We then wandered to buy some coconut water and I was mildly surprised to find out we have better in 'Town'-- past all the music boxes which were now gearing up to deafen everybody-- sadly this passes for entertainment in Guyana - Loud Music, people standing about aimlessly shovelling the repetitive unhealthy food down their throats and drinking more that's good for them! But the lovely ladies we travelled up with refused to leave at 3.30pm although the Boat Captain was relieved that we wanted to return to Parika; I was puzzled why as they were just clustered up in groups by themselves-- not even like in my younger days when you would chalk-up having 'pulled' someone thereby making it a successful outing, worth the killing off a few senses for a few hours! He had hopefully got most of us into the boat where we got soaked by the swells from racing boats/jet-skies when the ladies refused point-blank.
Then the BIG MISTAKE occured-- feeling too lazy to walk down to the regular stelling to catch the regular passenger boats, we got the captain to 'find' a boat going back to Parika-- he stuck us in the boat of a large jovial Afro-guyanese family from Pomeroon ranging from Granny to the three-yr old. So Mich and I stood in the second row looking for space between the 4 children innocently sitting there. I wedged in my butt and was told by one of the mothers at theback that I should sit at the end as the chubby 5yr old who was there would more easily be thrown overboard. I felt a bit bad squashing up the children but made a note to self to try and avoid being the most vunerable in society as you would certainly have your Rights stomped on and end up being squashed.
The boat had just turned around when the two brothers renting the boat realised that the Captain did not spend the time gainfully at Bartica refuelling and we only had five gallons of gasoline! Amid the abusive shouts at the Captain, Mich (who has been to many interesting spots around the World)'s self-preservation instincts kicked in, shouted that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to get in this boat and we should get out-- that was exactly my thoughts but seeing that we were in very choppy waters just off Bartica it didn't seem like there was much we could do. I nudged the 5yr old to wedge in the bulky lifejacket that didn't close and the poor thing had to sit leaning forward uncomplainingly over the Large IceBox his uncle and father had wedged into the space in front of our feet. The two brothers who were strong over-sixfooters, the teenaged and adult boathands crammed into the smallest row in front - the backseat bar of which breaking unsurprisingly half-way through the trip and as Mich said that alone would have exposed the inexperience of the Captain as putting the heaviest weight on the front of the boat would cause it slow down.
We were gunning down to Scott's when the lead brother did something I didn't see and the women asked the Captain to stop so Brother 1 could pee off the side of the front of the Boat! Never in all my travels in Guyana had this happened but we were approaching a new Low; Brother 2 who was quite gentlemanly, sat up to preserve my Victorian sensibility but actually I was more worried about the wind blowing urine in my face so I was grateful for the shield. Then them boyz had to crack open a New Bottle of Vodka and I learnt about why they call it Chasers, cos real drinkers swig the Hard stuff straight from the Bottle and while that bottle is being passed around the bottle of Cranberry Juice is taken out and 'chases' the Hard stuff-- oh I didn't know that-- we usually mix the two.
With all these delays--- the inevitable happened -- we ran out of petrol in the middle of the Cuyuni River about five miles from Scott's. I was amazed that Brother 2 could recognise boats speeding towards Parika from a distance and he flagged down a few-- to their credit they all stopped-- this must be what makes Guyana run without Emergency Services as the Coastguard and River Police were gainfully employed keeping drunken middle-aged Jet-skiers out of the the path of the racers! The first was a boy and his granny heading to Karia Kaira, then the second was a Captain who had a feud with our Captain and drove off, then Brother 2 saw a boat he 'knew' and the guy handed over his reserve tank of petrol to get us to Scott's. At that point MYself-preservation instinct told me to change boats mid-river but I was concerned Mich might not be up for it - she later told me the same thing occured to her but as we were sitting at opposite ends of the row, communication was limited to being Public.