With Geert and Marijke plus kids to Kabalebo     Click for the chartlet
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After two months of hard work, Geert and Marijke and the kids came to visit us. They were very enthousiast about the house and started helping immediately, and after we waved our Surinamese crew goodbye by the end of July, they took us to “Kabalebo”.

The Kabalebo river rises from the deep south to the Corantyne river on the western border. Approximately halfway on a beauty spot a resort was built (www.kabalebo.com), right in the middle of the jungle and therefore only to be reached by plane. So it was a luxury trip to a luxury destination where we even had hot water showers (crazy). For the first two nights we stayed in the main lodge and hiked by boat or kayak into the jungle, to do some trekking to many waterfalls. The lack of wind creates a wonderful scenery. Of course we met many animals: various kinds of apes, a sloth, huge caimans and many many birds. Kabalebo is famous among bird watchers and it was no coincidence that Geert and Marijke had chosen this spot, as Marijke turned out to be a fanatic birdwatcher. The result is that we now can tell a kingfisher from a vulture, and a macaw from a kissmequick. Marijke's binocolars were sticking to her eyes all the time and she was extremely pleased when she spotted a harpy eagle already on the first day. This is an impressive bird indeed, in sitting position about 1 meter high and with huge raptor's claws. Instead of binoculars Geert had his photocamera at hand and he made a series of wonderful pictures, of which you see some on this website.

After those two days in the main lodge we went upriver by boat; with a guide, a bo'sun and a cook. The resort owns also a private lodge named “Uncle Piet’s” on a splendid spot by the riverside.
Without all those other hotel guests (the main lodge accommodates 20 people) you discover real peace and beauty and it was a fantastic nature experience.

Hiking through the jungle is marvellous, nice and cool under the giant trees keeping the sunlight 40 to 60 meters away from us, and filtering the sunlight; and all the trees are embraced by lianas . The kankantri is the most impressive of trees, to be recognized by its huge plank roots and its straight trunk with a well-balanced crown of leaves, hovering over the smaller trees. We were lucky as the greenheart blossoms at the beginning of the dry season, and we were there at the right time. Then the tree is full with yellow flowers, and as you have the magnolia in Holland with its tulip-like flowers, we have in Surinam the daffodil tree.

The men did their men's things and Geert also did some fishing and caught some huge catfish.
We had lots of fun and like their parents, Rik and Daniëlle are full of practical jokes. And JW was a willing victim for hair plaiting.

Grandpa and Grandma also loved playing card games with the kids and this suited mom and dad because it gave them the opportunity to go kayaking with the two of them. So the trip's pay-off was not only that we now know everything about birds, but we are also completely updated with the latest card game's rules. And between times Rik (10) learned to play bridge!

The last day brought a surprise because the plane that is normally operated, had a problem and the spare plane was revised at the same tume. So now they had to fly with a smaller craft... and we were with too many persons. We sacrificed ourselves and stayed for one more day in the main lodge, and this is how the 8-day trip turned out to be a 9-day holiday.
In short: we enjoyed the fun, our friends, nature and the rest tremendously and when we returned we were in a great shape to start working on the house again. Buying mattrasses, building beds, cupboards and a lot of painting...

In our previous travel report we published front page news about an electricity interruption. This kind of trifle is of the order of the day and they are always blown up out of all proportions. This time we have a news item about leakage in the building of the House of Parliament, where of all things the coffee machine broke down... If you understand a bit of Dutch, you can read it yourself.


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