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 Suriname 2010 - Part 7 - Map for this journey and some additional info

The trip to Suriname did not include any hassle. Just buy ticket ideally directly to Paramaribo. We had very cheap ticket to Cayenne in French Guyana, but transport buy bus from Caynenne to Paramaribo takes 1 day and costs 50 euro one way.

Gum Air is easy to communicate with by email in English, expect to pay aproximately 1000 usd for 1 way flight to jungle with small Cessna (400kg load, quite limited for 4 people) or 2000 usd for bigger Cessna (1000 kg of load, ideal for 8 people). The flight back is usually prepaid in Paramaribo on certain date and the exact return date is confirmed by satellite phone (recommended!) or by radio from some village as you want.

In Paramaribo, all hotels listed in LP guidebook ask for 30 euro or more for a double room (yes, hotels are calculated and ideally paid in euros). If you want it cheaper, go to Hotel Tropical near the small airport (airport for Guim Air etc.) - 15 euro per double bed room. Suriname is quite influnced by Europe, especially by Netherlands, in may ways. Althought it is quite expensive, it is still not that expensive as French Guyana. The local people are nice, but don't expect really original indians not touched by civilization.

Zuid - Lucie rivers

One can see from this map (photo from the wall map at Stinasu organization office in Paramaribo) that it would be possible to paddle other rivers as well - e.g. from Alalapadu airstrip the river that later flows into Coeroeni river (Coeroeni is quite big I believe, more for motor boats). This river would be probably more inhabited by Trio indians (as it goes over huge village of Kwamalasamutu), which might be plus or minus depending as one sees that. Zuid-Lucie river is probably a bit specific by not beeing ihabited at all (from Kayser to Amotopo). We chose Lucia as safe option as it was paddled by 2 Czechs in 2009. But someone could try to paddle from Alalapadu next time !

We expected Lucia to be smaller, more intimate. Iin fact, most of the time it was so big that it would be possible to go by motor boat. 95% of the time it is really flat water, looks almost not moving. We were there in October 2010, during dry season and had reasonable amount of water I think. 2 Czech travellers that were there in October 2009 had less water and had to pull the boat several times (and even pack it in rucksak for some distance) - we did not have to. We needed 10 days for the river Kayser to Amotopo (9 days of paddling, day 10 to Amotopo with motor), paddling about 5-6 hours a day not counting breaks. In 2009 with less water, they needed 12 days I think.

We were suprised, how pleasant the jungle was. Except of Amotopo (mosquitos), there were no mosquitos or other nasty insect, not during the day, not after the dark comes. This area should according to locals also be malaria and bilharzia free (so possible to bath in the river) as it's not inhabited by domesticated animals etc. If you plan to catch piranhas (quite easy), bring very solid fishing line and tens of hooks of different sizes (e.g. from 2 to 5 cms) - piranhas destroy them very often. As for baits, they liked some kind of bacon, did not like salty salami, but part of other small fish as a bait would be the best.

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