At 7 when we emerged from our room, our guide Soldier was waiting for us, as well as his son David and nephew whose name we can't recall/never really worked out, but started with K. We grabbed some breakfast to take with us and the 5 of us piled into a taxi that took us to Pamela Landing, about an hour past Mahdia on the banks of the Potaro River.
There, we all got into a small dinghy and started making our way up the river. As we went we passed a few small mining operations consisting of a dredging boat or a pontoon that would pump water though the sediment from the bottom of the river to separate gold and diamonds.
After a while we reached Amatuk Falls, a cascading waterfall that blocked our path from proceeding further up river. As such, we had to get out of the boat and while we had a look around, our "crew" carried the boat and supplies over the hill by land.
The Falls were quite pretty, and after having a look from both the bottom and top, we had some lunch (though it was around 10.30am) cooked by a staff member positioned at Amatuk, rather bland spaghetti and some kind of fish mixed through.
We then got back into the boat now it had been carried to above the falls, and continued upriver. We were travelling up the Kaieteur Gorge, surrounded by the Ayunganna Mountains. The reflection of the jungle on the calm waters with towering escarpments on either side was stunning.
Before long we hit Waratuk Falls, another small cascading fall that marked the border of the Kaieteur National Park, where once again our boat and supplies had to be carried around. Then, we travelled the third sector of the day and even had a distant glimpse of Kaieteur Falls up ahead in the distance. Soon we arrived at our camp for that night at Tukeit. We were expecting at best a bit of a shelter where we would sling our hammocks underneath, but what we found was completely unexpected!
Finished only 6 months prior was a big wooden guesthouse structure, complete with kitchen, bathrooms with showers and flushing toilets! There were bedrooms though as yet unfurnished, but we were sleeping under the huge veranda which was fine with us! Much nicer than the stinky hotel from the night prior.
Since we arrived around 1.30pm we had plenty of time to relax. After a siesta in the hammocks, Soldier took us across the river to a lovely white sand beach where we spent a good hour or so soaking in the cool water to escape the heat. We attempted to find some gold and diamonds but were only able to uncover some specks of iron in the river bed.
Dinner that night was probably the best meal we had on the trip, spaghetti with some beans and sausage. Two of the park rangers were also staying at Tukeit that night, and we chatted with them learning about some of the fauna before a peaceful but surprisingly chilly sleep in our hammocks.
This day had been much nicer than the day prior, and we were feeling more comfortable with the tour, though we still couldn't understand half what our guides said!