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With no bridge crossing the Essequibo, communities on either side of the river are connected by ferries and a host of small boats


here the Essequibo meets the Atlantic, a great tongue of muddy brown water extends for miles into the ocean. More than half the landmass of Guyana lies


in the Essequibo watershed, and as the mighty river wends north through the country, it is fed by numerous tributaries — the Mazaruni, the Cuyuni, the Potaro, the Rupununi, and many more. Hence the massive volume of water flowing out its mouth, twenty miles wide from bank to bank. Standing on the stelling — the traditional


Guyanese name for a river wharf — in the east bank town of Parika, the view across the Essequibo estuary is broken by series of long, flat islands. Leguan, Wakenaam, and Hog Island, home to villages and plantations, are the largest, but there are dozens more here and further upstream. Sometimes, indulging in a touch of exaggeration,


Guyanese will tell you there are islands in the mouth of the Essequibo bigger than Barbados. A glance at a map will tell you that’s not true, but Hog Island — the largest, at twenty-three square miles — is certainly bigger than Carriacou, Bequia, or any of the Grenadines. From the Parika stelling you can catch a ferry or


speedboat across to Supenaam on the west bank of


the river, and thence to Guyana’s Pomeroon


Coast, or south into the interior, following the route of Amerindian traders, Dutch explorers, and gold prospectors over the centuries.


Apoteri Konashen Rewa


WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 63


MARK KHAN


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