As I mentioned in my last blog, my watery playground trek got off to a bad start, but improved rapidly. I was reunited with some old friends and we spent hours reminiscing on our youthful days. I was reminded of our camping days in the hinterland, and some adventures we shared. On one occasion, we camped by the water’s edge of a creek, and next morning we saw jaguar tracks all around our tent, and leading down to the creek. We hastily removed out tent and moved inland.
Jaguars are dangerous animals, and I once met a person whose right cheek bore several deep scars. When he was a child, a jaguar had attacked him and clawed his face, but the jaguar had been scared off by his parents before it had done further harm.
Today, jaguars are rare, and The Guyana Times claims that Guyana is dubbed one of the last places on Earth where the jaguar thrives. They are also good swimmers, and unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water. Fortunately we never encountered a jaguar face to face in our camping trips.
It is no wonder Guyana is called the land of many waters with so many rivers and streams, and in many instances swimming becomes a necessity. Even herding cattle involves some swimming. In the picture below (from my friend Dmitri Allicock), you can see cattle being herded and swimming across a river.
As I had mentioned in a previous blog, most kids learn to swim at an early age. Unfortunately not all people become swimmers, but some still venture into the water, in shallow areas. However, as most swimmers (and lifeguards) know, water can be treacherous. Even shallow water can be misleading since there may be deeper parts not visible to the eye, and many rivers carry strong undercurrents.
On two separate occasions I have been lucky in saving persons from drowning. One person was splashing in shallow water in a creek and slipped into the deep end, while the other was soaking her feet at the river’s edge, and slipped in. I advised them to take swimming classes as soon as possible, or keep away from unknown waters. I hope they took my advice.
Water, water everywhere! In the pictures above, you can see a man on his way home from work cycling in the water, while children are having fun playing in the water (pics from Dmitri Allicock).
In my next post, I will continue writing about my watery trek. But in the meantime I would like to know if any of you blogging friends were ever saved from drowning, or know someone who was. I bet it was a traumatic event!