Lethem, Guyana

Jess, Matthew and I went to Lethem, a tiny tiny town at the only access to Brazil from Guyana, for a quick weekend trip in March. The trek there is a 17-ish hour bus ride on unpaved jungle/savannah roads. Describing it mildly would say it was miserable. Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy. The road being  called “unpaved” is even an understatement. It’s hardly a road, more of just a dirt or mud path with pot holes the size of houses and cars every few feet. It was rough. By the time we arrived at Lethem we were covered in dirt, sweat, dust.IMG_2609 IMG_2612 IMG_2617 IMG_2619 IMG_2622 IMG_2630 IMG_2633

The savannahs aka Dust-ville, USA.


“Border patrol”, which was a few polite and friendly immigration-officer-dressed men waving cars through. And way through there you can see the Guyana-Brazil bridge.
Our first access to running water where I brushed my teeth on the way down. In the middle of nowhere (literally) and I hop out of the dust-covered bus to brush my teeth with my battery operated toothbrush at this outhouse sink. Back in GT, I had a week of serious stomach sickness–the universe getting back at me for using a fancy toothbrush with rain water in the middle of nowhere.
Entering the jungle.

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Lethem itself is very quiet. The population exists there almost exclusively for the Brazil access point, and for duty-free shopping for Brazilians coming over to Lethem for the day. As Americans, we couldn’t cross the border without a visa, but we got to look at Brazil across a bridge!

After our bus decided it wouldn’t leave until 18-hours past our departure time, we stayed an extra night and tried to enjoy the peace and quiet of the desolate town. Then we had to endure the trip back. Don’t get me wrong–a beautiful landscape and scenery and really incredible to drive through the savannahs and into and through the jungle! But it was long and bumpy. Just really long and bumpy.


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