be reached by any boat, but it was getting late, all the issues will have to wait and be decided the next morning.

The night will be passed in the territory of a local military unit, a good safe place to spend the night. Transnational movements in border towns are usually this way - who wants - goes over the border and the border guards will not be bothered because of such small things. You just take a seat in the boat and 10 minutes later you're on the other side.


No comments: