Sunday, 4 November 2007

Rockview July 2007

I know this is a little late but better “late than never” and it really needs to be recorded. What better than to give you an extract from Mary’s diary of 29th June. “It’s the way she tells ‘em”. So here goes.

Our Rockview adventure. What a place! We arranged for the taxi to collect us a little early so that we could be sure of getting to Ogle Airport by 9am. We should have known better. We did not start check-in until 10am and we did not take off until 10-30am. We flew in a small 12 seater plane and the journey was remarkably smooth. We were given juice and a packet of biscuits before we boarded. In proportion – look out BA. The landing strip at Rockview was exactly that – a short strip of gravel.

From the minute we landed we were made extremely welcome by the family and staff. Rockview is the brainchild of Colin Edwards, a former VSO and a very interesting person. He has been married three times and has 7 children- two Brazilian, two English and three Amerindian. He was born in the Basque region of France and had a Basque mother and an English father. After VSO he travelled to South America, lived in Brazil and finally settled in Guyana. He brought his parents to live here and they are buried in the garden where they can be seen from the original Rockview.

Everything about the place is amazing but the two things that strike you most, apart from the hospitality of the people are the cleanliness and the quietness. The rooms are pretty and we have discovered the joys of a hammock, although I managed to roll right out when I first got in.

We were also quite active. On the second day we went on the nature walk and on Sunday we went on the Iwokrama Canopy Walk in the rain forest. We also had a gentle stroll around Rockview and were very impressed by the fruit and vegetable gardens and the fruit trees. Rockview is almost self sufficient. It has a motley crew of pets as well as cows and horses. Stephen and Allende tried their skill as cowboy / girls. It was a real joy to be able to use the pool and on all three occasions we had it to ourselves apart from the children.

All the children are delightful and very comfortable with adults. We also visited the Amerindian village of Surama where the two youngest boys go to school and stay with their grandparents during the week. On Friday we had the place to ourselves which was very nice. On Saturday an American couple, Christine and Tim, joined us and late in the evening Inge and the Spanish brigade came. They were very pleasant and it was great for Allende to be able to speak Spanish. I was the only one who could not speak Spanish. Helen, an EU delegate, was also British but she could speak Spanish. Whist at Rockview we ate better than at any time in Guyana. Everything was freshly prepared and the portions were very generous. It was a good thing that we did not have to be weighed again when we got back on the plane like we did when we came.

Colin is an excellent mine-host and each evening starts with cheese, cashew nuts (which we have seen roasted (see picture), rum and beer and very pleasant music. The mealtime conversations were lovely and interesting. Our stay in Rockview was everything we wanted, relaxing, peaceful, interesting and a bit of luxury. It was very expensive but I think money well spent.

It is a little disconcerting that you can see the pilot take his hands off the controls but even more so when he is not even looking where he is going because he is filling in his log!

Inside the house is like a museum with a collection of artefacts, old books, art and wooden sculpture from over 30 years of travelling. It is a fascinating experience.