Tourist In My Own Country 🌄 Apoera and Blanche Marie Falls
Apoera, the forgotten railroad in the West of Suriname and the Blanche Marie falls have been mentioned a couple of times before in my posts, but what I hadn't mentioned before were my trip and experience years back to that part of the country, which was an adventure in itself.
It was an outing of four days with friends that started out early in the morning. I think that we had gotten picked up by the bus at around 05:00h., because of the travel time of approximately six to seven hours (365 km.) It was still dark out and it was definitely at a time we would've been asleep, but what definitely wasn't missing were our coffee mugs. We tried to get our rest in during the start of the ride, saw the sun come up and had some problems with the bus during the ride that we took with stride. We stopped a couple of times to pitstop, for lunch and to take some shots of the beautiful landscape.
At last we arrived in Apoera in the late afternoon and made a round of the town that made me think of Nickerie (the west district) with its architecture, especially the Bruynzeel type of homes. We then settled in the house we rented (also a Bruynzeel home) and started preparing our dinner. It was too late to do anything else but rest or stroll around in the town. I chose to stay in because we had to be up early the next morning and had a long day ahead of us.
The second day we drove through the jungle and I wondered if we were lost. We were on the right path though, because the forgotten railwaystation was taken over by the jungle. It was daunting to see how something that could've brought advancement and development opportunities to the town and the country, could've been discarded like that. It had never even gotten its virgin rail and it was the first time I've seen a train station of this magnitude in Suriname (seen only in Europe).
Fast forward to the third day, which was the highlight of the trip - it was the main reason we joined this expedition - because of the Blanche Marie falls. These falls are one of the largest in the country with a height of 10m. and a reach of 120m. It's advised to travel to Blanche Marie at least twice: during the rainy and the dry season, as both seasons have a different appeal with its own pros and cons. We went during the dry season, so we were able to sit in the water and enjoy the small rapids and cross to the other side. Crossing we needed to be very careful as we had to climb at certain stops where the rocks were slippery. I enjoyed the challenge never the less 😅.
And then it was the fourth and last day: travel back home. We were ordered to use everything that was left in the fridge as our breakfast, so that we didn't have to throw food away. The bus driver was late, because he had to fix some parts of the bus, so we used the time to make some group pictures. After the driver finally arrived we set out our journey home, which was very different from the trip to Apoera. It started out ok, we were even able to take some beautiful sunset pictures.
But after the sunset it all changed. A part of the road to Apoera is called "poederzand" (powdery sand), which could get ugly, which it did. The bus got stuck at certain points, so the guys AND the girls had to dig the tires out and also needed to use some wood. This was happening in the middle of nowhere in the dark, with other vehicles and trucks passing by once in a while. There were no streetlights and the only illumination came from our phones, flashlights and passerby's. We survived and arrived at our destinations tired and asleep.